Minnale (transl. Lightning) is a 2001 Indian Tamil-language romance film directed by Gautham Menon. The story was written by him himself and Vipul D. Shah. Starring Madhavan, Abbas, Reema, Vivek and Nagesh, it tells the story of a love-struck man stealing the identity of his former college foe to pursue his lady love and the eventual repercussions he has to face when his cover is blown.
Theatrical poster marking the 100th day of its release
|Directed by||Gautham Menon|
|Produced by||Sunanda Murali Manohar|
|Written by||Gautham Menon|
Vipul D. Shah
|Music by||Harris Jayaraj|
|Cinematography||R. D. Rajasekhar|
|Edited by||Suresh Urs|
Cee (I) TV Entertainment
Minnale is the directorial debut of Menon. The film's original soundtrack composed by first time music composer Harris Jayaraj, became a chartbuster prior to the film's release. The cinematography of the film was handled by R. D. Rajasekhar and Ravi Varman and it was edited by Suresh Urs.
Minnale was released on February 2, 2001. The film received positive reviews from critics and enjoyed stupendous blockbuster commercial success at the box office. Menon remade the film the same year in Hindi as Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein, which featured Madhavan reprising his role.
Sam and Rajesh are students at an Engineering college in Ooty. Sam is a top-performing Computer Science and Engineering student who is very popular with the students and faculty, while Rajesh, a Mechanical Engineering student with several arrears, is notorious for his rebellious attitude and mildly violent and misogynistic behaviour. This contrast in personalities puts the two students at loggerheads throughout their college days, with both of them engaging in constant fights and pranks with each other. Upon graduating, Sam and Rajesh decide never to see each other ever again. Sam goes to the United States for his higher studies while Rajesh decides to stay in India.
Two years later, Rajesh is working as a Software Engineering instructor in Chennai and roams around in his free time with his close friend Chockalingam "Chokku". He stays with his grandfather Subbuni, who is a librarian from the Aminjikarai neighbourhood of Chennai. Rajesh's affection for his grandfather is such that he even refuses to accept an on-site opportunity in Singapore so that he can be with him. While on a trip to Bangalore, he comes across a young woman dancing with children in the rain and gets immediately smitten by her when he sees her face lit by the flash of a lightning bolt. He comes across this woman again during his friend's wedding and soon learns that the woman's name is Reena Joseph and she is working as a chartered accountant at Ford in Bangalore. Some days later, Rajesh, who is back in Chennai, notices Reena again, this time exiting a Ford office cab. He and Chokku pursue Reena, but in the process, lose track of her in a mall.
Rajesh and Chokku meet Reena's best friend Vasuki at a market, and enquire about Reena. Vasuki informs them that Reena has been transferred to Chennai, however, when she realises that Rajesh is in love with Reena, she angrily mentions that Reena has already been engaged to an Indian American software engineer from Seattle named Rajiv Samuel, who happens to be her childhood friend, hence it would be futile to pursue her. Rajesh is upset at this development; however, on learning that Reena has never seen Rajiv since her childhood, and on the goading and encouragement of Subbuni and Chokku, he decides to pursue Reena. He comes to her house impersonating Rajiv. Reena is smitten by Rajesh and within a few days, she reciprocates Rajesh's love. Rajesh decides to reveal his true identity to her, but before he can, the real Rajiv arrives in Chennai. When Reena realises that the "Rajiv" she loves is an impostor, she breaks up with him and warns him never to come near her again.
Rajesh, Chokku and their friends decide to meet Rajiv to somehow convince him to break his engagement with Reena. To Rajesh's shock, he finds out that Rajiv is Sam. Enraged at the fact that Rajesh cheated Reena, Sam refuses to break up their engagement. Rajesh also tries to seek Reena's forgiveness, to no avail, and stalks her while she is on a date with Sam at a restaurant. Sam notices this and both he and Rajesh engage in a brawl which is stopped by Reena, who again warns Rajesh never to come near her. Enraged, Rajesh, Chokku and their friends decide to beat up Sam in a parking lot, but Rajesh backs out at the last minute, accepting the bitter truth that Sam and Reena are going to marry.
Heartbroken, Rajesh decides to accept the on-site opportunity in Singapore, which he had earlier rejected, to forget Reena. Meanwhile, Reena realises that she has fallen in love with Rajesh, even though he had cheated her. On the wedding day, Sam realises the love Reena has for Rajesh. He cancels the wedding and takes Reena to the airport, where Rajesh is about to board a flight to Singapore. Sam approaches Rajesh and tells him that although they will always be enemies, he cannot marry a girl who does not love him. He wishes Rajesh and Reena well and leaves. Rajesh and Reena reunite.
