Keladi Kannmanii (transl. Listen, sweetheart; also spelt Keladi Kanmani) is a 1990 Indian Tamil-language romantic drama film written and directed by Vasanth from a story by Ananthu, in his directorial debut. The film stars S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, Raadhika, Ramesh Aravind and Anju. It revolves around a terminally ill woman who seeks to make amends for a past mistake before she dies.
|Produced by||A. Sundaram|
|Starring||S. P. Balasubrahmanyam|
|Cinematography||R. Ragunatha Reddy|
|Edited by||Ganesh Kumar|
Vivek Chithra Productions
Keladi Kannmanni was released on 27 July 1990 and became a commercial success, running for over 285 days at theatres. It won three Tamil Nadu State Film Awards (including Second Best Film) and Raadhika won the Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Tamil.
Anu is a college student; her fellow student Sashi desperately tries to win her affection. Sashi and Anu play various pranks on each other. Anu eventually admits her affection for Sashi and they begin a courtship. All seems to proceed well, except that Anu is strangely melancholic from time to time; she repeats to Sashi that she senses an imminent danger to their relationship, although she is unable to pinpoint what the threat or describe why it may materialise so soon.
Some things are revealed when Anju begins to get sharp headaches frequently. Her father, A. R. Rangaraj (ARR), a widower, tries to help her, but is not able to get to the bottom of the matter. ARR is a gentle old man who has devoted most of his life to his daughter. On her 18th birthday, Anu visits her doctor who confirms she has bilateral renal artery stenosis and is almost certain to succumb within a year. She may require an operation within that time, but the likelihood of her coming through it alive is minimal.
Anu requests the doctor to keep her illness a secret between them. Unknown to Anu, her father accidentally discovers it when the local pharmacist sends some prescription drugs through him. When Anu discusses the matter with Sashi, he expresses his support despite his grave sadness (in proportion to his love for her). Anu reveals a thread from her past that may explain her melancholic mood.
The film flashes back to several years before, when ARR had a happy family. Anu, then five or six, attended school; ARR handled his job and his wife managed the home. When ARR lost his wife to an illness, Anu took this particularly hard. Yet, ARR tried to help cope with it somehow and move on. Some time thereafter, ARR met Sharada at a wedding. Sometime thereafter, ARR sought a tutor for young Anu, and Sharada happened to take the position. The friendship evolved into a courtship, to the point where ARR was about to propose marriage.
As time went on, Sharada realised her own bindings. Both her parents were deaf-mute, and she was the only way they could communicate with the rest of the world, this left her torn between her filial duty and her personal aspirations. Things were worsened when Anu experienced feelings of motherly yearning and was simply unable to accept Sharada (or anyone else for that matter) in the role of a mother. Sharada is bewildered and ultimately frustrated by all this. And in spite of ARR's assurances that they can work it out, she refused his proposal and moved to Bangalore to take a position as a schoolteacher. Since that time, Anu has been plagued by guilt for her part in the break-up.
The doctors pronounce a date and time for the unavoidable operation. Anu takes this with stoic grief, and asks Sashi for one last thing: to find Sharada and attempt to reunite her with ARR. They find an old picture of Sharada, and Sashi recognises her as the woman he had met in Bangalore a few weeks ago. He sets off on a frantic hunt for Sharada. On the day of the operation, Sharada happens to be in Chennai en route to a training event in the US. After a tricky set of near-misses, Sashi is able to locate her in the nick of time, and bring her to Anu and ARR moments before Anu gets anaesthetised. Anu later goes for one last ride with Sashi on his motorbike and right before they leave, she mentions that she has gained faith in surviving the surgery.
- S. P. Balasubrahmanyam as A. R. Rangaraj (ARR)
- Raadhika as Sharada
- Ramesh Aravind as Sashi
- Anju as Anu
- Janagaraj as Adaikkalam
- Poornam Vishwanathan as Sharada's father
- Srividya as Sharada's mother
- Baby Neena as young Anu
- Charle as Sashi's friend
- Chinni Jayanth as Adaikkalam's friend
- Vivek as Adaikkalam's friend
- Krishnan as Mahadevan
- Geetha as Charulatha (ARR's wife)
When film producer Sundaram approached Vasanth, an erstwhile assistant of K. Balachander, to make a film for his banner Vivek Chithra, Vasanth was initially sceptical; he recalled, "Maybe he thought that just like how he was making [Pudhea Paadhai] with Bhagyaraj’s assistant Parthiban at that time, he should make one with KB sir's assistant. I said I'd get back to him." Vasanth's family scolded him for he "should be thankful that I’m getting a producer without me getting a story ready and approaching many producers to produce it". He wanted to make films like his mentor Balachander, Mahendran and Balu Mahendra so he decided to make a film "that was mature for my age. So, a romance between two mature people was the starting point". The story was created by Ananthu, another assistant of Balachander, which Vasanth developed into a screenplay. The film, titled Keladi Kannmanii, was Vasanth's directorial debut, and was named after the song of the same name from Balachander's Pudhu Pudhu Arthangal (1989).
