Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Susi Ganesan|
|Produced by||Kalaipuli S. Dhanu|
|Written by||Susi Ganesan|
|Music by||Devi Sri Prasad|
|Cinematography||N. K. Ekambaram|
Praveen K. L. |
N. B. Srikanth
|Budget||₹40 crore (equivalent to ₹72 crore or US$11 million in 2017)|
|Box office||₹85 crore (equivalent to ₹152 crore or US$23 million in 2017)|
Kanthaswamy (Tamil: கந்தசாமி, Kantacāmi ?) is a 2009 Indian superhero film written and directed by Susi Ganesan starring Vikram in the title role. Shriya Saran, Prabhu, Krishna, Ashish Vidyarthi, Mukesh Tiwari, Mansoor Ali Khan, Vadivelu and Y. G. Mahendran form the supporting 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 to average reviews.
The film was dubbed and simultaneously released as Mallanna in Telugu and was later dubbed into Hindi as Shiva - The Superhero (2013) and does not feature the song 'Meow Meow'. It was remade in Bengali as Most Welcome, starring Ananta, Barsha and Sneha Ullal.
The film's plot revolves around Kanthaswamy (Vikram), a CBI income tax officer and his friends granting the wishes of the needy who write letters to a local Lord Muruga temple by disguising himself as an anthropomorphic rooster. During a CBI income tax raid, he discovers a stash of black money owned by Ponnusamy (Ashish Vidyarthi), a rich, corrupted entrepreneur. Ponnusamy pretends to be paralyzed to escape the questioning. Ponnusamy's daughter Subbulakshmi (Shriya Saran) is angered by the news that her father is paralyzed, so she goes after Kanthaswamy to seek revenge by pretending to be in love with him. Kanthaswamy, knowing her real intentions, plays along in the game. This forms a cat-and-mouse chase between the two. In a comical role, Thengakadai Thenappan (Vadivelu) is also sought after by a local police inspector who tries to solve the mystery of "Lord Muruga saving the people". The fate of Kanthaswamy's disguise leads into the climax of the story. The local police inspector was able to bring out the truth that a CBI is involved in the role behind the secret work of helping the needy people, although he was not able to confirm it. Kanthaswamy finds Subbulakshmi's family bank account password in which the black money is illegally saved. He tricks her into revealing the password and answers for the security questions indirectly. Kanthaswamy finally transfers the money to his account which would be used for helping the poor and needy people. In the end, Ponnusamy was paralyzed knowing his black money was robbed and that there was zero balance in their bank account, where they had stored it. After that, Subbulakshmi and Kanthaswamy were married and living in northern India. Kanthaswamy saw some letters tied to a tree, just like the ones at the Lord Muruga temple. He reads one and puts it into his pocket with a secret smile, which meant he will pursue being the anthropomorphic rooster again.
- Vikram as Kanthaswamy IPS, Superintendent of Police in CBI
- Prabhu as Parandhaman IPS, DIG in CBCID
- Krishna as Krishna Rao IPS, Joint Director of CBI
- Shriya Saran as Subbulakshmi Ponnusamy (voiced by Suchitra)
- Mukesh Tiwari as Industrialist Rajmohan (voiced by Subbu Panchu)
- Ashish Vidyarthi as Industrialist Pallur Paramajothi Ponnusamy (or PPP)
- Y. G. Mahendran as Ganganathan, PPP's assistant
- Mansoor Ali Khan as Thiruporur Corrupt Inspector
- Vadivelu as Thengakadai Thenappan (Tamil)`
- Brahmanandam as Kobarikayala Subbayya (Telugu)
- Tota Roy Chowdhury as Pranasu
- King Kong as Thief
- Alex as Pichumani
- Vinod Raj
- Joy Badlani
- Mousumi Saha
- Susi Ganesan as an IPS officer in the IB
- Mumaith Khan as Actress Meenakumari (cameo)
In January 2007, early reports suggested that Kalaipuli International were set to make a film starring Hari directed by Susi Ganesan, titled Kanthaswamy for a release during Diwali 2007. Soon after the announcement Shriya Saran, who was acting in Sivaji: The Boss at the time was roped in to play the heroine. However, due to Hari 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. 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.
