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Kanthaswamy Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed bySusi Ganesan
Written bySusi Ganesan
Produced byKalaipuli S. Dhanu
CinematographyN. K. Ekambaram
Edited byPraveen K. L.
N. B. Srikanth
Rajesh Kumar
Music byDevi Sri Prasad
Distributed by
Release date
August 21, 2009 (2009-08-21) (India)
Running time
195 minutes

Kanthaswamy is a 2009 Indian Tamil-language superhero film written and directed by Susi Ganesan, starring Vikram as the titular character. Shriya Saran, Ashish Vidyarthi, Mukesh Tiwari, Prabhu, Krishna, and Vadivelu form the pivotal cast. The film's soundtrack and background score were composed by Devi Sri Prasad. The film's soundtrack was released on 17 May 2009 and the film was released on 21 August 2009 It is Marked As First Superhero Film in South India.[1]

The film was partially reshot in Telugu as Mallanna with Brahmanandam replacing Vadivelu.[2][3] It was remade in Bangala as Most Welcome, starring Ananta and Afiea Nusrat Barsha.


Kanthaswamy is a CBI officer in the Economic Offences Wing, and along with his friends, grants the wishes of the needy who write letters to the great Lord Muruga temple by disguising as an anthropomorphic rooster superhero known as Kanthaswamy. During a CBI raid, he discovers a stash of black money owned by Pallur Paramajothi Ponnusamy aka PP Ponnusamy, a rich and corrupted entrepreneur, and his partner Rajmohan. Ponnusamy pretends that he has a stroke to escape questioning by the police. Ponnusamy's daughter PP Subbulakshmi gets angered by the news that her father is sick. So she goes after Kanthaswamy to seek revenge by pretending to be in love with him. Kanthaswamy, knowing her real intentions, plays along. This forms as a cat-and-mouse chase between the two. In a parallel comedic role, Thengakadai Thenappan is also sought after by a local police inspector who tries to solve the mystery of "Lord Muruga saving the people".

In a series of twists, the police inspector is able to bring out the truth that the CBI is involved in the role behind the secret work of helping the needy people, though he could not be able to confirm it. Kanthaswamy finds Subbulakshmi's family bank account password in which the black money is illegally saved. He tricks Subbalakshmi into revealing the password and answers for the security questions indirectly. Kanthaswamy transfers the money to his own account, which he would use for helping poor and needy people. In the end, Ponnusamy gets stroke upon knowing that his black money had been robbed and that the account has zero balance, where they had stored it. After that, Subbulakshmi and Kanthaswamy get married and live in Rajasthan. Kanthaswamy sees some letters tied to a tree, just like the ones at the Lord Muruga temple. He reads one letter and puts it into his pocket with a secret smile, implying that he will pursue being the rooster superhero again.


Telugu version



After the vigilante film Samurai, actor Vikram decides to do another vigilante film. In January 2007, early reports suggested that Kalaipuli International were set to make a film starring Vikram directed by Susi Ganesan, titled Kanthaswamy for a release during Diwali 2007.[4] Soon after the announcement Shriya Saran, who was acting in Sivaji: The Boss at the time was chosen to play the heroine.[5] However, due to Vikram and Shriya's projects, the film was delayed and the first schedule was postponed to July 2007. The film's first photo shoot was carried out in June 2007 at Muthukadu near Chennai featuring the lead actors.[6] The film began filming a pre-launch trailer, the first of its kind in Tamil cinema, to be screened at the launch, with Hari, Susi Ganesan and fashion designer Chetan travelling to Malaysia to look for Hollywood-inspired costumes.[7]

The inauguration of Kanthaswamy took place on 22 September 2007 at the Devi Paradise theatre in Chennai. For the event, a unique electronic invitation, made in China, was presented to guests who had been invited. The invitation was the size of a laptop and featured an 8-minute trailer of Kanthaswamy.[8] Each invitation had cost about Rs. 15,000, making it the most expensive invitation in Indian film history.[9] Following the launch ceremony, the team announced they had adopted two villages near Madurai; Sangampatti and Gandhi Nagar, to shoot in initially and then to provide basic amenities like school and proper roads among other things to the villagers for a year. The team, who were praised for their actions, were the first production team to take part in such activity in Tamil cinema.[10]

