Aranmanai (pronunciation (help·info)) (Palace) is a 2014 Indian Tamil horror comedy film co-written and directed by Sundar C. The film features an ensemble cast including Sundar C. Vinay, Hansika Motwani, Andrea Jeremiah, Raai Laxmi, Santhanam, Nithin Sathya, Kovai Sarala and Manobala. This film is the first installment in the film series of the same name. The film began production by the end of September 2013. and released on 19 September 2014 to highly positive reviews and became a blockbuster hit in the box office. The movie is considered to be one of the cult horror-comedy movie of all time and biggest grossing movie of the year. Due to its success, a sequel titled Aranmanai 2, with most of the cast from predecessor, released on January 29, 2016 with positive reviews again and another box office success. Aranmanai is a trend setter in Tamil film Industry in the horror-comedy genre with lots of similar movies released in the next few years. The movie was loosely based on the 1978 movie Aayiram Jenmangal.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Sundar C.|
|Produced by||D. Dinesh Karthik|
|Written by||Venkat Raghavan|
|Screenplay by||Sundar C.|
|Story by||Sundar C.|
|Music by||Original Songs|
|Cinematography||U. K. Senthil Kumar|
|Edited by||Srikanth N.B.|
Vision i Medias
|Distributed by||Sri Thenandal Films|
Red Giant Movies
|Budget||₹12 crore (US$1.7 million)|
|Box office||₹22 crore (US$3.2 million)|
This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (September 2014) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
In a village, a group of people are led by Ayyanar (Saravanan) on a tractor for cleaning the palace whose owners were on the idea of selling it. During the night, the cook (Dhandapani) is frightened by some supernatural being in the palace and disappears.
The next day, an estranged Eshwari (Kovai Sarala) returns with her husband (Manobala) and son Muliankannan (Nithin Sathya). Her brother (Chitra Lakshmanan) and his daughter Maya (Raai Laxmi) welcome them. The brother and sister, along with another older brother's son Murali (Vinay) and his new wife Madhavi (Andrea Jeremiah), have gathered to sell their palace off to Ayyanar, who had leased the property for five years. Meanwhile, Paalsamy (Santhanam) sneaks into palace under the guise of a cook, to find a photo that is the sole evidence that he is also an heir to the palace, so he can claim his share of the money.
They stay at Aranmanai, but strange incidents happen. Madhavi sees a servant's daughter (Yuvina Parthavi) talking to a mysterious girl called Selvi. The girl's mother explains that she is autistic. Mishaps continue to happen and they are unable to sell the palace, so they extend their stay. Meanwhile, two other servants have also gone missing. Now Ravi (Sundar C.), Madhavi's older brother, comes to the palace to meet his sister. Hilarious incidents happen as Paalsamy tries to woo Maya, and he has Ravi and Muliankannan competing with him. Madhavi and Maya tell Ravi there are weird things happening in the house, so Ravi sets cameras up around the house with Maya's help.
Ravi sees a worker backing away from something, but the camera starts to fizz and goes out. At the same time, a fortune teller (Yogi Babu) in front of the house runs away in terror, seeing something. The next day in the village pond, there are three bodies of the murdered servants found by the cops. Ravi is shocked and visits the fortune teller, who reveals he witnessed a worker being killed by a woman possessed as a vengeful spirit and he gives him an egg and tells that when the possessed person is within the egg's radius, it will start spinning. The police officers interrogate all members of the house about the murders with Ravi seated opposite them and the egg placed in front of him. Finally, when the egg spins, he looks up to see Madhavi sitting for interrogation. He follows her and sees her don a big round of vermilion on her forehead, but her reflection shows Selvi (Hansika Motwani). Relating the little girl's talks and the name Selvi, Ravi sets out to investigate.
Villagers say Selvi was the girl who stole the temple deity's jewels and ran off from the village. He comes across Selvi's friend Ramya, who says Selvi was a good person and not a thief. She says that back then, Murali was not yet married and when he came to the village, he fell in love with Selvi. Selvi also liked him but is a girl who is often possessed by the goddess and predicts the future. So she held herself back to maintain her holiness. On the day Murali was leaving the village, he expected her reply and asked her to meet him at his house. Ramya encouraged Selvi to go and confess her love to Murali. Selvi left the house on that note but has been missing till now.
