Kasi is a 2001 Indian Tamil-language drama film written and directed by Vinayan. The film has Vikram playing the eponymous character of a blind village singer. A remake of the director's own Malayalam film Vasanthiyum Lakshmiyum Pinne Njaanum (1999), the film has Kaveri reprising her role from the original and Kavya Madhavan making her Tamil debut in supporting roles. The film was produced by Aroma Mani for Sunitha Productions. The film score and soundtrack was composed by Ilaiyaraaja.
|Produced by||Aroma Mani|
|Written by||Gokula Krishnan (dialogues)|
|Based on||Vasanthiyum Lakshmiyum Pinne Njaanum (Malayalam)|
|Edited by||G. Murali|
|Distributed by||Sunitha Productions|
Kasi is a tale about the deception of appearances. Kasi (Vikram) is a blind poet and singer who supports his family by his songs. He has an older brother Sevalai (Thalaivasal Vijay), who is a drunkard; an abusive, crippled father; and a younger sister Lakshmi (Kavya Madhavan). When the local landlord Raghupathi (Rajeev) returns to the district, he brings along with him Dinesh, the CM's son and his wife Radhika (Aishwarya). Raghupathi has a reputation as a God in the area because of his charitable works, and when a specialist eye doctor arrives, he promises to pay the fees for an operation to give back Kasi's vision. Elated by this news, Kasi learns that he has to find an eye donor. His lover Kaveri (Kaveri), who cannot speak, offers one of her eyes. Unfortunately, something happens that shows that the 'God-like' Raghupathi and Dinesh are not what they seem. Blissfully unaware of the sadness of those around him, Kasi looks forward to his operation. One morning, on the day of her wedding, Lakshmi was found dead and it is figured out that she commits suicide because of Raghupati and when Raghupati comes to attend the funeral, Kasi explains to Raghupati of what he did as he kills Raghupati by choking him.
- Vikram as Kasi
- Kaveri as Kaveri
- Kavya Madhavan as Lakshmi
- Manivannan as Irulaandi
- Vinu Chakravarthy as Valaiyapathy
- Rajeev as Raghupathy
- Charle as Sodala
- Thalaivasal Vijay as Sevvalai
- Balaji as Gopal
- Suchitra Murali as Valli
- Vadivukkarasi as Muniyamma
- Aishwarya as Radhika
- Manka Mahesh
- Sanusha as younger Lakshmi
- Karthika as Salesgirl (cameo)
- KR Rangamma as Ponnathaa (uncredited)
Simran was offered the role of Lakshmi, Vikram's sister but she refused the offer because she didn't want to act in a supporting role. Then Malayalam actress Kavya Madhavan accepted the character after being impressed by its original Malayalam version. The shooting was completed in just 45 days. Vikram had rolled up his eyes to look convincingly blind in the film for this role of an innocent, rural, struggling blind lead character. Because of this, his vision was affected and he needed glasses in order to correct it. For the movie, he sunbathed on the terrace of his beachside home in Chennai for a sunburnt look and got dizzying headaches while practising to look blind.
|Soundtrack album by|
|Released||13 July 2001|
|Label||Five Star Audio|
|2.||"En Mana Vaanil"||Mu. Mehta||Hariharan||5:39|
|4.||"Naan Kaanum Ulagangal"||Mu. Mehta, Palani Barathi||Hariharan||4:33|
|5.||"Punniyam Thedi Kasikku"||Palani Bharathi||Hariharan||4:53|
|6.||"Rokkam Irukura Makkal"||Muthulingam||Hariharan, Sujatha||4:59|
The film received mostly positive reviews from critics. The Hindu applauded the off-beat attempt stating, "A film without predictable ingredients is a rarity. The Kasi team has to be appreciated for its boldness, in telling a story, in a simple, straight forward manner without the evitable distractions". While Vikram's portrayal was appreciated, "As a blind man, with his eyeballs completely in and with facial twitches so typical of the visually impaired, his portrait is realistic", the two lead actress too received acclaim, "Kavya Madhavan and Kaveri, have excellently expressive eyes, which have been put to good use". S. R. Ashok Kumar said, "As the blind Kasi, he touched a chord". Sify noted, "Vikram, it goes without saying that he is the life and soul of Kasi. As the blind singer, he brings laughter, tears and a lump in one’s throat. Vikram has given an extraordinarily detailed performance, which only a Kamalhassan can do!" and summed up saying it's an emotionally powerful movie. Balaji Balasubramaniam wrote, "The movie is populated with characters that have a big effect, both positive and negative, on us".
Kasi was commercially successful as well.
|Filmfare Awards South||49th Filmfare Awards South||Best Actor – Tamil||Vikram||Won|
|Cinema Express Awards||22nd Cinema Express Awards||Best Actor – Tamil||Vikram||Won|
- "Filmfare - Print Edition: 49th Filmfare Awards - South". Indiatimes. June 2002. Archived from the original on 1 February 2015.
- Sudhish Kamath, Ramya Kannan (14 December 2001). "Talk of the town". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 27 September 2013.
- T. Selva (10 January 2005). "Vikram's star rises". The Star. Archived from the original on 9 June 2012.
- Malathi Rangarajan (21 December 2001). "Kasi - Movie Review". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 2 October 2003.
- S. R. Ashok Kumar (20 August 2004). "Vikram, the Victor". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 21 August 2004.
- "Movie Review : Kasi". Sify. Archived from the original on 31 October 2013.
- Balaji Balasubramaniam. "Kasi - Tamil Movie Review". Thiraipadam.com.
- Chitra Mahesh (31 May 2002). "I want to strike a balance". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 7 June 2014.
- Sudhish Kamath (22 April 2002). "Spinning predictable magic". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 27 September 2013.
- "'Kannathil Muthamittal' bags 6 Cinema Express awards". The Hindu. 22 December 2002. Archived from the original on 7 June 2014.