Kalyanaraman (1979 film)

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Kalyanaraman 1979 poster.jpg
Directed byG. N. Rangarajan
Produced byMeena Panchu Arunachalam
Written byPanchu Arunachalam
StarringKamal Haasan
Music byIlaiyaraaja
CinematographyN. K. Vishwanathan
Edited byK. R. Ramalingam
P. A. Art Productions
Release date
‹See TfM›
  • 9 July 1979 (1979-07-09)
Running time
134 minutes[1]

Kalyanaraman is a 1979 Indian Tamil-language supernatural comedy film directed by G. N. Rangarajan and written by Panchu Arunachalam. The film stars Kamal Haasan and Sridevi, while V. K. Ramasamy, Major Sundarrajan, Thengai Srinivasan, V. S. Raghavan, Senthamarai, Pushpalatha, Manorama and Master Japan Kuppu play supporting roles. It focuses on Kalyanam, a tea estate owner's son who is duped and murdered by a gang which is after the property, but lives on as a ghost. Kalyanam's twin brother Raman learns the truth and returns for revenge.

Kalyanaraman was the directorial debut of Rangarajan. Its concept was inspired by two different films: Idhu Nijama (1948) and Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands (1976). The film was released on 9 July 1979 and became a commercial success, running for 140 days in theatres. It was remade in Hindi as Ghazab (1982) and in Kannada as Sriramachandra (1992). Six years after the release of Kalyanaraman, a sequel was made titled Japanil Kalyanaraman.


Kalyanam is the naïve and infantile son of Chinnadurai, a wealthy tea estate owner. Realising that his son would not be able to manage the estate or even take care of himself after his death, Chinnadurai tries to get him married to an educated and confident girl, but fails as Kalyanam does not like her. Kalyanam is in love with Shenbagam, a girl working in the same estate who is the daughter of Chinnadurai's driver Perumal. Along with his young friend Kuppu, he keeps chasing her, but she does not reciprocate.

The manager of the estate is after Chinnadurai's wealth and property. He conspires with Perumal and the cook Samipillai and hires a goon Lingappa, who mortally wounds Chinnadurai. On his deathbed, Chinnadurai confesses to Kalyanam that he abandoned his first wife Rajalakshmi and Kalyanam's twin brother Raman in Madras, and advises him to go there, away from the malicious employees. An innocent Kalyanam reveals this plan to Samipillai, who leaks it to the manager. Samipillai tells Kalyanam he will go and bring Raman and Rajalakshmi himself, but instead hires actors Kittu and Rangamani to pose as them.

Kalyanam overhears the entire gang laughing at how they duped him, and runs to inform the police. The gang corners Kalyanam, who is murdered by Lingappa. Shenbagam, upon witnessing this, becomes mentally unstable and Lingappa cuts off the other witness Kuppu's tongue, rendering him mute. The manager's gang tries to embezzle the property, but they face difficulty with legal formalities from the bank. Now a ghost, Kalyanam travels to Madras, looking for his brother and mother. He finds Raman and narrates all what happened. Raman learns the truth about his brother from his mother and decides to help his brother's ghost.

Coming to his late father's estate as the real Raman, he exposes Rangamani and Kittu playing the mother and son roles, who now change their roles and claim to be the stepmother and Kalyanam. Threatened by Raman posing as Kalyanam's ghost, Samipillai breaks down, apologises and joins Raman in his crusade. With the help of Kalyanam, Raman restores Shenbagam's sanity. He teaches Kuppu how to read and write, then makes him give evidence about the murder. When the manager and his gang try to kidnap Rajalakshmi (who had arrived at the estate to meet her son) and attack Raman, Kalyanam temporarily enters Raman's body and gives him the power to fight everyone. The manager and his gang are arrested with proper evidence. Raman and Shenbagam marry.



Kalyanaraman was the directorial debut of G. N. Rangarajan.[4] It was written by Panchu Arunachalam, and produced by his wife Meena under their banner P. A. Art Productions.[1] The concept of Kalyanaraman was based on that of two different films: Idhu Nijama (1948) and Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands (1976).[5][6] Kamal Haasan played two distinct roles: twin brothers Kalyanam and Raman.[7] In preparation for the role of Kalyanam, Kamal got his teeth fashioned from G. Janakiraman, a dentist.[8][9] Cinematography was handled by N. K. Vishwanathan, and editing by K. R. Ramalingam.[1]


Soundtrack album by
GenreFeature film soundtrack
External audio
audio icon Official Audio Jukebox on YouTube

The music was composed by Ilaiyaraaja and the lyrics were written by Panchu Arunachalam.[10][11] The song "Kaathal Vanthiruchu" is loosely based on "Lady in Black" by Uriah Heep.[12] "Kathal Deepam" is set in the Carnatic raga known as Natabhairavi,[13] "Ninaithaal Inikkum" is set in Suddha Dhanyasi,[14] and "Malargalil Aadum" is set in Shuddha Saveri.[15]

1."Kathal Deepam"Malaysia Vasudevan4:15
2."Ninaithaal Inikkum"S. Janaki4:48
3."Kaathal Vanthiruchu"Malaysia Vasudevan4:17
4."Malargalil Aadum"S. P. Sailaja4:39
Total length:17:59

The Telugu version Kalyana Ramudu's soundtrack was composed by Ilaiyaraaja and Satyam. The Telugu lyrics were written by Rajashri.[16]

