Mumbai Xpress

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Mumbai Xpress
Tamil theatrical release poster
Directed bySingeetam Srinivasa Rao
Written byKamal Haasan
Saurabh Shukla (Hindi dialogues)
Produced byKamal Haasan
CinematographySiddharth Ramaswamy
Edited byAshmith Kunder
Music byIlaiyaraaja
Distributed bySahara One Motion Pictures (Hindi)
Release dates
  • 14 April 2005 (2005-04-14) (Tamil)
  • 15 April 2005 (2005-04-15) (Hindi)
Running time
152 minutes (Tamil)
146 minutes (Hindi)
Budget4.50 crore[1]
Box office5.17 crore[1]

Mumbai Xpress is a 2005 Indian Tamil-Hindi bilingual black comedy film directed by Singeetam Srinivasa Rao and produced by Kamal Haasan. It stars Kamal Haasan himself in the lead role alongside Manisha Koirala. The music was composed by Ilaiyaraaja, while Siddharth Ramaswamy and Ashmith Kunder handled the cinematography and editing respectively.

The lead pair, as well as Sharat Saxena, Ramesh Aravind, Hardik Thakar, and Dheena, were retained for the Hindi version of the film; also, Vijay Raaz, Dinesh Lamba, Om Puri, Saurabh Shukla and Pratima Kazmi reprised the roles played by Pasupathy, Vaiyapuri, Nassar, Santhana Bharathi and Kovai Sarala in the Tamil version respectively.


Three amateur thieves plot to kidnap the young son of wealthy Chettiar (Santhana Bharathi – Tamil) / Kishore Mehta (Saurabh Shukla – Hindi) from school. They do a trial run. However, on the eve of the kidnap, Raju (Dheena Chandra Dhas), whose job is to operate a crane in this plan, is hospitalized. The services of Avinasi (Tamil) / Avinash (Hindi) a.k.a. Mumbai Xpress (Kamal Haasan), brother of Durga (Kovai Sarala – Tamil) / (Pratima Kazmi – Hindi), a deaf but docile stuntman who performs daredevil bike acts, is hired. Twists and turns take place where the other two gang members are hurt, and invariably, the Mumbai Xpress is left to perform the task all by himself. He kidnaps the wrong boy Daddu (Hardhik Thakkar), the illegitimate son of Ahalya (Manisha Koirala) and police officer Rao (Nassar – Tamil) / (Om Puri – Hindi), but manages to get a huge ransom from Chettiar / Mehta by default. A brawl takes place between the original kidnap planners – Chidambaram (Pasupathy – Tamil) / Digambar (Vijay Raaz – Hindi), Johnson (Vaiyapuri – Tamil) / (Dinesh Lamba – Hindi), and Avinasi / Avinash – in handling Ahalya's child, but Avinasi / Avinash delivers the child unhurt to his mother. He eavesdrops into her tele-con with Rao where Rao wants to settle both the ransom and sever his ties with her. Ahalya pleads and coaxes him to help her get the ransom, which Rao is willing to pay. The child takes a fancy to Avinasi / Avinash and wants him to be the man in their life, and gets him to agree (or else he would throw himself from a multi-storied building). Ahalya wants either Rao's or Chettiar / Mehta's money which Avinasi / Avinash is holding, whereas Avinasi / Avinash is in love and wants to be that protective person. Rao appoints Chettiar / Mehta to handle the ransom and what follows is a series of humorous mix-ups. In the end, all settle their differences and become the board of directors of Avinasi / Avinash's Mumbai Express, a mega-bar owned by Avinasi / Avinash and Ahalya, now married, to a happy ending.


Cast (Tamil) Cast (Hindi) Role (Tamil) Role (Hindi)
Kamal Haasan Avinasi (Mumbai Xpress / "C") Avinash (Mumbai Xpress / "C")
Manisha Koirala Ahalya
Nassar Om Puri ACP Sri Puniapragya Rao
Santhana Bharathi Saurabh Shukla Chettiar Kishore Mehta
Ramesh Aravind Thambhu, insurance agent
Pasupathy Vijay Raaz Chidambaram "A" Digambar "A"
Sharat Saxena Inspector Saxena
Kovai Sarala Pratima Kazmi Durga, Avinasi's / Avinash's sister
Vaiyapuri Dinesh Lamba Johnson "B"
Hardik Thakar Hardhik Rao (Daddu)
Dheena Raju
Raza Murad Rao's relative


In May 2004, Kamal Haasan and Singeetam Srinivasa Rao were keen to make a Hindi-Tamil bilingual film tentatively titled Kumar Sambhavam with Madhuri Dixit as the lead actress. Haasan stated he needed a "woman of substance who would look convincing as a wife and mother" and stated there was "no second choice" for the role. Bharat Shah was set to finance the project and negotiated terms with Dixit to work on the project, having earlier worked with her during the making of Devdas (2002).[2][3] The film was dropped after Dixit quoted a salary, which was more than the whole cost of the film itself.[4] Haasan later expressed his disappointment at the film not materialising as a result of Dixit's refusal.[5] He later agreed to work with Rao on another proposed film titled KG alongside Ramesh Aravind, but it also was dropped.[6][7]