Per Ravi's plan, when Ramya comes to meet the possessed Madhavi as Selvi, she recognizes Ramya and tells her all that happened after she left the house that day. It seems that Ayyanar and his friends (the workers) replaced the temple jewelry with fake ones, and Selvi found it out using her premonition and confronted them. So they killed her and buried her inside the palace when she came to meet Murali. She also says she wants to be with Murali always. As today is an auspicious day, if she gets intimate with Murali, no one can ever drive her out of Madhavi's body. If they cannot get close today, she will kill Murali, so that they will be together in death.
After hearing the story, Ravi hears this and tries to stop Selvi but in vain. He meets a priest (Kota Srinivasa Rao), who says there are only 2 ways to stop Selvi's mayhem: use a strong emotion to bring Madhavi to her senses while she is possessed, or bring Murali to the river junction where the ritual of the eclipse takes place and goddess deities will be immersed in the river, generating a powerful energy which will help in separating Selvi's soul from Madhavi. Ravi instructs the members of the house to somehow disturb them and cause confusion to buy time. Selvi meanwhile, sends Murali into a trance and leaves the house to kill Ayyanar. She finds and kills him.
When she is gone, the priest and Ravi are back in the house trying to bring Murali out of his trance, but Selvi is back and does not let Murali go and threatens to injure Madhavi's body. The priest traps her in a circle of fire and helps Murali leave the house with Ravi. But she escapes and follows them and their car overturns and falls into the river. Selvi tries to drown Murali, but Ravi stops her and tells Madhavi is pregnant and brings her to her senses but only briefly. At the same time, near the shore of the river, the goddess deity is immersed in the ritual and the power comes through the water to Selvi and she is released from Madhavi's body as the sun comes up.
Selvi can no longer possess Madhavi, so she sadly disappears and the couple reunites. Ravi also unites with Maya in the end. And when they all pose for a photograph in front of the palace, a zoomed-in shot shows a ghostly figure moving near a window in the palace, implying Selvi has returned to the palace again.
- Sundar C. as Ravi
- Vinay as Murali
- Hansika Motwani as Selvi
- Andrea Jeremiah as Madhavi
- Raai Laxmi as Maya
- Santhanam as Paalpandi
- Nithin Sathya as Muliankannan
- Kovai Sarala as Eshwari
- Manobala as Eshwari's husband
- Meera Krishnan as Murali's mother
- Chithra Lakshmanan as Maya's father
- Saravanan as Ayyanar
- Kota Srinivasa Rao as Swamiji
- Yuvina Parthavi as Servant's daughter
- Dhandapani as Cook
- Ganeshkar as Cook
- Santhana Bharathi as Chairman
- Vichu Vishwanath as Palace Servant
- Manikka Vinayagam as Devotional Singer
- Sirkazhi G. Sivachidambaram as Devotional Singer
- Sivasankar as Devotional Singer
- Yogi Babu as Fortune Teller
- Swaminathan as Moneylender
- Aarthi as Advertisement Model
- Gowtham Sundararajan
- Akhila as Ramya
Hansika Motwani confirmed in September 2013 that she had signed the film. She also stated she played the main lead and that the story revolves around her character, which was later reported to be a lady with supernatural powers. Sundar C had initially agreed to cast Arya and Nayantara in the sibling roles eventually played by himself and Andrea Jeremiah, but opted to make changes following the release of Raja Rani (2013), where the actors played husband and wife. Ragini Dwivedi stated that she signed up for the film, but she was later replaced by Raai Laxmi to portray another leading role. Vinay was also signed on to play a leading role in the film.Nithin Sathya tweeted that he was a part of the film too.
