Last time together…

[Pic: rediff]

This is an one-off situtation. I am not sure if we would get to encounter this situation again in Tamil cine history. It can happen, I’m not sure. Just like now when most of us had decided that the joy of having a Rajini and Kamal film released on the same day would never come again. And as popularly mis-quoted everywhere, it’s wasn’t Dalapathi and Guna which went head-on together for the last time. It was Devar Mahan and Paandiyan Kurudhi Punal and Muthu. I’ve had really good memories about that Diwali. To recollect, I and a group of friends went to Pandiyan in a suburb theatre at St. Thomas Mount. Came back truly upset. Took a ‘J’ bus to Tambaram to watch Devar Mahan immediately. Came out and went in again to watch it again. Devar Mahan rocked. Paandiyan fell flat to Devar Mahan.

Dalapathi/Guna was another story, not-so-good to re-collect. It’s again a diwali day, when a few mad group of people set fire to Guna’s banner at the theatre complex. I had watched Dalapathi the day before on a premiere show, at EGA theatre. Wanted to see it again and took off to Udhayam. Guna and Dalapathi were poised on the same complex and the hell-broke-loose. That was the time when I thought, that’s it. There were rumors that Kamal/Rajini went on a arrangement not release their movies on the same day. It’s profitable for them this way.

All these aren’t re-collected to sensationalize the whole issue of Chandramukhi and Mumbai Xpress releasing together. But just to be aware of the fact that this may not happen again. I am not writing it off but then I give this fact a benefit of the doubt. Last time during Devar Mahan-Pandiyan this fact didn’t even strike me. It happened that way and after close to a decade their movies are releasing together.

Now, you could argue that they are just movies of two heroes and why hero worship them and make a blogpost as a prelude to the movies. Come on guys, let’s be free thinking. Growing up in India, you have to love cricket and movies. Everyone in India has a favorite cricketer and a fave actor/actress. Back in Tamil Nadu, there is a Kollywood that’s as popular and as dreamy as the Hollywood. If you grew up there, chances are you would definitely take sides with these two gentlemen, Kamal Hassan and Rajini, for they have a huge impact on the Tamil entertainment industry.

For every Rajini film that releases, Kodambakkam decorates itself. Rajini’s movies may not be classy but it pays off commercially. People come in hundreds to watch Rajini send giggles through their spines. They love to watch his stunts, style and believe him to be a part of their family. Accepted that he is not. But what would you and me do. They love him. He is the Super Star and there is no compromises to it. He holds on this title for more than two decades. Period.

For ever Kamal Hassan film releasing, Kodambakkam cleanses itself from the sins of silly movies produced. They expect him to raise the bars of Tamil films. Film Critics wake-up from their long sleep and roll-up the sleeves to checkout for the silly loopholes that they could harp on their so-called-reviews[mostly re-telling the stories]. People want to see what’s the difference in his movies. Which diguise he has on-screen, which costume he wears, which slang of tamil[Don’t put word in my mouths– PKS] he talks like real and what not. They expect Kamal to do the change. At the sametime they expect Rajini to do the same thing over and over. People power. And that’s the way entertainment life goes on, at Tamil Nadu.

Sit for a first-day-first-show Rajini movie. But a highly priced ticket, Boo, make cat-calls, shout Thalaiva, throw lotteries, yell like mad, get you vocal chords screwed-up and enjoy completely. That’s Rajini for you.

Sit for a Kamal movie, whichever show on the first day. Allow yourself to be shocked, be moved to the edge of tears, enjoy his new techniques of film-making, appreciate his smart-thinking, understand romancing a girl, chew gum, watch the movie in silence and come back home hoping that your thinking was elevated by 20%. That’s Kamal Hassan.

These dudes have given bad and good movies from time to time. Having enjoyed both of them, this April 14th could be( I say ‘could be’) your last chance to witness posters of their movies on Chennai walls being pasted together. All those Chennaites, live through the time. Enjoy. Envy You.

a) For those who wondered how a Kamal post followed a Rajini post un-intentionally, here is a post with them, together.

b) BTW, What’s Vijay doing in this Gladiator battlefield inbetween Kamal/Rajini. I’m just keeping tight because who knows Sachin(Sachein) might become a winner. None can say.

c) (Apr 10th) – There’s a little mis-quote issue going on, in the comments section. Someone said the last time when Rajini/Kamal movie released together was Muthu/Kurudhi Punal. Have a look Muthu entry and Kurudhi Punal entry on IMDB. Muthu was on 1995 diwali and Kurudhi Punal was on 1996[Summer, I suppose]. Gotcha !!

