Muthu (1995 film)

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Muthu (1995 film).jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by K. S. Ravikumar
Produced by Rajam Balachander
Pushpa Kandaswamy
Screenplay by K. S. Ravikumar
Story by Priyadarshan
Starring Rajinikanth
Sarath Babu
Music by A. R. Rahman
Cinematography Ashok Rajan
Edited by K. Thanigachalam
Distributed by Kavithalayaa Productions
Release date
23 October 1995
Running time
165 minutes
Country India
Language Tamil

Muthu is a 1995 Indian Tamil-language romantic drama film directed by K. S. Ravikumar. It is a remake of the 1994 Malayalam-language film Thenmavin Kombath. The film stars Rajinikanth, Meena, and Sarath Babu. The film's score and soundtrack is composed by A. R. Rahman.

Muthu was released on 23 October 1995, during Diwali, and became a major success. The film became one of the highest-grossing Tamil films at the time, running for over 175 days in theatres across Tamil Nadu. A dubbed Japanese version released in 1998 and became a found success.


Muthu is a kind-hearted man working in the zamin of Sivakami Ammal taking care of the chariot and the horses used by her son Raja Malayasimman. Muthu is very loyal to the zamin family and in the meantime, Muthu and Raja encounter Ranganayaki, a stage artist during their visit to a show and Raja immediately falls in love with Ranganayaki. Ambalathar is the maternal uncle of Raja and he has plans of getting his daughter Padmini married to Raja.

Ranganayaki’s drama troupe faces financial issues and Raja offers jobs to the entire troupe in his zamin. Now Muthu and Ranganayaki fall in love with each other and Sivakami gets to know about this. Kaali is a spy for Ambalathar working in the zamin and keeps informing him about the happenings in the zamin. Kaali lies to Raja that Muthu is forcing Ranganayaki to marry him. This angers Raja and he has Kaali beat up Muthu, then orders him to leave the zamin. Sivakami gets angry on hearing about her son’s behaviour and informs him the truth that both Muthu and Ranganayaki are in love which shocks Raja.

The story moves to a flashback where it is shown that Muthu’s father is the zamindar and real owner of all the properties. Rajasekhar is the cousin of zamindar. Sivakami is married to Rajasekhar and their son Raja is adopted by the zamindar as he did not have children. Later the zamindar’s wife gives birth to a child and dies. Rajasekhar and Amabalathar plan to grab the zamindar’s properties by forging false documents. The zamindar on knowing these worries about the nature of people around him and decides to give all the properties to Rajasekhar and his family and also to leave the place along with his son Muthu. But Sivakami pleads for guilty of her husband and asks to at least give his son so that she will raise him. The zamindar hands over Muthu to Sivakami but says that he should be brought up as an ordinary man and not as a zamindar for which Sivakami agrees. Rajasekhar feels bad about his cruel activities and upon seeing the generous behaviour of the zamindar, commits suicide. The zamindar leaves the place and Sivakami moves to another town. She informs everyone that the zamindar’s child is dead as she has been asked to raise the child as a normal man by the zamindar.

Sivakami says that the zamindar currently lives in a nearby place as a nomad and Raja, realising his mistake, decides to go and meet zamindar and bring him back. Kaali overhears the conversation made between Sivakami and Raja and informs to Ambalathar. Now Ambalathar decides to murder Raja and frame Muthu so that he can take over all the zamin properties. But he is saved by zamindar and is married to Padmini. Finally, Muthu comes to know all the truth and wishes to see his father but he leaves the place before Muthu could reach there. Muthu becomes the new zamindar, but prefers to see himself as a worker.


