|Directed by||Rajiv Menon|
|Screenplay by||Rajiv Menon|
V. C. Guhanathan
|Story by||Rajiv Menon|
|Music by||A. R. Rahman|
Ravi K. Chandran
|Edited by||Suresh Urs|
Minsara Kanavu (English: Electric dream) is a 1997 Indian Tamil-language musical romance film co written and directed by Rajiv Menon. The film features Arvind Swamy, Prabhu Deva and Kajol in the lead roles, with Girish Karnad, S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, V. K. Ramasamy and Nassar in other pivotal roles. The soundtrack and background score for the film was composed by A. R. Rahman, while the cinematography was handled by Venu and Ravi K. Chandran. The film was shot in Lawrence School, Lovedale Ooty, St. Andrews Church and Apollo Hospitals in Chennai. The film won four National Film Awards, three Tamil Nadu State Film Awards and a Filmfare Award South mostly for its music and soundtrack. Director Gautham Vasudev Menon was a clap boy for this film and also made a cameo appearance.
Priya Amal Raj, lost her mother at a very young age. She is friendly, outspoken, sensitive, yet precocious. Priya is brought up by her dad, Amal Raj who is a clothing industrialist. Since her childhood, Priya is interested in singing, music, and church.
Thomas Thanga Durai, a polite, well mannered NRI businessman, returns to India from America to look after his father's James Thanga Durai's business. James is a former associate in Amal Raj's business and now establishes his own business empire in the same vicinity, opposite Amal Raj's factory. He boasts of his son's achievements. However, Amal Raj dislikes James' ill-mannered, clumsy and bizarre antics though Thomas and Priya have known each other in their childhood.
Thomas happens to meet Priya at her school when he goes to a woman's hostel to see his aunt Mother Superior, a nun in that school church. Thomas takes Priya's help in surprising his aunt with a gift on her birthday. In the process, Thomas falls in love with Priya but is unable to confess his love for her. Priya has been brought up in a convent school and wants to become a nun, much to the horror of Thomas and Priya's father. Meanwhile, Amal Raj tries to pull Priya into wedlock through setting up matchmaking with some suitors like Jaipal, David etc., but he fails to fix an alliance for his daughter. In the midst of this, Thomas's friend Shiva takes him to Barber Deva who is notorious at changing women's minds. Deva befriends Priya to change her mind about being a nun.
At one instance, Priya performs singing at a Gala along with Deva's troupe, which puts the troupe into the limelight of a recording theatre owner. Deva requests Priya to join his aspiring music troop as a singer and help them achieve the group's aspiration for a film audition and Priya agrees to it. Deva with his musical troupe play tricks to make Priya fall in love with Thomas, but fails to turn Priya's mind towards Thomas. Instead, Deva himself falls in love with Priya and she reciprocates.
Complications arise when Priya falls in love with Deva instead, and at the same juncture, Thomas confesses his love to Priya and reveals the shocking truth behind Deva's association with Priya. Torn between the two men, a broken-hearted Priya decides to vow for Nun trainee and fails to fulfill her promise for the group's music audition. Thomas realizes this at the end and sacrifices his love. Thomas and his Aunt convince Priya out of celibacy and marry Deva. Thomas becomes a priest as he naturally leads a life of service to the poor, sacrifice and mental chastity. At the climax, it is shown Deva and Priya get their daughter baptised by Thomas.