45 thoughts on “Last time together…

  1. There is some rumour going around that Rajini would do a movie with Dhanush. Who knows their (Rajini & Kamal) movies might clash again sometime in the near future. But the aura will never be the same as it was during the Guna, Thalapathi days.


  2. Hi Lazy

    I have been a regular reader of yours, just that I never posted a comment.
    But since the day I began reading your post, I would sometimes nod in agreement, tsk in difference and laugh out aloud for some goofy mentions. Your post is my window to Chennai. It makes me miss my city like crazy but always warms my heart as I see there are people who love the city as much as I do.
    This post was a treat for me, as I love Kamal and have argued tooth and nail with Rajini fans over the elevation that a Kamal movie offers much like Mani’s. But your post would have put any film critic to fame with its measured analysis, that sought to analyse yet not rob cinema of its glamour and of course its silliness that helps a wee bit in that ‘willing suspension of disbelief’. Way to go Lazy


  3. Just got excited by the post.. “eMjaaru, sivvaje, rajini, kamalu, bagalu, bigilu, avulu, all shows house fullu !!”

    I still remain amazed about, how young kids grasp Rajini songs (so far). Every kid need a super hero, to grow up. We grew up with Rajini ! Right now kids are reading Pokemon !!

    Take a look at the “War of Gods !” – my pic.


  4. “They expect Kamal to do the change. At the sametime they expect Rajini to do the same thing over and over.”- Excellent line. Sums everything about the pulse and nerves of Tamil Audience. And as Kamal said, i want both the films to do well in box office and ofcourse “Sachin” too can do that though it seems quite tough this time.



  5. Thats right. Their last head to head was Muthu and Kuruthippunal. It was 1995 diwali. And i know
    Muthu beat Kuruthippunnal. By the way unlike Rajini, Kamalhassan has been doing movies continously every year. So i think expectation won’t be that great when you compare it to Rajini’s Chandramukhi. Baba was flop. But don’t think Rajini will give us another flop. Kamal too has given some flops like Aalavandan. Hey Raam was dead bored.

    So Chandramukhi will ROCK !!!


  6. Hmm…not really Srihari. Muthu released ona diwali day and Kuruthipunal came on the summer of same year. There wasn’t a head-on then.


  7. Hey guys stop arguing, everybody knows that chandramukhi is gonna win. Distributors here in Canada have bought only CM and i haven’t heard anything about sachein. For those who want to listen to chandramukhi telugu songs go to http://www.andhravilas.com
    I think u guys will love the song raa raa which is in tamil in the telugu audio.


  8. Thalaiva, check this post. I dunno if you seen it earlier, but this a friend’s blog.

    Btw, If I had all the money and power in the world and if I was forced to spend all the money in making a movie, the team I would assemble would have atleast 2 of the 3 people in the picture. KB directing both Kamal and Rajini together would be my first choice, mainly because I think Kamal would make sure that KB got some inputs from him! And if I had a choice of just two of the three people, I’d give KB a miss and have Kamal direct Rajini.


  9. Geek , as someone already pointed out, Muthu and Kuruthipunal were released at the same time.I even remember Sun TV placing both the movies at the number one position in the top 10 ratings for
    a few weeks. BTW KuruthiPunal was no flop. It had a good run in the A centres. I myself watched it only after 100 days in AVM Rajeshwari


  10. “Mr Lazygeek,
    What makes you generalize all film critics like this?”

    His unabashed Kamal admiration, what else? 🙂


  11. Lazy, nicely written! I also wrote about the clash of the titans on my blog though I simply wondered about the box-office fate of the movies of Rajni and Kamal when they clashed head-to-head. But I too missed the fact that ‘Pandiyan’ and ‘Devar Magan’ were the last time the stars clashed on screen, though I did see both on the big screen. Blame my memory cells for that!

    btw, as a longtime reviewer, I am a little miffed at your blanket criticism of ALL reviewers… I do take a lot of care to make sure my reviews are not just ‘retelling of the stories’ 🙂


  12. oops..made a mistake…wanted to add in something more but it post too quickly. dont want to get into this rajini-kaml fight again…though i did write one on that issue on the above mentioned blog address.

    i agree with guru subramanian on the critics issue. critics who praise the same masala in all other movies will sharpen their pens to rip the trivial of issues when it comes to kamal movies. this is never more apparent when you read outlookindia’s reviews or any of the northie reviews of kamal movies. besides, i have always lamented the fact that the movie industry does not have a qualified critic nor do you need any qualifications to be a critic. anyone who buys the ticket can be one as compared to other fields like carnatic music where subbudu has the knowledge to critique the singers and the final product. another factor is subjectivity. khalid mohammed the famed toi film critic was always partial to srk and hrithik roshan. and it was that lack of objectivity that resulted in his own mess of a movie. there is definitely a dearth of good film critics and reviews so far. hopefully things will change soon.


