Muthu (1995 film)

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Directed by K.S. Ravikumar
Produced by Rajam Balachander
Pushpa Kandaswamy
Written by K.S. Ravikumar
Story by Priyadarshan
Starring Rajinikanth
Sarath Babu
Music by A. R. Rahman
Cinematography Ashok Rajan
Edited by K. Thanikachalam
Distributed by Kavithalayaa Productions
Release dates
23 October 1995 (Tamil)
3 April 1998 (Japan)
Running time
165 minutes
Country India
Language Tamil
Box office 21 crore (equivalent to 54 crore or US$7.9 million in 2016)

Muthu is a 1995 Indian Tamil drama film directed by K. S. Ravikumar. The film stars Rajinikanth, Meena, and Sarath Babu. It was the debut film for K. S. Ravikumar with Rajinikanth. The film's score and soundtrack is composed by A. R. Rahman. It is an official remake of the Mohanlal starrer Malayalam film Thenmavin Kombath (1994).[1][2] It was the first Indian film to have a major success in Japan and earned Rajnikanth, a huge fan following in Japan.


A kind-hearted Zamindar (Rajinikanth) lived with his sister-in-law and cousin Rajasekhar (Raghuvaran), helping people incessantly. His sister-in-law has a son, to whom the Zamindar bequeaths a major portion of his property. At this juncture, a new baby is born to the Zamindar. His wife dies soon after. Brother Rajasekhar cheats the Zamindar as he fears that his son's property might be taken back and given to the Zamindar's own son. When the cheating comes to light, the Zamindar hands over all his property and his baby to his sister-in-law and brother and goes to the Himalayas, making his sister-in-law promise him that the baby should be brought up as a servant, not as a Zamindar. This baby is named Muthu (also Rajinikanth).

According to the promise tendered to the Zamindar, the son of the Zamindar's sister-in-law - Ejama becomes a Zamindar (Sarath Babu) and Muthu works as his servant. A huge fan of drama, Ejama regularly takes Muthu along with him wherever he goes. One day Ejama falls in love with a drama actress Ranganayaki (Meena). But Ranganayaki's heart lies with Muthu. Raenganayaki shows love and passion to Muthu. Amidst all this, Ejama's Uncle (Radha Ravi), tries to capture all the property by killing Ejama. In the mean time the Zamindar who was in Himalayas returns to see his sister (resembling a Begger Sage), who saves the Ejama and once for all everything about Muthu is revealed to everyone and he marries Ranganayaki, while Ejama marries his uncle's daughter who was madly in love with him. The film ends by showing Muthu refusing to be Zamindar and chooses to be a worker pointing "Oruvan oruvan Muthalali" which means God is the real master and we all are his servants.



The film was first reported in March 1995, when it was mentioned that K. S. Ravikumar would direct Rajinikanth in a film titled Velan, to be produced by K. Balachander.[3] The title was later changed to Muthu. The film is characterised by location shots in Kerala and was shot in numerous palaces. The Zamindar's palace in which the movie was shot is the Lalitha Mahal Palace in Mysore.


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[4]) and completed a 182-day run grossing ¥200 million at the box office.[5][6] 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.[7][8]


Album muthu cover.jpg
Soundtrack album by A. R. Rahman
Released 1995 (India)
1998 (Japan)
Recorded Panchathan Record Inn
Genre Film soundtrack
Label Pyramid
Aditya Music
Producer A.R. Rahman
A. R. Rahman chronology
Love Birds

The soundtrack features six songs composed by A. R. Rahman, with lyrics by Vairamuthu. Muthu is the first Rajinikanth film for which Rahman wrote music. 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. "Omanathinkal Kidavo" portion of "Kuluvalilae" is written and tuned by the famous Malayalam poet Irayimman Thampi.

The video for the hit song "Thillana Thillana" became famous for the belly dance of Meena featuring a lot of closeup shots of her navel.[9][10] Rahman sampled African humming in the song; French group Deep Forest had earlier sampled the same in their song Night Bird.[11][12] Thillana Thillana was later adapted by Nadeem-Shravan as Deewana Deewana for the 1996 film Jung.[12]

This soundtrack was selected as the most popular foreign soundtrack in Japan.[13][6]

Tamil version[edit]

# Song Artist(s)
1 "Kuluvalilae" Udit Narayan, K. S. Chithra, Kalyani Menon
2 "Thilana Thilana" Mano, Sujatha
3 "Oruvan Oruvan" S. P. Balasubrahmanyam
4 "Kokku Saiva Kokku" S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, Theni Kunjaramma, Febi Mani, Ganga
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.[14]

# 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 from the film "Naan eppo varuven eppadi varuvennu yarukkum theriyathu. Eppo varunumo appo correctaa varuven" (English: Nobody knows when or how I will come, but I will come when the time is right) became popular.[15][16]

In popular culture[edit]

The scenes and songs from the film has been parodied in verious films Unnidathil Ennai Koduthen (1998), Aethiree (2004),[17] Thiruvannamalai (2008),. The footage from the film has been used in French film Prete Moi Ta Main (Lend Me Your Hand).[18] K. Balachander began work on a film titled Thillana Thillana, taken from the song in the film, during the late 1990s. However the film did not eventually materialise.


  1. ^ "The Hindu : Metro Plus Coimbatore : Thinking actress". Retrieved 17 September 2015. 
  2. ^ "tamil movie ajith rajini mohanlal sathyaraj prithviraj kreedom chandramukhi sundar c veerappu sphadikam image gallery". Retrieved 17 September 2015. 
  3. ^ "Google Groups". Retrieved 17 September 2015. 
  4. ^ Mutu: Odoru Maharaja
  5. ^ Gautaman Bhaskaran (6 January 2002). "Rajnikanth casts spell on Japanese viewers". The Hindu. Retrieved 2007-05-10. 
  6. ^ a b Ramachandran 2012, p. 20.
  7. ^ "It's India-Japan Friendship Year". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 15 December 2006. 
  8. ^ "The Statesman". Retrieved 17 September 2015. 
  9. ^ "'Bollywood navel fashion has led to re-emergence of sari' : Blog Radio - India Today". Retrieved 17 September 2015. 
  10. ^ Meena's exposure
  11. ^ "PLAGIARISM POLICING IS GOING OUT OF HAND". The Times of India. Retrieved 27 December 2012. 
  12. ^ a b Ramachandran 2012, p. 163-164.
  13. ^ "Films don't believe in borders". Archived from the original on 18 December 2008. Retrieved 17 September 2015. 
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Rajinikanth’s punchnama". The Hindu. Retrieved 17 September 2015. 
  16. ^
  17. ^ Ethiri (DVD): clip from 51.39 to 51.50
  18. ^ "Rajini wows French filmmaker". Retrieved 17 September 2015. 

External links[edit]