Haasan then decided to fund the film and Crazy Mohan was approached to write the dialogues, though the writer later pulled out of the venture as he went for a tour to United States.[8] In October 2004, it was reported that Haasan had agreed to act in Rao's next film, which was retitled Mumbai Xpress.[6] The film was officially announced on 8 November 2004, where Haasan revealed that the film would be made in Tamil and Hindi, with the former version also featuring Nassar, Pasupathy and Vaiyapuri while the latter would include Mahesh Manjrekar, Om Puri and Saurabh Shukla in its cast.[9] Vijay Raaz eventually replaced Manjrekar, while a ten-year-old boy, Hardhik Thakar, was added to the cast.[5]

The team faced problems casting the lead actress, with Bipasha Basu, Sridevi, Tabu and then Kajol also turning down the opportunity to star in the bilingual.[10][11] Basu later stated she was unsure if audiences would accept her in the role of a mother of a 10-year-old boy, citing this as the reason she refused the film.[12] Finally in mid November 2004, the team agreed terms with Manisha Koirala and the actress flew to Chennai to take part in a photoshoot.[13] During production the film faced criticism for having an English title, though Haasan remained unperturbed by the controversy.[5][14] During the filming of a stunt sequence, Haasan suffered a minor injury which resulted in severe bruising, while his co-passenger on the motorbike in the stunt escaped injury.[15]


Mumbai Xpress
Soundtrack album by
GenreFeature film soundtrack
Length37:19 (Hindi)
LabelRaajkamal Audios (Tamil)
Ayngaran Music (Tamil)
An Ak Audio (Tamil)
Venus (Hindi)
External audio
audio icon Official Hindi Audio Jukebox on YouTube

The soundtrack was composed by Ilaiyaraaja, the Tamil lyrics were written by Vaali, and the Hindi lyrics were written by Dev Kohli. Kamal Haasan launched an audio company called Rajkamal Audios, just to release the film's music and held a special opening event at Prasad Labs.[16]

Tamil track listing
1."Yelae Nee Yetipoo"VaaliKamal Haasan, Sunidhi Chauhan, Sonu Nigam, Shreya Ghoshal, Shaan7:38
2."Poo Poothadu"VaaliSonu Nigam, Shreya Ghoshal, Shaan6:34
3."Kurangu Kaiyil Maalai"VaaliKamal Haasan, Tippu5:40
4."Vandemataram" Chorus1:43
5."Well Of Death" (Instrumental)  3:24
6."Theme Music" (Instrumental)  5:05
Total length:30:04
Telugu track listing
1."Idemi Vinta Gola"S.P. Balasubramaniam , Kamal Hassan , Parthasarathy 
2."Lera Addu"S.P. Balasubramaniam , Gopika Poornima , S.P. Sailaja 
3."Na Kanulalo"S.P. Balasubramaniam , K. S. Chitra 
Hindi track listing
1."Pyaar Chahiye"Dev KohliSonu Nigam, Shaan, Shreya Ghoshal 
2."Pyaar Chahiye (2)"Dev KohliSonu Nigam, Shaan 
3."Aila Re"Dev KohliSonu Nigam, K. K., Shaan, Sunidhi Chauhan, Shreya Ghoshal & Chorus 
4."Bander Ki Dug Dugi"Dev KohliSonu Nigam, K. K., Shaan, Sunidhi Chauhan 
5."Monkey Chatter" (Instrumental)   


The Tamil version of Mumbai Xpress was released on 14 April 2005, clashing with Chandramukhi and Sachein.[17] The Hindi version released the day after.[1]


Critical response[edit]

Reviewing the Hindi version, Baradwaj Rangan praised the film calling it "one of Kamal Haasan's most tight-knit, most convoluted screenplays, where every pratfall, every pun, every preposterous moment seems to have been spat on, polished, and precisely positioned into an overall jigsaw pattern". He added that "Mumbai Xpress isn't exactly an all-out comedy. Like Pushpak, it's the blues with belly laughs, a stack of serious issues coated with smiles."[18] Malathi Rangarajan of The Hindu wrote, "Rajkamal Films International's Mumbai Xpress is a clean, comic package for the entire family, which showcases Kamal's versatility in story and dialogue writing too".[19] Nikhat Kazmi of The Times of India gave the film 2.5 stars out of 5, writing "Other than that occasional laugh, there isn't much to lift your spirits or tickle your ribs."[20] Pankaj Shukla of SmasHits wrote, "Technically, 'Mumbai Xpress' is a brilliant film except for its music. [Ilaiyaraaja] is yet to know what the entertainer from Bollywood requires".[21]