As seen in opening credits:[1]


Muthu is a remake of the 1994 Malayalam-language film Thenmavin Kombath starring Mohanlal and directed by Priyadarshan.[4] It was directed by K. S. Ravikumar, who also wrote the screenplay.[1] Although the film was produced by K. Balachander's company Kavithalayaa Productions,[5] Balachander was not credited as producer; Rajam Balachander and Pushpa Kandaswamy were.[1] Shooting locations included Kerala,[3] and the Lalitha Mahal in Mysore.[6][7]


Numerous critics have felt that the dialogue "Naan eppo varuven, epdi varuvennu yarukkum theriyathu. Aana vara vendiya nerathula correcta vandhuduven" (Nobody knows when or how I will come, but I will come when the time is right) hinted at Rajinikanth's political aspirations.[8][9][10] Writing for Mint, Shoba Narayan said that Rajinikanth's heroines play to every traditional stereotype, beginning with their names, and cited Ranganayaki (Meena's character) as an example, adding, "The names set the tone for the character."[11]

Release and reception[edit]

Muthu was released on 23 October 1995, during Diwali day.[12] The film was a blockbuster and completed a 175-day run at the box office. It was dubbed into Telugu under the same title. It was also dubbed in Hindi as Muthu Maharaja and was distributed by Eros Labs.

In 1998, the film was dubbed in Japanese, by the distributor Xanadoux, as Muthu Odoru Maharaja (ムトゥ 踊るマハラジャ) which means Muthu – The Dancing Maharaja[13]) and completed a 182-day run grossing ¥208 million[13][14][15] (US$1.6 million)[16] at the box office. At 1998 exchange rates, this was equivalent to 6,59,57,632.[17] Muthu surpassed the Hindi film Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman (1992), which released in Japan in 1997, to become the most successful Indian film in Japan, as well as becoming 1998's top film in the category of independent “first-run show” theatres. The success of Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman and especially Muthu sparked a short-lived boom of Indian films released in Japan, up until 1999.[18] Japanese film critic Jun Edoki said, "[Muthu] was absolutely fascinating--even without subtitles".[19]

Former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh made a special note about the reach of this film among the Japanese in his speech at the National Diet of Japan on 14 December 2006.[20][21]


Soundtrack album by A. R. Rahman
Released 1995
Recorded Panchathan Record Inn
Genre Film soundtrack
Label Pyramid
Aditya Music
Producer A.R. Rahman
A. R. Rahman chronology
Love Birds
(1995)Love Birds1995

The soundtrack was composed by A. R. Rahman, with lyrics by Vairamuthu. Muthu is the first Rajinikanth film for which Rahman composed music.[22] The soundtrack for this movie turned out to be a major hit and Rahman gained popularity in Japan when the movie was released in Japanese. The Hindi version is titled Muthu Maharaja and had lyrics penned by P. K. Mishra. The "Omanathinkal Kidavo" portion of "Kuluvalilae" is written and tuned by the famous Malayalam poet Irayimman Thampi.

The video for the song "Thillana Thillana" became famous for the belly dance of Meena featuring a lot of closeup shots of her navel.[23][24] Rahman sampled African humming in the song; French group Deep Forest had earlier sampled the same in their song Night Bird.[25][26] Thillana Thillana was later adapted by Nadeem-Shravan as Deewana Deewana for the 1996 film Jung.[26] This soundtrack was selected as the most popular foreign soundtrack in Japan.[27][15] The songs from Muthu were later retained in the Kannada remake Sahukara (2004).[28]

Tamil version[edit]

# Song Artist(s)
1 "Kuluvalilae" Udit Narayan, K. S. Chithra, G. V. Prakash Kumar, Kalyani Menon
2 "Thilana Thilana" Mano, Sujatha
3 "Oruvan Oruvan" S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, Ila Arun, A.R.Rahman
4 "Kokku Saiva Kokku" S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, Theni Kunjarammal, Febi Mani, Ganga Sitharasu, A. R. Rahman
5 "Vidu Kathaiya" Hariharan
6 "Theme Music" Instrumental

Telugu version[edit]

The soundtrack features six songs composed by A. R. Rahman, with lyrics Penned by Bhuvanachandra.[29]

