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Minnale poster.jpg
Directed byGautham Menon
Produced bySunanda Murali Manohar
Written byGautham Menon
Vipul D. Shah
"Dhinanthorum" Nagarajan
Reema Sen
Music byHarris Jayaraj
CinematographyR. D. Rajasekhar
Edited bySuresh Urs
Cee (I) Tv Entertainment
Release date
2 February 2001
Running time
171 minutes

Minnale (transl. Dear Lightning) is a 2001 Indian Tamil language romantic comedy-drama film by first time director Gautham Vasudev Menon from a story and screenplay written by Gautham Vasudev Menon and Vipul D. Shah. Starring Madhavan, Abbas, Reema Sen, Vivek and Nagesh it tells the story of a love-struck protagonist stealing the identity of his former college foe to pursue his lady love and the eventual repercussions he has to face when the truth is revealed. The film's original soundtrack composed by first time music composer Harris Jayaraj, became a chart buster prior to the movie's release. The cinematography of the film was handled by R. D. Rajasekhar and Ravi Varman and it was edited by Suresh Urs. The movie was marketed as a Valentine's Season release and upon its release Minnale opened to positive reviews from critics and enjoyed stupendous commercial success catapulting Gautham Vasudev Menon, Harris Jayaraj and Madhavan to instant stardom.[1]


The movie opens in a fictional MC Engineering College in Ooty. Samuel (Abbas) is a top performing 'Computer Science & Engineering' student and is very popular with the college faculty staff and the students, while Rajesh (Madhavan) is a 'Mechanical Engineering' student and is very notorious for his mildly violent / misogynistic behavior. There is a constant tussle between these two personalities and mutual problems between the two groups puts Sam and Rajesh at loggerheads through out their college days. Both Sam and Rajesh pull pranks on each other and their friends to show who is superior. This tussle eventually culminates into a fist fight that does not end with a clear victor. Sam and Rajesh eventually pass out of the Engineering College and on the last day of college when they try to take one last jibe at each other, they decide to never to see each other ever again. Samuel goes to the United States for his higher studies while Rajesh who has an insatiable love for Madras and his grandfather decides to stay in India.

As the story moves forward by two years, Rajesh settles in an IT job and teaches Software Engineering to the Engineering trainees. He lives with his librarian grandfather Subbuni (Nagesh) in the Aminjikarai neighborhood of Chennai. Rajesh turns down a very lucrative job assignment in Singapore to be with his grandfather as he is very attached to him. Rajesh, on a trip to Bangalore to attend a friend’s wedding, comes across a stranger (Reema Sen) dancing in the rain with the kids on the street and is almost instantly smitten by her when he sees her face lit by the flash of a lightning bolt. He runs into same stranger again at his friend's wedding reception but could not muster enough courage to approach her and share his feelings. He manages to learn that the stranger is Reena Joseph, the bride's friend and works at the Bangalore Ford as a Chartered Accountant. Back in Chennai, while Rajesh is still contemplating taking another trip to Bangalore, he casually notices a Ford office cab and to his pleasant surprise sees Reena getting off the cab near Chennai's T. Nagar neighborhood but an ensuing comic goof up with his friend Chockalingam (Vivek) results in they both losing track of her in the mall close by.

Chockalingam spots Reena’s friend Vasuki (Raji Iyer) in a vegetable market located in the Kilpauk neighborhood of Chennai and calls Rajesh to get there as soon as possible. Both Rajesh and Chockalingam trick Vasuki to learn Reena's phone number and that Ford has transferred her from Bangalore to Chennai. When they spill the beans to let Vasuki know that Rajesh is madly in love with Reena, Vasuki angrily reveals Reena's parents have arranged for a suitor and it will be a waste of Rajesh's time to pursue Reena. With the help of the phone number though, Rajesh finds Reena's house located in the Cenotaph Lane near the Adayar neighborhood of Chennai and also stalks her to learn her suitor's name is Rajiv, living in Seattle and that she has never seen him before. Goaded by his grandfather and his friends, Rajesh decides to enter Reena’s life pretending to be Rajiv. Within a few days of hanging out with each other, both fall in love with each other and Reena accepts Rajesh's proposal to get married. But as luck would have it, before Rajesh could reveal the truth about his true identity, the real Rajiv (Abbas) comes to Chennai and both their families get together and Reena is completely shocked and broken when she learns that the person she is in love with is an impersonator.

Rajesh comes clean with Reena and pleads to be forgiven but Reena is adamant that she doesn’t want to talk to Rajesh anymore. So Rajesh and his friends decide to meet Rajiv and ask him to break up the engagement with Reena. They are surprised to learn that Rajiv is actually Rajiv Samuel, Rajesh's foe from his college days. Rajiv becomes enraged when he learns the truth, but believes that Reena was duped and refuses to break up the engagement. After repeated attempts to talk to Reena fail and when Rajiv and Reena’s wedding is fixed, Rajesh sadly accepts the bitter truth.

Heartbroken and unable to live in the city anymore, he plans to leave. Reena, finally realizes that even though she was duped by Rajesh, she had indeed fallen in love with him. Rajiv senses this on the eve of their wedding. Just before Rajesh boards his plane, Rajiv appears and says that they are still bitter enemies but he couldn’t marry a girl who doesn’t love him. Reena appears and embraces Rajesh.



