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Kathanayakudu (2008 film)

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Movie Poster
Directed byP. Vasu
Written byMarudhuri Raja (dialogues)
Screenplay byP. Vasu
Story bySreenivasan
Produced byC. Aswani Dutt
G. P. Vjaykumar
StarringJagapati Babu
CinematographyArvind Krishna
Edited bySaravana
Music byG. V. Prakash Kumar
Distributed byAyngaran (Worldwide)
Pyramid Saimira (U.S.)
Release date
  • 1 August 2008 (2008-08-01)
Running time
146 minutes

Kathanayakudu (transl. Hero) is a 2008 Indian Telugu-language drama film produced by Aswani Dutt and G. P. Vijayakumar. It is directed by P. Vasu. The film is a remake of the Malayalam film Kadha Parayumbol (2007) and stars Rajinikanth in an extended guest appearance along with Jagapati Babu and Meena. Sunil and Dharmavarapu play pivotal roles. The film was a commercial success and received positive reviews. It was simultaneously made in Tamil as Kuselan, which was released to negative reviews and was a flop.

The film explores the pressures of friendship, and revolves around a villager who had shared a strong friendship with a popular cinema actor while they were in their youth. However, due to their different career routes, they are eventually forced to part ways; one becoming a national figure, the other becoming a village barber. Decades later, the actor returns to the village to participate in his film's shooting. Whilst the entire village becomes excited about the prospect of seeing the actor, the barber fears that his old friend would have forgotten him and eventually neglected him.


The plot tells the story of two childhood friends: Balakrishna and Ashok Kumar. Balu stops at nothing to make his friend happy. As time passes by, they take different paths, and Balu becomes a barber in a small village called Siricilla. He marries Devi and has three children and leads a happy life. However, his finances are poor and he is often led to the door of Dharmaraju, the financier. He has tough competition from the smarter and more clever Shanmugam, who has a salon opposite his shop. Balu is a man with self-respect and honesty. His life continues the same until one day there is news that a film shooting is going to happen in a place near their village and the hero of the film is superstar Ashok Kumar. The news spreads rapidly, but Balu hesitates to reveal himself to be a friend of Ashok Kumar. However, people around Balu learn about their friendship, and suddenly those who have been ridiculing him start doing favors for him—only to meet Ashok Kumar, or at least watch him from outside. Balu is hesitant to do what they want, and soon people start shunning him. Balu faces poor treatment even from his children. At last, Ashok Kumar publicly acknowledges Balu as his childhood friend who made him a superstar, and he meets Balu.


Guest appearances
Special appearances in the song "Cinema Cinema"

(in order of appearance; reused footage from Kuselan)



Following P. Vasu and Rajinikanth's film Chandramukhi in 2005, Vasu had been keen to cast Rajinikanth in another role. Before signing Kathanayakudu, he had narrated a story titled Vettaiyan, which would have been a sequel of a character featured in Chandramukhi.[1] Kathanayakudu was launched on 15 March 2008 at Hotel Novotel in Hyderabad.[2] P. Vasu signed up Rajinikanth and Jagapathi Babu to portray the lead roles, while Aswani Dutt agreed to produce the film in Telugu.[3] The film is a remake of the Malayalam film Kadha Parayumbol, which was written by Sreenivasan, who also played the lead role in that film.

Casting and crew[edit]

Vasu made it clear that Rajinikanth would not perform an honorary role in the film, which Mammooty had portrayed in the original, but would play a full role, stating that, "the whole story revolves around him [Rajnikanth]". In the Telugu version, comedy actors Sunil, Brahmanandam, Tanikella Bharani and Venu Madhav all signed up to play the roles of Jagapati Babu's fellow villagers.[4] Ileana D'Cruz turned down an offer to act in the film, citing scheduling conflicts.[5] Like the Tamil version, it was said that several prominent Telugu actors had been approached to be a part of a song in the project, but none were selected.[6][7] Technicians were common in both versions in the two films. with G. V. Prakash Kumar operating as the music composer and Arvind Krishna as the cinematographer.[8]


The film's launch was on 7 March 2008 at the AVM Studios in Chennai with the leading artists present.[9] P. Vasu said that the shooting lasted 82 days, with the versions being shot simultaneously and that most of the movie was shot inside the Ramoji Rao film city, with other destinations including Kerala and Pollachi.[10] Some of Rajinikanth's scenes were reused from Kuselan.[citation needed]