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. Each invitation had cost about Rs. 15,000, making it the most expensive invitation in Indian film history. 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.
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. The film has finished schedules at Italy, where the trailer was filmed as well as schedules in Tanzania, Kenya and Switzerland. A schedule in locations in Mexico was also held, after the team went location hunting there, with a song and several scenes canned. The film, initially described as a "hilarious comedy", was rumoured to be a remake of the Hollywood cult hit, The Breakfast Club, however Susi Ganesan has claimed that the film has a more Robin Hood feel to it.
Following the announcement of the project, Shriya Saran was signed in February 2007, when she was in the middle of completing her other prestigious projects Sivaji: The Boss and Azhagiya Tamil Magan. 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. 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, father of Mahesh Babu was signed to a role in the project as well as Indrajith, elder brother of prominent actor, Prithviraj, who will do a villainous role in the film. Indrajith was selected for the role ahead of other prominent character actors Arjun Rampal, Irfan Khan and Suman. 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 into the acting foray.
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 composes the music for his biggest film to date following several compositions for smaller budget Tamil films and Telugu films. N. K. Ekambaram controls the cinematography of the film, whilst Praveen K L edits the film. Kanal Kannan and Chatrapathy Shakthi are the fight masters for the film, whilst Mittra media are responsible for the publicity designs 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 Devi Sri Prasad|
|Released||17 May 2009|
|Genre||Feature film soundtrack|
|Producer||Devi Sri Prasad|
|Devi Sri Prasad chronology|
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).
Tamil track list
All lyrics written by Viveka.
|1.||"Excuse Me"||Vikram, Suchitra||05:46|
|3.||"Meow Meow"||Vikram, Priya Himesh||04:30|
|4.||"Ithellam Dupe"||Vikram, Devi Sri Prasad||04:08|
|5.||"Mambo Mamiya"||Vikram, Rita Thyagarajan||04:36|
|6.||"En Peru Meenakumari"||Malathy Lakshman, Krishna Iyer||04:20|
|7.||"Kanthaswamy Theme"||Devi Sri Prasad||03:03|
|8.||"Kanthaswamy Theme (DSP mix)"||Devi Sri Prasad||03:16|
Telugu track list
|1.||"Excuse Me"||Vikram, Suchitra||05:46|
|3.||"Meow Meow"||Vikram, Priya Himesh||04:30|
|4.||"Ivannee Dupe"||Vikram, Devi Sri Prasad||04:08|
|5.||"Mambo Mamiya"||Vikram, Rita Thyagarajan||04:36|
|6.||"Naa Peru Meenakumari"||Malathi Lakshman, Krishna Iyer||04:20|
|7.||"Mallana Theme"||Devi Sri Prasad||03:03|
|8.||"Mallana - DSP mix"||Devi Sri Prasad||03:16|
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. However, the Telugu version Mallanna was granted a U/A certificate, with a few cuts from the Board.
Kanthaswamy received mixed reviews from both the critics and audiences. 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". 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". 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". Behindwoods rated the film 2/5 and stated that it was "A hollow hype". 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."
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."
The film collected ₹ 13.7 million in the UK. In Malaysia it collected a whooping $1,077,658 in its total run. In Chennai box office it collected ₹ 72.8 million in seven weeks. It grossed a gigantic ₹ 370 million in the opening week including ₹ 160 million from Tamil Nadu alone. Made on a budget of ₹ 400 million, it grossed around ₹ 850 million near the end of run and was declared a Hit by trade pundits.
Awards and nominations
Amrita Mathrubhumi Award
- Best Public Relations Officer – Diamond Babu
The film has been nominated for the following categories:
- Favorite Hero – Vikram
- Favorite Heroine – Shriya Saran
- Favorite film – Kalaipuli S. Dhanu
- Favorite Director – Susi Ganesan
- Best Music Director – Devi Sri Prasad
- Best Art Director – Thotta Tharani
- Best Female Playback Singer – Rita
- Best Choreographer – Saravana Rajan
- Best Make Up Artistes – Nellai Shanmugam
- Best Costume Designer – Chaitanya and Sai
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