In November 2007, the shooting was halted temporarily due to an accident that occurred at the shooting spot at the Chennai Boat Club. Cameraman Ekambaram was canning the shots as per director Susi Ganesan's instructions when a pole erected on the sets unexpectedly fell on the director's head, resulting in an injury.[11] The film finished schedules at Italy, where the trailer was filmed as well as schedules in Tanzania, Kenya and Switzerland. During the production of the film, actor Raghuvaran died suddenly and hence subsequently, his role was replaced by Ashish Vidyarthi, which also led to a delay in the release of the film. A schedule in locations in Mexico was also held, after the team went location hunting there, with a song and several scenes canned.[12] The film, initially described as a "hilarious comedy", was rumoured to be a remake of the American cult hit The Breakfast Club,[13] however Susi Ganesan has claimed that the film has a more Robin Hood feel to it.[14]


Following the announcement of the project, Shriya Saran was signed in February 2007, when she was in the middle of completing her other projects Sivaji: The Boss and Azhagiya Tamil Magan.[5] In September 2007, with the release of the trailer several other artistes names were featured as supporting cast. Prominent supporting actor Raghuvaran was selected to play as Shriya's father and shot scenes in the role, before his unexpected death during the production of the film, subsequently, his role was replaced by Ashish Vidyarthi.[15] Prabhu Ganesan was also added in a supporting role, as well as lesser established actors such as Vikram's father Vinod Raj, Y. G. Mahendran, Shiv, Arun Madhavan, Vinayak and Alex, whilst Mumaith Khan was assigned for an item number. Later on, veteran Telugu actor Krishna[16] was signed to a role in the project as well as Indrajith who will do a villainous role in the film.[17] Indrajith was selected for the role ahead of other prominent character actors Arjun Rampal, Irfan Khan and Suman.[18] Along with the change of actor for Raghuvaran's role, Indrajith's role was taken by Mukesh Tiwari and the role created for Santhanam was deleted. Moreover, Vivek, who had featured in the original trailer, opted out and was replaced by Vadivelu. Mansoor Ali Khan took up a negative role in the film to make a comeback in acting.[19]

The producer of Kanthaswamy, Kalaipuli S. Dhanu and Susi Ganesan, the director ensembled an experienced team to produce the film. Veterans Thotta Tharani, A. S. Laxmi Narayanan and Viveka between them, take care of the art direction, audiography and lyrics respectively. Devi Sri Prasad composed the music. While N. K. Ekambaram was assigned as the director of photography of the film, the film was edited by three film editors Praveen K. L., N. B. Srikanth and M. V. Rajesh. Kanal Kannan and Chatrapathy Shakthi are the fight masters for the film, whilst Mittra media are responsible for the publicity designs of the film outputs, adding to their work with the trailer and the invitations. The film is co-produced, by Chennai businessmen, A. Paranthaman and A. K. Natraj, along with Dhanu.



Soundtrack album by
Released17 May 2009
GenreFeature film soundtrack
LabelSony Music India
ProducerDevi Sri Prasad
Devi Sri Prasad chronology
Arya 2

The film has seven songs composed by Devi Sri Prasad(DSP). For the first time, Vikram has sung most of the songs in this movie. The songs from the bilingual albums were released to the public after an audio launch at the Chennai Trade Centre in Chennai on 17 May 2009. "En Peru Meenakumari" samples "Bambara Kannaala" from Manamagan Thevai (1957).[20][21]

All tracks are written by Viveka.