The filming was started on 28 September 2013 in Pollachi with Raai Laxmi, Andrea, Kovai Sarala, Nithin Sathya and Manobala. Hansika joined the team on 6 October 2013 and told "it's a super challenging role for me that I haven't done till today". The film largely takes place in a palace, for which a set created by Mohan Babu in Hyderabad was used. 2 crores were spent for renovating the palace, in which 70 per cent of the film was shot. According to Sundar C, the film features more than one hour of computer graphics imagery.
|Soundtrack album by|
|Released||14 August 2014|
|Genre||Feature film soundtrack|
|Label||Sa Re Ga Ma|
|1.||"Katthi Parvakkaari"||Annamalai||Karthik, Surmukhi Raman||4:34|
|2.||"Peeche Peeche"||Pa. Vijay||M. M. Manasi, Surmukhi Raman, Monisha||4:24|
|3.||"Petromax Light"||Annamalai||Velmurugan, Hariharasudhan||4:52|
|4.||"Sonnathu Sonnathu"||Pa. Vijay||Harini, Sadhana Sargam||4:58|
|5.||"Unnaye Enniye"||Piraisoodan||Ananthu, Mukesh, MLR Karthikeyan||6:00|
The satellite rights of the film were sold to Sun TV. The film was given a "U/A" certificate by the Indian Censor Board, It is censored 15 in UK . The Tamil Nadu distribution rights of the film were bought by Rama Narayanan's Sri Thenaandal Films who would jointly release Aranmanai with Udhayanidhi Stalin's Red Giant Movies on 19 September 2014 across Tamil Nadu.
Aranmanai received mostly positive reviews from critics. The Times of India wrote, "This is kitchen sink filmmaking but there is an assurance in how it is done. The film also feels somewhat overlong but the director manages to keep things moving that we just go with the flow. The visual effects are tacky and often excessive while the performances are functional...but then, the film doesn't take itself too seriously and so, we are able to overlook these niggles, and just about enjoy the ride". Deccan Chronicle gave 3 stars and called it "a film which entertains you with its Sundar’s signature style of slapstick comedy combined with some scary moments". Bangalore Mirror wrote, "The horror scenes have been thoughtfully crafted and the principal cast punctuates the thrilling moments with great timing. Tactfully, he (Sundar) has had made a mirch masala from films like Chandramukhi, Arundhathi and Aayiram Jenmangal. Sify wrote, "The commercial elements comedy, horror and glamour has been mixed in the right proposition by the writer and director. What works is a riveting performance by Hansika, along with comedy track of Santhanam &Co and is packaged as a fun entertainer by Sundar C". Behindwoods.com wrote, "Sundar C is back with his typical commercial, fun filled entertainer that has all elements that will keep you engaged all the way, making you overlook those "not-too-glaring" flaws". Cinemalead.com rated 3/5 and wrote, "Aranmanai might not scare you much. Nor does it have something out of the box. But it successfully sets out doing what it intended to". Indiaglitz.com wrote, "The saying, "old wine in a new bottle", might fit Aranmanai with Sundar C's narration and screenplay helping the movie out of its predictable script".
The Hindu wrote, "What’s truly scary about Aranmanai is how it brings nothing new to the horror genre...The film has a whole host of stereotypes associated with the horror genre in Tamil cinema...In many ways, Aranmanai is like a time machine. A few scenes into the film and you find yourself transported to the 80s". Rediff wrote, "Sundar C seems to have let his fans down with this cliché-ridden supernatural thriller. The narration moves at a slow pace and horror moments are practically non-existent. Even the "Aranmanai", around which the entire story revolves, is not impressive".
The producer of 1978 Tamil movie Aayiram Jenmangal, M.Muthuraman, approached City Civil court in Chennai claiming this movie to be a remake of his 1978 horror flick.The court appointed an Advocate Commissioner to verify the claims. Advocate Commissioner on viewing both the movies had stated that the plot, theme, storyline and structure were similar in both films. She also held that the script of both films were the same and most scenes were copied and replayed from Aayiram Jenmangal. The report also stated that the viewer of the film Aranmanai would definitely get the impression that the film is the remake of Aayiram Jenmangal since they had considerable similarities.
Aranmanai took an excellent opening with a first day gross of ₹2.60 crore (US$380,000) in Tamil Nadu and went to collect gross over ₹7.55 crore (US$1.1 million) in its opening weekend. In Chennai alone, it collected ₹89.48 lakh (US$130,000) in the first weekend. After one week the film's collection was estimated at ₹11.5 crore (US$1.7 million) according to Sreedhar Pillai. Sify wrote that the film had grossed around 18 crores in two weeks at the Tamil Nadu box-office.
Sundar C. has directed the sequel titled Aranmanai 2, which features and Siddharth Narayan and Trisha Krishnan in the lead roles.Hansika Motwani, Poonam Bajwa and Soori have been added to the cast.
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