  13. Guru, let me recap my childhood here. My brother and I would always take the respective opposites and have a real sibling match over such things as electric train vs. diesel train (he taking the side of diesel since I supported electric), puli vs. singam (he again supporting singam because I was a puli-fan) and thus this carried over to Kollywood also where I was Rajini and he was Kamal (if not for anything, just because of the fact that these two were the rising stars of the day). I mean I used to be a Rajini fan from like his fifth film or so (now I am giving my age away :-)) and so I could even take credit for betting on the right horse long before anyone realized it will be a multi-lap winner 🙂

    In fact, a few of my cousins were all not only Kamal fans but would poke fun of Rajini, his tamil and his mannerisms and I would fly in rage and defend him. It all seems so silly now. But, seeing this photo of both of them with their “Guru” brought back those memories. So, how is your weekend going and when are you going to make that call 🙂


  14. Swami, The reason of me being true on criticizing the critics is simple, we haven’t yet produced one a professional reviewer at Tamil Nadu. We have had Venkat Swaminathan, Ashokamithran and many others in those days whose reviews and criticisms stand over time.

    Offlate, even Hindu’s reviews have become story-telling machinery. I am upset about that.

    The so-called-serious reviewers also talk nonsense in the name od reviews. I am being polite and cautious in using words here because I’ve also done amateur reviews and still trying to excel in them. In a thamizh ‘small magazine’, a recent review on Kadhal was talking absolute stupidity and imagining philosophies which were never advocated in the movie.

    Another explantion, I ain’t a unabashed Kamal admirer. Say that in terms for Rajini and I accept. I have been critical of Kamal whenever I’ve felt it was necessary. There seems to be a fatal attraction for the critics towards Kamal. He’s screwed up by them often, for things which which are so silly. Like how they wrote that Kamal should have never acted in Nayakan because it was an anti-role and he promotes the idea of being ‘DADA’. What can I say them ?. Tell me.


  15. Balaji, I do know that you have been doing a good job. It should matter to those who act in the name of criticism and have vested interests in the film.

    Sorry if you are hurt by that generalisation. I should have sobered down a bit but it irritates me and hence blew the top.


  16. hi guru

    i am a regular reader of your blog
    just a note for u

    “And as popularly mis-quoted everywhere, it’s wasn’t Dalapathi and Guna which went head-on together for the last time. It was Devar Mahan and Paandiyan.”

    URS TOO is a misquote , their last release together was MUTHU AND KURUTHIPOONAL
    1995 diwali release, i still remember suntv james vasanthan giving both no 1 rating

    still your blog is gr8 , keep up the good work


  17. I evny the Chennaites too.

    But….I am going to watch both the movies next week.

    About this not happening again…After reading that Rajini is interested in making more movies…I am not sure.!

    Whatever….too much expectations. Let’s see what happens. It is only 1 more week to go.!


  18. Ok guys, I’m ain’t trying to boast my memory. As popularly mis-quoted in the comments, Kurudhi Punal and Muthu never released together. Check this Muthu entry and Kurudhi Punal entry on IMDB. I remember watching muthu on a diwali day and kurudhipunal during summer. so here you go, i’m not popularly mis-quoting things 😉


  19. Hi lazy!

    This mite look stupid.
    still i would say imdb is wrong. my brother saw it very early after its diwali release in 1995 (in the-then-only-dolby-theatre Devi!).
    and i dont think imdb is great source for tamil movies. Though accurate in many cases. They do have their own list of gaffes.


  20. Hi Guru
    It was NOT Devar magan/Pandiyan and it was indeed Muthu and Kuruthipunal that was released together last time by the two giants. IMDB entry may be wrong. But I am sure they both released together for 1995 Diwali. I clearly remember getting home without getting tickets for Kuruthipunal a couple of times.

    With regards


  21. Releasing of movies of two stalwarts of film industry is much worrisome for the fans and producers and distributors. Some magazines wrote that Rajini has asked Shankar, Kamal to postpone their release for the very simple reason of success. A movie will be a hit or a flop only based on the story and screen play. Rajini movies always has every items for success. It is unlucky for the kollywood that Rajini has abstained from acting movies. As for as Kamal concerned he is always ready to entertain the audience with a lot of talents in every aspects of the movie.Let both the movies of the Stalwarts of Kollywood fetch success to the dying industry.


  22. I am ready to discuss the success of the movie “KADAAL” by Balaji Shakthivel. Is there any participant for this?
    Kamal has the quality of doing only one picture with the Ace Director except balu mahendra (Mani`s Nayagan, Shankar`s Indian are some of the example) of course Singeetham Srinivasa Rao, Santhana Bharathi are Kamal`s favourite Directors.
    Why not we speak of Good directors like Cheran,Ezil,Surya, Ramana`s Director.