Gautham Menon launched a Tamil romantic film O Lala in 2000 with the project eventually changing producers and title into Minnale with Madhavan, who was at the beginning of his career, being signed on to portray the lead role.[2] About the making of the film, Menon revealed that he found it difficult as the team was new to the industry with only the editor of the film, Suresh Urs, being a prominent technician in the industry.[3] Menon had come under further pressure when Madhavan had insisted that Menon narrated the story to his mentor, Mani Ratnam, to identify if the film was a positive career move after the success of his Alaipayuthey. Despite initial reservations, Menon did so and Ratnam was unimpressed; however Menon has cited that he thought that Madhavan "felt sorry" and later agreed to continue with the project.[3]

Miss World 1999, Yukta Mookhey was considered to play the film's heroine during July 2000, but a delay meant that she was replaced with Reemma Sen, who appeared in her first Tamil film.[4] Minnale also saw Madhavan collaborating with Abbas for second time after Kannada film Shanti Shanti Shanti. Post-release, Abbas felt that his scenes had been cut from the film and accused Madhavan of playing a role in editing his sequences out from the film.[5]


The film was advertised as a Valentine's Day release in 2001 but was released on 2 February 2001 and upon release it went on to become a large success commercially. Madhavan became extremely popular among the youth after the release of Alaipayuthey, but had a setback as his next film flopped. Minnale made him once again popular among the youth. Savitha Padmanabhan of The Hindu claimed that the film had a "lot of verve and vigour" and that it was "sure to go down well" with the "yuppie, college-going youngsters".[6] The movie was dubbed into Telugu under the name Cheli and also performed well at the box office.[7]

The success of the film led to producer Vashu Bhagnani signing Menon on to direct the Hindi language remake of the film, Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein, which featured Madhavan reprising his role. The Hindi version gained mixed reviews and subsequently went on to become a above average grosser at the box office.[8] However, the film belatedly gained popularity through screenings on television and subsequently developed a cult following amongst young audiences and the actors released a video thanking the film's admirers for their adulation on the fifteenth anniversary of the film's release.[9][10]


The music and background score were composed by Harris Jayaraj. The audio cassette of the film was released in Chennai at a function in 8 November 2000, where the songs were also screened.[11] Upon release, the soundtrack received critical acclaim and was a major contributor to the film's commercial success.[12] Harris Jayaraj won his first Filmfare Best Music Director award in Tamil. The song "Vaseegara" is set in Natabhairavi raga [13] and marked the debut of poet Thamarai as a film song lyricist.

All songs except Ivan Yaaro and Iru Vizhi Unadhu (Ore Nyabagam) were reused in the film's Hindi version Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein by Harris himself.

Soundtrack album by
Released8 November 2000
GenreFeature film soundtrack
LabelSa Re Ga Ma
ProducerHarris Jayaraj
Harris Jayaraj chronology
Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein
Track list - The Tamil original[14]
1."Azhagiya Theeye"VaaliHarish Raghavendra, Timmy5:56
2."Iru Vizhi Unadhu (Orey Nyabagam)"ThamaraiDevan Ekambaram1:56
3."Maddy Maddy"C. S. AmudhanKarthik, Timmy1:15
4."Vaseegara"ThamaraiBombay Jayashree5:00
5."Oh Mama Mama"VaaliShankar Mahadevan, Tippu4:40
6."Poopol Poopol"ThamaraiKarthik, Tippu1:57
7."Nenjai Poopol"ThamaraiHarish Raghavendra1:01
8."Venmathi Venmathiye Nillu"VaaliRoop Kumar Rathod, Tippu5:28
9."Ivan Yaaro"ThamaraiUnni Krishnan, Harini5:13
Total length:32:26
Soundtrack album by
GenreFeature film soundtrack
LabelTips Music
ProducerHarris Jayaraj

All tracks are written by Bhuvana Chandra.

Telugu Dubbed Track-List[15][16]
1."Ningiki Jabili Andam"Unni Krishnan, Harini5:24
2."Kannulu Neevi"Naveen1:55
3."Varshinche Megam La Ne Nunna"Srinivas, Timmy, Vasu5:27
4."Manohara"Bombay Jayashree5:00
5."Aei Vennella Sona"Harish Raghavendra, Timmy5:47
6."Ooh Mama"Mano, Timmy, Vasu, Chandran4:36
7."Manohara" (Part 2)Bombay Jayashree4:57
Total length:33:06


  1. ^ "More for Maddy's crowd". The Hindu. 27 October 2001. Retrieved 18 September 2017.
  2. ^ Kumar, Ashok (2009). "My First Break". The Hindu. Retrieved 28 April 2011.
  3. ^ a b Rangan, Baradwaj (2011). "Shooting from the Lip". Baradwaj Rangan. Retrieved 28 April 2011.
  4. ^ http://www.rediff.com/movies/2000/jul/21spice.htm
  5. ^ http://cinematoday2.itgo.com/HOT%20NEWS%20-%2002061.htm
  6. ^ Padmanabhan, Savitha (9 February 2001). "Film Review: Minnale". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 13 November 2002. Retrieved 28 April 2011.
  7. ^ http://movies.fullhyderabad.com/cheli/telugu/cheli-movie-reviews-279-2.html
  8. ^ Adarsh, Taran (2001). "Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 28 April 2011.
  9. ^ "Bollywood's Cult Classics". PINKVILLA. Retrieved 16 February 2016.
  10. ^ "Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein turns 15: Watch Madhavan deliver THE dialogue from the film". India Today. 19 October 2016. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  11. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20010204044200/http://www.chennaionline.com/eevents/minnale.asp
  12. ^ https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-cinemaplus/my-first-break/article3021655.ece
  13. ^ https://www.thehindu.com/2004/12/18/stories/2004121802900600.htm
  14. ^ "Minnale – Harris Jayaraj – Download or Listen Free – Saavn". 1 March 2001. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  15. ^ "Cheli (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) by K.P. Siva". 20 February 2001. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  16. ^ "Cheli – All Songs – Download or Listen Free – Saavn". 15 February 2001. Retrieved 3 November 2018.

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