Naan Avanillai (1974 film)

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Naan Avanillai
Naan Avan Illai 1974.jpg
Directed by K. Balachandar
Produced by Gemini Ganesan
Screenplay by K. Balachandar
Based on To Mee Navhech
by Pralhad Keshav Atre
Starring Gemini Ganesan
Kamal Haasan
Music by M. S. Viswanathan
Cinematography B. S. Lokanath
Edited by N. R. Kittu
Shri Narayani Films
Distributed by Shri Narayani Films
Release date
7 June 1974
Running time
162 minutes[1]
Country India
Language Tamil

Naan Avanillai (lit. I am not him) is a 1974 Tamil-language film starring Gemini Ganesan in the lead role. Produced by Ganesan himself, it was directed by K. Balachander. It was adapted from the 1962 Marathi language play To Mee Navhech, written by Pralhad Keshav Atre. The film deals with a man who woos and marries several women while he takes on as many different identities.

Naan Avanillai was released on 7 June 1974. The film was not commercially successful, but received critical acclaim, and Ganesan's performance won him the Filmfare Award for Best Tamil Actor. It was later remade into a 2007 Tamil film and a 2008 Kannada film titled Buddhivantha.


Gemini Ganesan portrays a modern-day Don Juan who woos and marries several women while he takes on as many different identities. He is ultimately taken to court, but no-one is able to deduce his true identity as he speaks several languages with great facility. In the court, someone slaps him, believing he would utter something in his mother tongue when taken by surprise. But to everyone's surprise, he exclaims in a language not known to anyone there. As a result, the mystery is left unsolved.



Naan Avanillai was adapted from the 1962 Marathi play To Mee Navhech, written by Pralhad Keshav Atre.[2] K. Balachander directed the film adaptation with Gemini Ganesan as the male lead. Ganesan also produced the film under his newly inaugurated Shri Narayani Films, this being his only production.[3]


The music was composed by M. S. Viswanathan.[4]

No. Song Singers Lyrics Length
1 "Engirundho Vandhaal" S. P. Balasubrahmanyam Kannadasan 03:46
2 "Radha Kadhal Varadha" S. P. Balasubrahmanyam 06:17
3 "Manthaara Malare" P. Jayachandran, P. Susheela Kannadasan, P. Bhaskaran (Malayalam lyric) 04:43
4 "Naan Chinna Chiru" P. Susheela, P. B. Sreenivas Kannadasan, Kumara Mithra (Hindi lyrics) 03:20
5 "Inge Naan" L. R. Eswari,Saibaba Kannadasan 05:37

Release and reception[edit]

Naan Avanillai was released on 7 June 1974.[5] The film and Ganesan's performance received critical acclaim, but failed commercially.[3] For his performance, Ganesan won the Filmfare Award for Best Tamil Actor.[6] Ganesan's daughter Rekha, despite her strained relationship with her father, praised his performance, saying, "You've acted well, daddy."[7] The film later attained cult status in Tamil cinema for its witty dialogues, the screenplay and the "complete change of image" for Ganesan.[8] Writing for Business Standard in 2011, Suveen K. Sinha called Naan Avanillai "arguably the most memorable film of his career".[9]


Naan Avanillai was remade in the same language under same title in 2007, which became a box office success.[10] A Kannada remake, Buddhivantha, was released in 2008.[11]


  1. ^ Indian Films. B. V. Dharap. 1974. p. 167.
  2. ^ "O.A.Nos.917 And 918 Of 2 vs Rickyy Bahl" To Any Person". 25 January 2012. Archived from the original on 21 February 2018. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  3. ^ a b Ganesh 2011, p. 59.
  4. ^ "Naan Avanilla Songs". Archived from the original on 8 September 2009. Retrieved 10 July 2014.
  5. ^ "நான் அவனில்லை". (in Tamil). Archived from the original on 21 May 2017. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  6. ^ The Times of India Directory and Year Book Including Who's who. Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd. 1984. p. 234.
  7. ^ Ramachandran, T. M., ed. (1974). Film World. 10. p. 80.
  8. ^ Srinivasan, Pavithra (23 November 2009). "Review: Naan Avan Illai -- 2 is worth a listen". Archived from the original on 31 August 2017. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  9. ^ Sinha, Suveen K. (20 January 2011). "Appa and his misdemeanours". Business Standard. India. Archived from the original on 16 April 2018. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  10. ^ Ganesh 2011, p. 60.
  11. ^ Vijayasarathy, R G (26 September 2008). "Budhdhivantha is extremely satisfying". Archived from the original on 9 October 2013. Retrieved 21 February 2018.


  • Ganesh, Narayani (2011). Eternal Romantic: My Father, Gemini Ganesan. Roli Books. ISBN 978-8174365781.

External links[edit]