- Arvind Swamy as Thomas Thangadurai
- Prabhu Deva as Deva
- Kajol as Priya Amalraj (Voice over by actress Revathi)
- Arundhati Nag as Mother Superior
- Nassar as Guru
- Girish Karnad as Amalraj (Voice over by actor Kitty)
- S. P. Balasubrahmanyam as James Thangadurai
- Prakash Raj as Jaipal
- Ranvir Shah as David
- V. K. Ramasamy
- Mohan V. Ram
- Janaki Sabesh
- P. J. Sarma
- Rajiv Menon as Thomas's employee (uncredited)
- Gautham Menon as a man in the crowd (uncredited)
AVM Productions wanted to make a film to commemorate its 50th anniversary in 1997 and signed on Prabhu Deva to play a lead role and A. R. Rahman to score the music for this unplanned project, but Rahman was initially reluctant as he had scored music for three of Prabhu Deva's films in the recent past. The producers revealed that they were looking for a new director and Rahman suggested the name of cinematographer, Rajiv Menon to make his directorial debut, after the pair had previously collaborated in jingles for many ad films. Menon thought about the offer for two months and was ultimately convinced by Rahman and Mani Ratnam, who he had been working with in Bombay (1995), to sign the project. Arvind Swamy was then signed up for a role as was Hindi actress Kajol, to make her debut in Tamil films. Kajol revealed that she found dancing alongside Prabhu Deva difficult and took up to 20 retakes and 30 rehearsals for a particular song. Nassar, often seen in intense roles, was signed to play a bubbly character in the film and described the shoot as a "delightful experience". Veteran actors Girish Karnad and V. K. Ramasamy were also added to the cast as was singer S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, who had previously appeared in father roles in Kaadhalan and Kadhal Desam. Actress Arundhati Nag and Prakash Raj also formed part of the cast, while then-assistant director Gautham Menon appears in a cameo role.
The film was shot in 1996 with two songs and the climax being shot at Lawrence School Chapel, Lovedale. During post-production, Vikram, then a struggling actor, dubbed for Prabhu Deva's character for few scenes, and Revathi dubbed for the non-Tamil speaking Kajol.
The film was released on 14 January 1997 coinciding with the Tamil festival of Thai Pongal alongside Mani Ratnam's political drama film Iruvar. Although the two films initially opened to lukewarm responses, Minsara Kanavu eventually emerged triumphant at the Tamil Nadu box office, and a dubbed Telugu version, Merupu Kalalu had a good opening in Andhra Pradesh. After audiences were initially unhappy with the sad climax of the film, distributors reverted and used an alternate ending which had also been shot for the film. A critic from Indolink.com gave the film a positive review, stating that "Minsara Kanavu is again a triangular love story with a little difference. It has good entertainment value, awesome cinematography and excellent songs and choreographed dances."
Minsara Kanavu went on to win four National Film Awards, three Tamil Nadu State Film Awards and a Filmfare Award mostly for the film's soundtrack. The soundtrack earned A. R. Rahman the National Film Award for Best Music Direction for the second time, while he also secured his fourth Tamil Nadu State Award and his sixth consecutive Filmfare Award for his work. K. S. Chitra and S. P. Balasubrahmanyam won the National Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer and Best Male Playback Singer for the tracks "Ooh La La La" and "Thanga Thamarai" respectively. Sujatha and Unni Menon won the Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Female Playback and Best Male Playback for two different tracks, "Poo Pookkum Oosai" and "Ooh La La La" respectively. Meanwhile, Prabhu Deva won the National Film Award for Best Choreography for his work in the song, "Vennilavae" and "Strawberry Kannae".
Awards and Accolades
- Silver Lotus Award - Best Music Direction (Songs and Background Score) - A.R.Rahman
- Silver Lotus Award - Best Choreography - Prabhu Deva for the songs "Vennilavae" and "Strawberry Kannae"
- Silver Lotus Award - Best Male Playback Singer - S. P. Balasubramaniam for his brilliant rendering of the song "Thanga Thamarai"
- Silver Lotus Award - Best Female Playback Singer - K. S. Chithra for her soulful rendering of the song "Manna Madurai" ("Ooh La La La...")