# Song Artist(s)
1 "Thilana Thilana" Mano, Sujatha
2 "Kalagalile Prema" S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, K. S. Chithra, G. V. Prakash
3 "Konga Chitti Konga" S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, Ila Arun
4 "Virisinada Vidhi Galam" Hariharan
5 "Okade Okkadu" S. P. Balasubrahmanyam
6 "Theme Music" Instrumental

Hindi version[edit]

# Song Artist(s)
1 "Ooperwala Malik Hai" S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, Chorus
2 "Phoolwali Ne Loota Mujhko" Udit Narayan, K. S. Chithra, G. V. Prakash
3 "Koi Samjhade" S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, Ila Arun
4 "Rangeela Rangeela" Mano, Sujatha
5 "Chhod Chala Nirmohi" Hariharan
6 "Theme Music" Instrumental




The quote "Naan eppo varuven eppadi varuvennu yarukkum theriyathu. Aana vara vendiya nerathula correctaa varuven" became popular.[30]

In popular culture[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Muthu (motion picture) (in Tamil). Kavithalayaa Productions. 1995. Opening credits, from 0:00 to 10:42.
  2. ^ a b c Ramachandran 2014, p. 162.
  3. ^ a b Ramachandran 2012, p. 38.
  4. ^ Saraswathi, S. (12 December 2014). "Birthday Special: The Many Avatars of Rajinikanth". Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  5. ^ Ramachandran 2014, p. 161.
  6. ^ "Fans in Mysore disappointed". The Hindu. 16 June 2007. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  7. ^ Ramachandran 2014, p. 4.
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ "ரஜினி அரசியல்: 16- எப்ப வருவேன்; எப்படி வருவேன்?" [Rajini Politics: 16- When will I come; How will I come?]. The Hindu Tamil. 30 January 2018. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  13. ^ a b Mutu: Odoru Maharaja Archived 22 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  14. ^ Gautaman Bhaskaran (6 January 2002). "Rajnikanth casts spell on Japanese viewers". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 20 May 2007. Retrieved 10 May 2007.
  15. ^ a b Ramachandran 2014, p. 20.
  16. ^ "Will 'Baahubali 2' overtake Rajini's 'Muthu' in Japan?". The News Minute. 16 April 2018.
  17. ^ "Yearly Average Rates (130.989167 JPY per USD, 0.317104 INR per JPY)". OFX. 1998. Retrieved 2 December 2017.
  18. ^ Matsuoka, Tamaki (2008). Asia to Watch, Asia to Present: The Promotion of Asian/Indian Cinema in Japan (PDF). Senri Ethnological Studies, Reitaku University. p. 246. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 July 2011.
  19. ^ "Dancing Maharajas". Newsweek. 9 May 1999. Archived from the original on 30 March 2018. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
  20. ^ "It's India-Japan Friendship Year". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 15 December 2006. Archived from the original on 20 May 2007.
  21. ^ "The Statesman". Archived from the original on 5 March 2009. Retrieved 17 September 2015.
  22. ^ Ramachandran 2014, p. 163.
  23. ^ "'Bollywood navel fashion has led to re-emergence of sari' : Blog Radio – India Today". Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 17 September 2015.
  24. ^ Meena's exposure Archived 2 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
  25. ^ "PLAGIARISM POLICING IS GOING OUT OF HAND". The Times of India. Retrieved 27 December 2012.
  26. ^ a b Ramachandran 2014, pp. 163-164.
  27. ^ "Films don't believe in borders". Archived from the original on 18 December 2008. Retrieved 17 September 2015.
  28. ^
  29. ^[permanent dead link]
  30. ^ "Rajinikanth's punchnama". The Hindu. 13 December 2013. Archived from the original on 24 May 2015. Retrieved 17 September 2015.
  31. ^ Ethiri (DVD): clip from 51.39 to 51.50
  32. ^ "Rajini wows French filmmaker". Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 17 September 2015.

External links[edit]