From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Film poster
Directed by K. S. Ravikumar
Produced by R. Karpagam
Written by Crazy Mohan
Starring Kamal Haasan
Music by A.R. Rahman
Cinematography Priyan
Edited by K. Thanigachalam
R. K. Celluloids
Distributed by R. K. Celluloids
Release date
October 26, 2000
Running time
164 minutes
Country India
Language Tamil
Box office 30 crore (equivalent to 87 crore or US$13 million in 2016)[1]

Thenali is a 2000 Indian Tamil comedy-drama film directed by K. S. Ravikumar and written by Crazy Mohan. The film stars Kamal Haasan in the title role, along with Jayaram, Jyothika, and Devayani. The film's music was composed by A. R. Rahman. The film was an unofficial remake of the 1991 Hollywood movie What About Bob? starring Bill Murray

The film opened to positive reviews from critics and was a commercial success at the Tamil Nadu box-office. The film won three Tamil Nadu State Film Awards, including a Special Jury award for Jayaram's performance as Dr. Kailash.


Thenali (Kamal Hassan) is a man who fears anything and everything. Dr. Panchabhootham (Delhi Ganesh) and his assistant (Ramesh Khanna), who are the doctors treating Thenali, are jealous of a relatively junior doctor Dr. Kailash (Jayaram) getting all the media attention. They decide to derail Dr. Kailash's success by sending Thenali over to him. Soon after their first appointment, Dr. Kailash heads to his home in Kodaikanal on a vacation with his wife Jalaja (Devayani) and his two children. Dr. Kailash tells Thenali to wait until after the vacation before his therapy can begin, but Panchabhootham asks for Thenali to go meet Kailash while on vacation.

The expected happens. Thenali falls in love with Janaki (Jyothika), the younger sister of Dr. Kailash, which was vehemently opposed by the latter. The whole film is about how Dr. Kailash goes mad with the antics of Thenali and even begins to suspect that his wife has an affair with Thenali, as she has a soft corner for the latter. He even tries to kill Thenali by tying him to a tree with a time bomb, which Thenali (not knowing it is a bomb) removes and puts it in the doctor's house, causing it to explode and Dr. Kailash, seeing this, suffers a paralytic attack.

Eventually, Thenali marries Janaki and cures Dr. Kailash through shock treatment by bringing Meena, B. H. Abdul Hameed and K. S. Ravikumar and makes Meena act as his wife.



Kamal Haasan approached K. S. Ravikumar to make the film after the success of the director's Padayappa featuring Rajinikanth and the film took four months to be scripted by K. S. Ravikumar, Kamal Haasan and Crazy Mohan.[2] The story of the film was inspired by the 1991 Hollywood movie What About Bob? directed by Frank Oz. Mohanlal was the initial choice to play Kailash and actress Simran was the original choice for the role of Janaki, but Jayaram and Jyothika later took the roles.[3][4][5] Actress Meena was signed on by the producers to appear in a guest role.[6] Vivek rejected the film as he felt that he didn't have the best lines.[7] The film was launched at the Kalaivanar Arangam in Chennai on March 22, 2000 with Y. Gee. Mahendra as compere and with Rajinikanth as chief guest.[8]

Kamal Haasan played a Sri Lankan Tamil in the film and to get the accent right, he took lessons from prominent television host, Abdul Hameed.[9][10] Scenes were shot predominantly in Ooty, while some song sequences were shot in New Zealand.[11]


The Hindu gave a verdict that the film was "a wholesome mix of rip-roaring action, witty dialogues and exotic locales".[12][13]

Thenali completed 175-day runs across halls in South India.[14] A success meet was also held with Rajinikanth again attending the function, where Ravikumar revealed that it was the actor who picked the title, Thenali.[15] It went on to win three Tamil Nadu State Film Awards with Thamarai picking up the Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Lyricist and S. Maniraj won the Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Art Director in the technical award categories. Jayaram received a Tamil Nadu State Film Award Special Prize for his role in the film.[16]