Vasanth approached S. P. Balasubrahmanyam to portray ARR. The pair had earlier worked in Manathil Urudhi Vendum (1987) where Vasanth worked as an assistant director. Vasanth was impressed with his realistic acting style and felt a "strong impression of him as a good actor, so we roped him in as an acting coup". Balasubrahmanyam was initially hesitant to accept the offer as he did not want Vasanth to take a risk of making a film with him as a lead actor. Vasanth remained firm with his selection because he wanted ARR "to be a character, which would not be possible with a popular face". Suhasini was Vasanth's first choice for the role of Sharada, but she could not accept the offer due to busy schedules; Raadhika was chosen instead. Ramesh Aravind was cast as Sashi because Vasanth worked with him in the Kannada film Sundara Swapnagalu (1986). For the role of Anu, Sukanya and Ramya Krishnan were initial choices before Anju was chosen, while Neena played the character as a child.
|Soundtrack album by|
The music was composed by Ilaiyaraaja. The song "Nee Pathi Naan Pathi" is set in Chakravakam, a Carnatic raga. The entire soundtrack (except for the song "Mannil Indha Kaadhal") was completed within 45 minutes. "Mannil Indha Kaadhal" has Balasubrahmanyam appearing to sing two stanzas without taking a single breath in between the lines. The song is set in the Carnatic raga known as Keeravani.
|1.||"Enna Paduvathu"||Gangai Amaran||Ilaiyaraaja, Arun Mozhi, Saibaba||4:43|
|2.||"Karpoora Bommai"||Mu. Metha||P. Susheela||4:45|
|3.||"Mannil Indha"||Gangai Amaran||S. P. Balasubrahmanyam||4:13|
|4.||"Nee Pathi Naan Pathi"||Vaali||K. J. Yesudas, Uma Ramanan||4:40|
|5.||"Thanniyile Nenanja"||Vaali||Uma Ramanan||4:41|
|6.||"Thenral Thaan"||Piraisoodan||K. J. Yesudas, K. S. Chithra||4:41|
|7.||"Varanam Aayiram"||Aandal||S. Janaki||2:45|
All lyrics are written by Rajashri.
|2.||"Karpoora Bomma"||P. Susheela||4:55|
|3.||"Maate Raani"||S. P. Balasubrahmanyam||4:20|
|4.||"Neevega Na Pranam"||K. J. Yesudas, K. S. Chithra||4:54|
|5.||"Segali Sandela"||K. J. Yesudas, K. S. Chithra||4:41|
|6.||"Jeevana Mangala"||K. S. Chithra||2:50|
Release and receptionEdit
Keladi Kannmanii was released on 27 July 1990. N. Krishnaswamy of The Indian Express wrote, "Class photography by Raghunatha Reddy, brilliant decors created by debutant art director Maghi along with choice of new-look locales, rich music music by [Ilaiyaraaja] and excellent staging of action by director Vasanth — even in his first film, this protege of K. Balachander shows a great deal of competence — put Vivek Chitra's [Keladi Kannmanii] in the top bracket." Ananda Vikatan, in a review dated 5 August 1990, rated Keladi Kannmanii 55 out of 100. The film was a commercial success, running for over 285 days in theatres, thereby becoming a silver jubilee film. The success of the film enabled Ramesh Aravind to obtain acting chances in other Tamil films.
|Filmfare Awards South||Best Actress – Tamil||Raadhika|||
|Tamil Nadu State Film Awards||Second Best Film||Keladi Kannmanii|||
|Best Male Playback||S. P. Balasubrahmanyam|
- Dhananjayan 2011, p. 132.
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- Sundararaman 2007, p. 143.
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- "சினிமா விமர்சனம் : கேளடி கண்மணி" [Movie Review: Keladi Kannmanii]. Ananda Vikatan (in Tamil). 5 August 1990. Archived from the original on 22 March 2020. Retrieved 22 March 2020.
- Selvaraj, N. (20 March 2017). "வெள்ளி விழா கண்ட தமிழ் திரைப்படங்கள்". Thinnai. Archived from the original on 29 March 2017. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
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- Dhananjayan 2011, p. 133.
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