1."Excuse Me"Vikram, Suchitra05:46
2."Allegra"Rita Thyagarajan05:23
3."Meow Meow"Vikram, Priya Himesh04:31
4."Ithellam Dupe"Vikram, Devi Sri Prasad04:08
5."Mambo Mamiya"Vikram, Rita04:36
6."En Peru Meenakumari"Malathy Lakshman, Krishna Iyer04:20
7."Kanthaswamy Theme"Devi Sri Prasad03:04
8."Kanthaswamy" (DSP mix)Devi Sri Prasad03:16
Total length:35:04


Soundtrack album by
GenreFeature film soundtrack
LabelSony Music India
ProducerDevi Sri Prasad

All lyrics are written by Sahithi.

1."Excuse Me"Vikram, Suchitra05:48
2."Allegra"Rita Thyagarajan05:23
3."Meow Meow"Vikram, Priya Himesh04:31
4."Ivannee Dupe"Vikram, Devi Sri Prasad04:08
5."Mambo Mamiya"Vikram, Rita Thyagarajan04:36
6."Naa Peru Meenakumari"Malathy Lakshman, Krishna Iyer04:20
7."Mallana Theme"Devi Sri Prasad03:03
8."Mallana" (DSP mix)Devi Sri Prasad03:16
Total length:35:05


The satellite rights of the film were sold to Sun TV. The original Tamil version of the film was given a "U" certificate, along with some cuts by the Indian Censor Board. Additionally, the Telugu version Mallanna was granted a U/A certificate, with a few cuts from the Board. Certain theaters reduced 15 minutes of Brahmanandam's comedy from the Telugu version.[22] Due to Raghuvaran‘s death, the release was postponed.


Critical response[edit]

Kanthaswamy received mixed reviews from both the critics and audiences.[23] Indiaglitz reviewed that "the movie was delight to watch and praised Shriya that as a cool cat, she plays a perfect foil to Vikram in the film".[24] Sify also reviewed that "the movie was a roller coaster ride of pure unadulterated masala. It praised Vikram and Shriya saying while Vikram rocked and the film belongs to him, Shriya sizzled throughout and carried the glamorous role with élan and the attitude".[25] Rediff gave the film 2.5/5 stars and commented: "Watch Kandhasamy for its beautiful locales, a ravishing heroine, and Vikram's smile but go with nil expectations as this particular super-hero doesn't have much to offer a discerning viewer".[26] Behindwoods rated the film 2/5 and stated that it was "A hollow hype".[27] Cinema Chaat gave the film 3.5/5 stars, and stated that "Kanthaswamy is not a great film, but instead serves as an excellent example of what might have been."[28]

For the Telugu version Mallanna, Fullhyd.com gave the film a positive rating of 3.25/5, writing that "Well, it's been long since we saw the good guys consistently act much smarter than the bad guys. And for that alone, Mallanna comes out a winner."[29] Idlebrain gave the film a rating of two-and-a-half out of five and noted that "On a whole, Mallana is an example of what happens when popular screenplay goes wrong in any of Shankar’s movies".

Box office[edit]

The film collected 13.7 million in the UK.[30] In Malaysia it collected a $1,077,658 in its total run.[31] In Chennai box office it collected 72.8 million in seven weeks.[32][33][34]


Amrita Mathrubhumi Award

Edison Awards

Vijay Awards

The film has been nominated for the following categories:[36]