Sneha May Francis of reviewing the Hindi version gave a mixed review, writing "To sum it up, Mumbai Xpress is a poor man's superhero movie and an out-and-out children's flick. If you are the kind looking for intelligent humour, this one is not for you. After taking you through such a long ride, the movie ends abruptly, leaving you thinking that the joke was on you for watching the film!"[22] while Siddhu Warrier reviewing the Tamil version gave a positive review, writing "The dialogues are the highlight of the movie -- almost every line elicits a guffaw. The jokes, bucking today's trend, are not ribald and risqué, but of the kind that would get even the average 10 year old kicking the back of the seat in front of him in joy (of course, much to my dismay)."[23] Visual Dasan of Kalki reviewing the Tamil version called it a modern comedy express to celebrate summer with family.[24]

Box office[edit]

Box Office India certified the film as a "flop" as it netted only 3.50 crore (US$440,000) from the North Indian region.[1] According to Srivatsan of The Hindu, the film may have failed because the cinematography had been done experimentally with a digital camera and mainly due to the digital film implementation resulting in a slight dark output which left the viewer uneasy.[25]


  1. ^ a b c d "Mumbai Xpress". Box Office India. Archived from the original on 23 June 2022. Retrieved 23 June 2022.
  2. ^ Jha, Subhash K (9 May 2004). "Madhuri in Kamal Haasan's bilingual?". Music India Online. Archived from the original on 9 May 2004. Retrieved 19 April 2023.
  3. ^ Jha, Subhash K (27 April 2004). "Munnabhai in Tamil". Mid-Day. Archived from the original on 28 February 2005. Retrieved 12 January 2022.
  4. ^ "Kamalhassan- Madhuri Dixit film dropped". IndiaGlitz. 27 July 2004. Archived from the original on 4 December 2021. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
  5. ^ a b c Jha, Subhash K. (31 December 2004). "Mughal-e-Azam took me by surprise". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 3 December 2021. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
  6. ^ a b "Kamal wants to ride Mumbai Xpress". IndiaGlitz. 11 October 2004. Archived from the original on 24 October 2004. Retrieved 19 June 2012.
  7. ^ "Kamal's 'Kumarasambhavam'". Cinesouth. 5 October 2004. Archived from the original on 7 February 2005. Retrieved 12 January 2022.
  8. ^ "நான் ஓஸி மோகன்!" (PDF). Kalki (in Tamil). 20 February 2005. pp. 56–59. Retrieved 19 May 2023.
  9. ^ "Kamal new film announced!". Sify. 8 November 2004. Archived from the original on 14 April 2014. Retrieved 19 June 2012.
  10. ^ "Kamals problems with heroines continue". IndiaGlitz. 20 November 2004. Archived from the original on 27 December 2017. Retrieved 19 June 2012.
  11. ^ "Has Tabu rebuffed Kamal?". IndiaGlitz. 26 October 2004. Archived from the original on 27 December 2017. Retrieved 19 June 2012.
  12. ^ Pillai, Sreedhar (26 March 2005). "The Bangla Bombshell". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 25 April 2017. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  13. ^ "Kamal and Manisha team up for Mumbai Express!". Sify. 25 November 2004. Archived from the original on 12 April 2016. Retrieved 19 June 2012.
  14. ^ "Kamal lashes out at detractors!". Sify. 20 March 2005. Archived from the original on 12 April 2016. Retrieved 19 June 2012.
  15. ^ "Kamal Haasan has accident while performing stunt". IndiaGlitz. 29 January 2005. Archived from the original on 10 February 2005. Retrieved 19 June 2012.
  16. ^ "Kamal launches audio company!". Sify. 28 March 2005. Archived from the original on 18 November 2015. Retrieved 19 June 2012.
  17. ^ "Mumbai Express on schedule!". Sify. 16 March 2005. Archived from the original on 19 November 2015. Retrieved 19 June 2012.
  18. ^ Rangan, Baradwaj (21 April 2005). "Review: Mumbai XPress / Chandramukhi". Archived from the original on 22 March 2008. Retrieved 9 January 2008.
  19. ^ Rangarajan, Malathi (15 April 2005). "Xpress bang on target". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 12 September 2006. Retrieved 10 October 2011.
  20. ^ Kazmi, Nikhat (19 April 2005). "Mumbai Express". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 10 November 2022. Retrieved 10 November 2022.
  21. ^ Shukla, Pankaj. "Welcome on Mumbai Xpress for a fun ride". SmasHits. Archived from the original on 1 April 2012. Retrieved 10 October 2011.
  22. ^ Francis, Sneha May (15 April 2005). "Kamal fails to deliver in Mumbai Xpress". Archived from the original on 10 November 2022. Retrieved 10 November 2022.
  23. ^ Warrier, Siddhu (15 April 2005). "Mumbai Xpress in Tamil rocks!". Archived from the original on 10 November 2022. Retrieved 10 November 2022.
  24. ^ தாசன், விஷுவல் (1 May 2005). "மும்பை Xபிரஸ்". Kalki (in Tamil). p. 21. Archived from the original on 19 April 2023. Retrieved 25 January 2023.
  25. ^ S, Srivatsan (14 April 2020). "Why Kamal Haasan's 'Mumbai Xpress' failed to make the cut". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 24 December 2021. Retrieved 24 December 2021.

External links[edit]