1."Nene Neeku Pranam"S. P. Balasubrahmanyam 
2."Manasunarege"P. Susheela 
3."Neeke Manasu Ichaa"S. P. Balasubrahmanyam 
4."Edo Ragam"S. Janaki 

Release and reception[edit]

Kalyanaraman was released on 9 July 1979.[17] Ananda Vikatan rated the film 57 out of 100, and was particularly appreciative of Kamal's performance.[18] Piousji of the magazine Sunday said, "As the dim-wit Kalyanam, [Kamal Haasan] was superb".[19] The film was also a commercial success, running for 140 days in theatres.[20] In April 1980, when Doordarshan Kendra Madras announced that it would telecast Kalyanaraman, many people, particularly students, sent them letters telling them not to telecast the film during the examination season. A miscreant even telephoned Doordarshan Kendra and announced that four bombs had been placed inside the building. The film was telecast according to schedule, and the bomb threat was discovered to be a hoax.[19]


According to film historian G. Dhananjayan, Kalyanaraman established the comedy horror genre in Tamil cinema.[21] The film was remade in Hindi in 1982 as Ghazab,[22] and in Kannada in 1992 as Sriramachandra.[23] Six years after the release of Kalyanaraman, a sequel was made titled Japanil Kalyanaraman in 1985, it was the first ever sequel in Tamil cinema.[24][25]


  1. ^ a b c d "Kalyanaraman". Prime Video. Amazon. Retrieved 3 June 2019.
  2. ^ Vangal, Uma (2 March 2018). "Baby Sree To Sri Baby: An Unparalleled Journey..." Upperstall.com. Archived from the original on 2 June 2019. Retrieved 2 June 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Dhananjayan 2011, p. 30.
  4. ^ "G.N. Rangarajan". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Archived from the original on 28 December 2017. Retrieved 2 June 2019.
  5. ^ Guy, Randor (4 July 2008). "Idhu Nijama 1948". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 3 June 2019. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  6. ^ Piousji (16 September 1979). "Khaas Baat". Sunday. Vol. 7 no. 17. p. 57.
  7. ^ "கமலும், கதாபாத்திரங்களும் – பிறந்தநாள் ஸ்பெஷல்!" [Kamal and his characters – Birthday Special!]. Dinamalar (in Tamil). 7 November 2015. Archived from the original on 2 June 2019. Retrieved 2 June 2019.
  8. ^ Haasan, Kamal (20 October 2012). "'Of course Velu Nayakan doesn't dance'". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 12 June 2013. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  9. ^ Ashok Kumar, S. R. (14 April 2006). "Rotary 'vocational excellence' award for 'film star' doctor". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 3 June 2019. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  10. ^ "Kalyanaraman (1979)". Raaga.com. Archived from the original on 28 October 2012. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  11. ^ Ilaiyaraaja (1979). Kalyanaraman (liner notes) (in Tamil). EMI.
  12. ^ "Tamil Copycat Songs". Facebook (in Tamil). Vikatan TV. 21 April 2015. From 1:50 to 2:12. Retrieved 3 June 2019.
  13. ^ Sundararaman 2007, p. 134.
  14. ^ Sundararaman 2007, p. 149.
  15. ^ Sundararaman 2007, p. 141.
  16. ^ Ilaiyaraaja; Satyam (1980). "Kalyana Ramudu" (liner notes) (in Telugu). EMI. Archived from the original on 20 September 2019. Retrieved 19 September 2019.
  17. ^ ராம்ஜி, வி. (17 September 2019). "கமலுக்கு ஒரு படம்; ரஜினிக்கு ஒரு படம் - ஒரே கல்லில் இரண்டு மாங்காய்!" [One film for Kamal; one film for Rajini – One stone, two mangoes!]. Hindu Tamil Thisai. Archived from the original on 7 October 2019. Retrieved 7 October 2019.
  18. ^ "சினிமா விமர்சனம்: கல்யாணராமன்" [Movie Review: Kalyanaraman]. Ananda Vikatan (in Tamil). 29 July 1979.
  19. ^ a b Piousji (20 April 1980). "Khaas Baat". Sunday. Vol. 7 no. 42. p. 47.
  20. ^ Dhananjayan 2011, p. 31.
  21. ^ Dhananjayan, G. (19 July 2016). "Success formula: LOL with fear". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 3 June 2019. Retrieved 3 June 2019.
  22. ^ Piousji (30 May – 5 June 1982). "Khaas Baat". Sunday. Vol. 9 no. 50. p. 50.
  23. ^ "Sriramachandra (1992) Kannada movie: Cast & Crew". Chiloka. Archived from the original on 2 June 2019. Retrieved 2 June 2019.
  24. ^ "Kollywood's franchise factory opens". Sify. 25 May 2012. Archived from the original on 15 March 2016. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  25. ^ Ramanujam, Srinivasa (12 May 2017). "Buying a pirated CD is anti-national: Kamal Haasan". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 2 June 2019. Retrieved 2 June 2019.


  • Dhananjayan, G. (2011). The Best of Tamil Cinema, 1931 to 2010: 1977–2010. Galatta Media. ISBN 978-81-921043-0-0.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Sundararaman (2007) [2005]. Raga Chintamani: A Guide to Carnatic Ragas Through Tamil Film Music (2nd ed.). Chennai: Pichhamal Chintamani. OCLC 295034757.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)

External links[edit]