Film score by
Released30 June 2008
LabelBig Music
ProducerG. V. Prakash Kumar
G. V. Prakash Kumar chronology
Ullasamga Utsahamga
Ananda Thandavam

The soundtrack of Kathanayakudu was released on 30 June 2008.[11] The soundtrack consists of five songs. The song Cinema Cinema commemorates the 75th anniversary of Telugu cinema. Footage of Suriya, Khushbu, and Sneha and archival footage of famous superstar actors N. T. Rama Rao (popularly "NTR"), Akkineni Nageswara Rao ("ANR"), M. G. Ramachandran ("MGR"), and Rajkumar are shown with each chorus of this song. The verse alternates between clips shot of an actual movie crew filming on location, intercut with real-life superstar actor Rajinikanth — who plays a fictional superstar actor in this film — spoofing blockbuster movies such as Zorro, Lawrence of Arabia, House of Flying Daggers, and the James Bond series.[12]

No. Song Singers Length (m:ss)
1 "Cinema Cinema" Shankar Mahadevan 6:08
2 "Challe Challe" Hariharan, Sujatha Mohan, Baby Rajini, Baby Pooja 6:13
3 "Om Zaarare" K. S. Chithra, Daler Mehndi 7:12
4 "Vatche Vatche" Shreya Ghoshal 4:34
5 "Ra Ra Ra Ramayanna" Kailash Kher, V Prasanna 5:36


Rediff.com gave the film a rating of 2+12 out of 5 stars and wrote: "P Vasu conceives everything in a larger than life canvas keeping in sync with the image of the superstar he is directing. And while he seems to have gone overboard by moving away from the original, Kathanayakudu is worth a watch for the touching last moments."[13] Jeevi of Idlebrain.com rated the film three out of five and wrote that "The plus points of the film are Rajnikant, Jagapati Babu and a heart touching climax. On a flip side, a better screenplay and a faster narration would have helped the film tremendously".[14] A critic from 123telugu also rated the film three out of five and wrote that "Go to the movie, if you want to see a film with a good script, good performances and a sentimental climax which will definitely bring a tear to your eye. Another very good family outing".[15]


  1. ^ Shankar, Settu (2007). "P Vasu's version of Vettaiyan". OneIndia.com. Archived from the original on 17 February 2013. Retrieved 27 August 2007.
  2. ^ "Muhurat - Rajnikant's new film". Idlebrain.com. 15 March 2008.
  3. ^ "Aswani Dutt producing Rajinis Kuselan in Telugu". Oniondosa.net. Retrieved 5 August 2012.
  4. ^ "Aswani Dutt producing Rajinis Kuselan in Telugu". Oniondosa.net. 2008. Retrieved 24 January 2008.
  5. ^ "Ileana refuses Rajini's Kuselan". Chennai365.com. 2008. Archived from the original on 4 March 2011. Retrieved 28 January 2008.
  6. ^ Shankar, Settu (2008). "Kamal, Ajith and Vijay dance with Rajini!!". OneIndia.com. Archived from the original on 9 July 2012. Retrieved 4 February 2008.
  7. ^ "Big star cast in Kuselan?". BharatStudent.com. 2008. Retrieved 4 February 2008.
  8. ^ "Jegapathy Babu in 'Kuselan'". Cinesouth. 2008. Archived from the original on 2 January 2013. Retrieved 23 January 2008.
  9. ^ "Kuselan pooja held". Sify. 2008. Archived from the original on 10 March 2008. Retrieved 7 March 2008.
  10. ^ "P Vasu Interview". Behindwoods. 2008. Retrieved 19 June 2008.
  11. ^ "Music launch - Katha Nayakudu". Idlebrain.com. 30 June 2008.
  12. ^ "NonStopMp3 - Kathanayakudu (2008) Songs". www.nonstopmp3.com. Archived from the original on 14 July 2008.
  13. ^ "Review: Kathanayakudu". Rediff.com. 1 August 2008.
  14. ^ jeevi (1 August 2008). "Telugu Movie review - Kathanayakudu". Idlebrain.com.
  15. ^ "Kathanayakudu – a leader for sure!". 123telugu. 1 August 2008.

External links[edit]