Tamil fans demand re-release of Gunaa post Manjummel Boys success - Hindustan Times

Tamil fans demand re-release of Gunaa post Manjummel Boys success

Mar 04, 2024 03:41 PM IST

Kamal Haasan's Gunaa was truly ahead of its time and fans are now demanding a re-release for the underrated Tamil movie.

Majummel Boys begins with an ode to Ulaganayagan Kamal Haasan’s 1991 film Gunaa featuring the superhit Ilaiyaraaja song Kanmani Anbodu Kadalan… and images of Kamal and Roshini. This Malayalam movie directed by Chidamabaram is a survival drama and has been shot in Gunaa caves where the Kamal Haasan film was shot more than two decades back. Today, Manjummel Boys is inching towards the 25 crore mark at the box office in Tamil Nadu which is a remarkable feat for a Malayalam film. And now, the Tamil audience is clamoring for a re-release of Gunaa in theatres showing that nostalgia is powerful indeed. (Also read: Malayalam cinema rules 2024: Premalu, Bramayugam, Manjummel Boys draw audience back to theatres)

Kamal Haasan played the lead in Gunaa.
Kamal Haasan played the lead in Gunaa.

Round 2 for Gunaa?

Ask trade analyst Ramesh Bala about the desire for Gunaa’s re-release and he explains, “Gunaa was released in 1991 and as with most Kamal Haaasan movies, it was considered ahead of its time. The success of Manjummel Boys also brings the nostalgic factor of Gunaa. As re-releases are big now, fans think this is the right time to re-release Gunaa. 33 years have passed since Gunaa’s release and today’s youth – many of whom who weren’t born or were too young to even see Gunaa – are celebrating Manjummel Boys’ tribute to Gunaa and want to see the original film. Now, with youth in Tamil Nadu being more aware of world cinema also, they appreciate Gunaa better.”

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In his career, Kamal Haasan has acted in some truly avant-garde films which were not well-received at the time of release. Gunaa was a film that depicted the love that a mentally disturbed man felt for a woman and it was a love story that remained etched in your memory. Maestro Ilayaraaja’s music for this romance elevated it to another level and the lyrics of the song Kanmani Anbodu Kadalan… by Vaali struck a chord in everyone’s heart.

The stunning music

The lines that Vaali penned for this evergreen song was sung in the film by Kamal Haasan as he asks Roshini to write a letter to his lover. Director Chaidambaram has interspersed this song cleverly in his film as the audience that watched the film in the 1990s remember the lyrics even today. Sample this - ‘Ithu Manitha Kaadhal Alla… Adhaiyum Thaandi Punithaamaanathu…’ (this is not love between two people, it is much more sacred than that). And this – ‘Undana kaayam engum thannale aari poga maayam enna ponmane ponmane…’ (The wounds inflicted on me heal on their own, what's the magic?). Or this – ‘Endhan kadhal enna vendru sollamal enga enga azhugai vandhadhu, endhan sogam unnai thaakum endrennum podhu vandha azhugai nindradhu…’ (I tear up when I’m not able to express my love. But my tears stop when I think my sadness will affect you).

As Kamal Haasan sings, ‘Abhiramiye thaalatum saamiye naan thaane theriyuma?’ (Do you know I’m the God who sings this lullaby for Abhirami), the audience feels one thing – Kamal Haasan is really the God of Tamil cinema. Avid Ulaganayagan fan, Sridhar R, says, “Kamal Haasan is someone who has dedicated his life to Tamil cinema and pours his heart and soul into it. So many of his films like Gunaa, Anbe Sivam and Hey Ram, are unimaginable and beyond what the actors of today can do. His movie journey has had its ups and downs but no actor in Tamil cinema has contributed like what he has to Indian cinema. There is only one Ulaganayagan and we definitely need to celebrate him and his repertoire.”

With Manjummel Boys going strong in theatres across Tamil Nadu, the demand for the re-release of Gunaa, directed by Santhana Bharathi, one of Kamal’s closest friends, is growing louder and louder on social media. After all, if there was no Kamal Haasan, there would be no Gunaa and if there was no Gunaa, there would no Gunaa caves. And if there was no Gunaa caves, there would no Manjummel Boys.

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