  23. To be precise Kuruthippunal was released on Oct 25th of 1995! (tht has to be the diwali day in 1995 i guess!)

    Courtesy: My Brother (a ping and he gave me the date. talk about ardency of fanhood!)

    For better (i mean better than imdb. mite not be as exhaustive as imdb. but more detailed) artist profiles and filmography of tamil movies check out http://www.indofilms.com.au
    Now, it does say 1995! :p


  24. hi!
    good observation abt how critics wake up and take their pens out everytime a kamal or a mani ratnam film releases… 🙂
    and dude, kuruthi punal and muthu did release on the same day. i saw the movies back to back! imdb is wrong. and yes, its possible that they can be wrong esp abt indian movies!


  25. and aNTi,

    High opinions on Kamal, man!

    still dunno how u found of his work not as interesting as u found Mani’s works with reference to the the discussion we had here some posts ago (coz of his intrusions as an actor, u say).

    But I should agree with u on this point. I would love to see him direct movies with other actors. At least,
    1. he might (mind you, i say he might, coz u never know!) make low-budget movies and make low-profile movies (at least 1 or 2) AND
    2. he would not be even be considerate enuf to include even one duet song (c’mon its mandatory even now) for his protagonist. :p. Not that he has unnecessary songs in his movies. In fact, he is the best one standing as far as songs-connection with movies is concerned (Songs not standing on their own with Mumbai Xpress too withstanding the statement). Only that he would not have any mass audience requirement (otherwise, there will be his fans seeing him as the hero!) to which he sometimes concedes to. To put in simple words he can wield the megaphone with the control Mani has on his protagonists (dont even call them heroes :)). That Mani falters by including beau-locales and stand-on-their-own songs is another story.


  26. Lazy – In 1996, Indian was released in the month of May, and Avvai Shanmughi released on Deepavali day. 1995 Deepavali saw Kurudhipunal and Muthu go head-to-head. I clearly remember seeing KP on Deepavali day.
    Refer to the link below for all 1995 releases:

    I got the information below from Kamal Yahoogroups official fan club:

    23 October 1995 (Deepvali)

    Kuruthipunnal – 100 days
    Muthu – 25 weeks

    The movies came during the height of the hype about Rajini entering politics, but KP had a bigger opening at the box office than Muthu. After a long gap, the 2 movies were released in the same complex in Mount Road (KP – Devi, Muthu – Devi Paradise). KP was full for 10 days (40 shows) while Muthu was full only for 30 shows when the advance booking was started, such was the response for KP.

    Lazy – Please stand corrected.


  27. Srihari…

    It is just that I think Kamal has a lot of untapped potential. Like every other person, I have a notion of how he shld do things. Sitting in judgement comes easy 😉 LOL….

    But its not limited to Kamal alone. Rajini the actor has gone into hibernation. And only a director of supreme calibre who Rajini probably respects, due to seniority or due to their talents, can bring it back out to the open. And the few ppl who might fall into this category, seem uninterested to do this, mainly due to financial reasons. I think if Rajini and the director can come to common ground, then we can look forward to great stuff. But this might involve more sacrifices in Rajini’s part than from the directors side. Ideally, this would be something like Dalapathi where the role was totally down to earth compared to the large than life heros that he played for years before before and has played ever since.

    This situation is very much like Amitabh Bachchan’s during the latter half of the 90s. The careers of these two have been kinda interlinked, with each starring in each other’s remakes in the 80s. Mebbe its time that Rajini took Amitabh’s cue and started playing his age. Hmm, these might strong words coming from a Rajini rasigan, but I guess thats the truth….


  28. Oh ! so many people with the facts that were presented with so much vigour. I was probably wrong to go with IMDB. I stand corrected. KurudhiPunal and Muthu went head-on. Will change the entry to adapt that fact.

    Thanks a ton for the efforts, research. BTW, I saw Memento last week.Has that got to anything with my memory. Proves again that you can never bluff about facts on your blog.


  29. Kamal’s next movie is going to be Vettaiyadu Vilaiyadu directed by Gautham, Music: Harris Jeyaraj. Kamal’s acting with Jyothika for the second time. The poster looks good, Kamal has kinda the Alavandhan military getup.


  30. Sit for a Kamal movie,
    “Understand romancing a girl”.

    Kamal and ROMANCE ??.

    Think you meant to say
    “Understand Seducing a girl”.


  31. propecia I don’t think we should have an arrangement by which parents decide what children they want. That would not be a happy state of affairs because the rich would have magnificant babies and the poor would have to put up with what God sends.


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