The film was dubbed into the Telugu language as Tenali under the production of singer, S. P. Balasubrahmanyam and won good reviews.[17][18] A Hindi language remake with Shahrukh Khan in the role played by Jayaram was discussed, but the project failed to materialize.[19]


Soundtrack album by A. R. Rahman
Released 2000
Recorded Panchathan Record Inn
Genre Feature Film Soundtrack
Length 35:55
Label Star Music
Sa Re Ga Ma
Producer A. R. Rahman
A. R. Rahman chronology

The soundtrack of the film was composed by A.R.Rahman, with lyrics written predominantly by newcomers. The album also featured the song "Injerungo", which became the first noted song of lyricist Thamarai, who used Jaffna slang within the song.[20] Due to the rift between Rahman and Vairamuthu the lyricist has been replaced by newcomers.[21] The song "Swasame Swasame" from the soundtrack, was re-used in the final scene of the Hollywood film The Accidental Husband.[22]


Track # Song Singer(s) Lyrics
1 "Athini Sithini" Hariharan, Chitra Sivaraman, Kamal Hassan Arivumathi
2 "Swasame Swasame" S.P.Balasubrahmanyam, Sadhana Sargam Pa. Vijay
3 "Injerungo Injerungo" Kamal Hassan, K. S. Chithra Thamarai
4 "Porkalam Ange" Srinivas, Gopika Poornima Piraisoodan
5 "Alangatti Mazhai" Kamal Hassan, Srinivas, Sujatha, Baby Silono Rath & Baby Sharanya Srinivas Kalaikumar
6 "Thenali" Shankar Mahadevan, Clinton Cerejo Ilayakamban


Track # Song Singer(s) Lyrics
1 "Poredabatai" SPB Charan, Pallavi Veturi
2 "Praname" SPB, Chitra Vennalakanti
3 "Taalalato Vaana" SPB, SP Shailaja Veturi
4 "Thenali" SPB Charan Vennalakanti
5 "Yeyayo Yeyayo" SPB, Chitra Samavedam Shamuga Sharma


  1. ^ Krishna Gopalan (29 July 2007). "The boss, no doubt". Business Today. Archived from the original on 25 September 2014. Retrieved 25 October 2014. 
  2. ^ "Thenali". Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  3. ^ "Telugu Cinema - Movie Review - Tenali - Kamal Hassan and Jyotika". 2000-10-26. Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  4. ^ ", Movies: Gossip from the southern film industry". 2000-08-18. Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  5. ^ "Jothika". Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  6. ^ "Interview with Meena |". 2010-02-09. Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  7. ^ ", Movies: Gossip from the southern film industry". Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  8. ^ " - news". Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  9. ^ ", Movies: Showbuzz! The story of a kiss! Kamal and Jyotika". 2000-09-21. Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ "The Hindu : "Crorepathi" spin-offs are here". 2000-09-11. Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  12. ^ "Film Review: Thenali". The Hindu. 2000-11-03. Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  13. ^ ", Movies: The Thenali review". 2000-11-06. Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Latest News about Rajnikanth". Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  16. ^ "Tamil Nadu announces film awards for three years - Tamil Movie News". IndiaGlitz. 2004-10-01. Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  17. ^ "Telugu Cinema Etc". 2000-09-11. Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  18. ^ "Tenali review: Tenali (Telugu) Movie Review -". Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  19. ^ "Shah Rukh to do Hindi remake of Tenali : Bollywood News". ApunKaChoice.Com. 2001-09-07. Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  20. ^ "Cinema Plus / Columns : Grillmill". The Hindu. 2008-08-22. Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  21. ^ " - news". Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  22. ^ "Thenali tamil movie song lyrics". 14 May 2015. Archived from the original on 15 May 2015. Retrieved 15 May 2015. 

External links[edit]