  1. ^ "Kanthaswamy... When?". Behindwoods. 2 March 2009. Retrieved 5 August 2012.
  2. ^ http://www.idlebrain.com/news/functions/muhurat-mallanna.html
  3. ^ http://www.idlebrain.com/news/functions/pressmeet-mallanna.html
  4. ^ "Susi-Hari venture named 'Kandasamy'". Nowrunning.com. 2007. Archived from the original on 14 June 2009. Retrieved 28 January 2007.
  5. ^ a b "What makes Shriya click?". Indiaglitz.com. 2007. Retrieved 27 February 2007.
  6. ^ "Hari begins work on Kandasamy". Galattatime.com. 2007. Retrieved 14 June 2007.
  7. ^ "Hari's costume party". Behindwoods.com. 2007. Retrieved 16 July 2007.
  8. ^ Ashok Kumar, S.R (2007). "Invitation for launch of 'Kandasamy' not commonplace". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 10 January 2009. Retrieved 19 September 2007.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  9. ^ Warrior, Shobha (2007). "I want my movies to be the biggest film of 2008". Rediff.com. Retrieved 25 September 2007.
  10. ^ Kavitha, S.S (2007). "Adoption with a difference". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 10 January 2009. Retrieved 10 November 2007.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  11. ^ "'Kandasamy' shooting comes to a halt". Cinesouth.com. 2007. Retrieved 23 November 2007.
  12. ^ "Bangkok purchases for 'Kandasamy'". Cinesouth.com. 2007. Retrieved 19 June 2007.
  13. ^ "Vikram's Kandasamy remake of the English movie "The Breakfast Club"". TamilFilmRatings.com. 2007. Archived from the original on 13 May 2007. Retrieved 10 May 2007.
  14. ^ "The Robin Hood of Kollywood". OneIndia.com. 2007. Retrieved 7 May 2007.
  15. ^ "Kanthaswamy's latest replacement". Behindwoods.com. 2008. Retrieved 31 May 2008.
  16. ^ "A new star joins Kanthaswamy". Behindwoods.com. 2007. Retrieved 5 November 2007.
  17. ^ "Prithiviraj's sibling in Kanthaswamy". Behindwoods.com. 2007. Retrieved 20 November 2007.
  18. ^ "Kanthaswamy's new villain!". Sify.com. 2007. Archived from the original on 22 November 2007. Retrieved 27 November 2007.
  19. ^ "Mansoor's Kanthasamy connection". Chennai365.com. 2008. Archived from the original on 18 January 2008. Retrieved 17 January 2008.
  20. ^ "கந்தசாமி - இசை விமர்சனம் - Nilacharal". www.nilacharal.com. Retrieved 11 December 2017.
  21. ^ "Item girl turns heroine! - Times of India". Retrieved 11 December 2017.
  22. ^ http://www.idlebrain.com/movie/archive/mr-mallanna.html
  23. ^ "Movie Review — Kanthaswamy". Tamilomovie.com. Archived from the original on 22 November 2012. Retrieved 5 August 2012.
  24. ^ "Kanthaswamy Tamil Movie Review". IndiaGlitz. 21 August 2009. Retrieved 5 August 2012.
  25. ^ "Movie Review:Kandasamy". Sify. Archived from the original on 27 June 2013. Retrieved 5 August 2012.
  26. ^ "Kandasamy is a commercial cocktail". Rediff. 21 August 2009. Retrieved 5 August 2012.
  27. ^ "Kanthaswamy — Tamil Movie Reviews". Behindwoods. Retrieved 5 August 2012.
  28. ^ "Kanthaswamy". 26 August 2010. Retrieved 11 December 2017.
  29. ^ "Mallanna Movie Review". movies.fullhyderabad.com. Retrieved 11 December 2017.
  30. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20091223095325/http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/trade/overseas_boxoffice/280.html. Archived from the original on 23 December 2009. Retrieved 1 November 2009. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  31. ^ "Malaysia Box Office, October 1–4, 2009". Boxofficemojo.com. 8 April 2012. Retrieved 5 August 2012.
  32. ^ "2009- Kollywood Hits & Misses!". Sify.com. Archived from the original on 2 January 2010. Retrieved 5 August 2012.
  33. ^ Pillai, Sreedhar (11 November 2009). "Kollywood sets a new milestone". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 4 November 2012.
  34. ^ "Article Window". Epaper.timesofindia.com. 31 December 2009. Retrieved 5 August 2012.
  35. ^ "Suriya & Shriya to win Mathrubhumi awards". Indiaglitz. 5 January 2010. Retrieved 6 January 2010.
  36. ^ "Countdown for the Vijay awards". Behindwoods. 14 May 2010. Retrieved 5 August 2012.

External links[edit]