- Best Music Director - A.R.Rahman
- Best Female Playback Singer - Sujatha for the song "Poo Pookkum Oosai"
- Best Male Playback Singer - Unni Menon for the song "Manna Madurai"
|Soundtrack album by|
|Recorded||Panchathan Record Inn|
|Producer||A. R. Rahman|
|A. R. Rahman chronology|
The soundtrack features 6 songs composed by A. R. Rahman, with lyrics by Vairamuthu. The Hindi version of the soundtrack was titled Sapnay and had lyrics penned by Javed Akhtar, with a new song titled "Teri Meri Baat" was added to this version. The song "Ooh La La La" was re-edited by A. R. Rahman and featured on the hit international musical production Bombay Dreams, which ran in Europe and North America from 2002 to 2005. The track "Vennilavae (Part 2)" was a sad version of the song "Vennilave" and was sung by Shankar Mahadevan and Kavita Paudwal and this track was featured in the movie only. For the choir music in the film, Rahman used Sankarabharanam raga. The song "Anbendra Mazhayile" is based on Ananthabhairavi raga.
S. P. Balasubrahmanyam recalls the recording session of "Thanga Thamarai", mentioning that "it required a tone that reflected the feelings of someone totally smitten and intoxicated by love. The character singing the song in the film is on a high after finding his girl. I only tried my best to imitate Rahman, who sang it for me. The imitation fetched me a national award." Playback singer Kay Kay once again sung for Rahman after he was introduced by Rahman through the song "Hello Doctor". There is also a Telugu dubbed soundtrack, Merupu Kalulu.When A. R. Rahman chose Chitra for the track "Ohh La la", he advised her not to sing as usually as she does, but asked her to open her voice completely and sing the track. Chitra completely followed A. R. Rahman's advice and sang the track, which made her win National Film Award for National Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer.
Tamil version (Original)
|1.||"Vennilavae"||Hariharan, Sadhana Sargam||5:58|
|2.||"Vennilavae (Part 2)"||Shankar Mahadevan, Kavita Paudwal||1:45|
|3.||"Thanga Thamarai"||S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, Malgudi Subha||4:58|
|4.||"Poo Pookum Oosai"||Sujatha Mohan, Malaysia Vasudevan||6:47|
|5.||"Manna Madurai (Ooh La La La)"||Unni Menon, K. S. Chitra, Srinivas||5:52|
|6.||"Strawberry Kannae"||KK, Febi Mani||4:25|
|7.||"Anbendra ( Raagam : Anandabhairavi )"||Anuradha Sriram||3:33|
Hindi version (Dubbed)
All music is composed by A. R. Rahman.
|1.||"Chanda Re"||Hariharan, Sadhana Sargam||5:58|
|2.||"Chanda Re (Part 2)"||Hariharan, Sadhana Sargam||1:45|
|3.||"Door Na Ja Mujhse"||S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, Malgudi Subha||4:58|
|4.||"Aawara Bhanwre"||Hema Sardesai, Malaysia Vasudevan||6:47|
|5.||"Ek Bagiya"||Shankar Mahadevan, K. S. Chitra, Srinivas||5:52|
|6.||"Strawberry Ankhein"||KK, Kavita Paudwal||4:25|
|7.||"Roshan Hui Raat"||Anuradha Sriram||3:33|
|8.||"Teri Meri Baat"||Abhijeet Bhattacharya, Hema Sardesai||5:19|
Telugu version (Dubbed)
All music is composed by A. R. Rahman.
|1.||"Vennelave Vennelave"||Hariharan, Sadhana Sargam||5:58|
|2.||"Oh Vaana Padite"||Sujatha Mohan, Malaysia Vasudevan||6:47|
|3.||"Machilipatnam Mavidi (Ooh La La La)"||Unni Menon, K. S. Chitra, Srinivas||5:52|
|4.||"Tallo Taamara"||S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, Malgudi Subha||4:58|
|5.||"Strawberry Kannae"||Mano, Swarnalatha||4:25|
|6.||"Aparanji Madanudi"||Anuradha Sriram||3:33|
|7.||"Vennelave (sad)"||Hariharan, Sadhana Sargam||1:45|
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