- Madhavan as Rajesh Shivakumar/Porki
- Abbas as Rajiv 'Sam' Samuel
- Reema as Reena Joseph
- Nagesh as Subramanyam "Subbuni"
- Vivek as Chockalingam 'Chokku'
- DJ Ravi as Ravi, Madhavan's Friend
- Sriram Rajagopal as Madhavan's Friend
- Danny Danz as Madhavan's Friend
- Kitty as Joseph, Reena's father
- Fathima Babu as Shanthi, Reena's mother
- Rajiv Choudhry as Rajiv's father
- Janaki Sabesh as Rajiv's mother
- Krishna as Lorry Driver
- A. C. Murali Mohan
- Raji Iyer as Vasuki, Reena's friend
- Pondy Ravi as Ravi, Reena's neighbour in Chennai
- Hariharan Ganapathy (Kavin Jay Babu) as Rajesh's Classmate
- Manish Borundia as Manish, Rajesh's classmate
- Vidharth as Rajesh's classmate (uncredited)
- Gautham Menon as the flower deliveryman to Reena (uncredited)
- R. D. Rajasekhar as the flower deliveryman to Reena (uncredited)
- Nagendra Prasad as a dancer in Azhagiya Theeye song (uncredited)
- Shobi as a dancer in Azhagiya Theeye song (uncredited)
- Sridhar as a dancer in Azhagiya Theeye song (uncredited)
Gautham Menon launched a Tamil romantic film O Lala in 2000 with the project eventually changing producers and title into Minnale with Madhavan, who was at the beginning of his career, being signed on to portray the lead role. About the making of the film, Menon revealed that he found it difficult as the team was new to the industry with only the editor of the film, Suresh Urs, being a prominent technician in the industry. Menon had come under further pressure when Madhavan had insisted that Menon narrated the story to his mentor, Mani Ratnam, to identify if the film was a positive career move after the success of his Alaipayuthey. Despite initial reservations, Menon did so and Ratnam was unimpressed; however Menon has cited that he thought that Madhavan "felt sorry" and later agreed to continue with the project.
Miss World 1999, Yukta Mookhey was considered to play the film's heroine during July 2000, as was Isha Koppikar, but eventually they were left out and Reema Sen, who appeared in her first Tamil film, was cast. Minnale also saw Madhavan collaborating with Abbas for second time after Kannada film Shanti Shanti Shanti. Post-release, Abbas felt that his scenes had been cut from the film and accused Madhavan of playing a role in editing his sequences out from the film.
The film was advertised as a Valentine's Day release in 2001 but was released on February 2, 2001 and upon release it went on to become a large success commercially. Madhavan became extremely popular among the youth after the release of Alaipayuthey, but had a setback as his next film flopped. Minnale made him once again popular among the youth. Savitha Padmanabhan of The Hindu claimed that the film had a "lot of verve and vigour" and that it was "sure to go down well" with the "yuppie, college-going youngsters". A reviewer, Shilpa Kannan from Zee TV, also gave the film a positive review, writing "the entire movie is given an advertisement like treatment by the director. It is glossy, stylish, youthful and trendy". The movie was dubbed into Telugu under the name Cheli and also performed well at the box office, owing to Madhavan's popularity in Andhra Pradesh.
The success of the film led to producer Vashu Bhagnani signing Menon on to direct the Hindi language remake of the film, Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein, which featured Madhavan reprising his role. The Hindi version gained mixed reviews and subsequently went on to become an above average grosser at the box office. However, the film belatedly gained popularity through screenings on television and subsequently developed a cult following amongst young audiences and the actors released a video thanking the film's admirers for their adulation on the fifteenth anniversary of the film's release.
The music and background score were composed by Harris Jayaraj. The audio cassette of the film was released in Chennai at a function in January 2001, where the songs were also screened. Upon release, the soundtrack received critical acclaim and was a major contributor to the film's commercial success. Harris Jayaraj won his first Filmfare Best Music Director award in Tamil. The song "Vaseegara" is set in Natabhairavi raga and marked the debut of poet Thamarai as a film song lyricist.
All songs except Ivan Yaaro and Iru Vizhi Unadhu (Ore Nyabagam) were reused in the film's Hindi version Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein by Harris himself.
|Soundtrack album by|
|Genre||Feature film soundtrack|
|Label||Sa Re Ga Ma|
Cee (I) TV Audio
An Ak Audio
|Harris Jayaraj chronology|
|1.||"Azhagiya Theeye"||Vaali||Harish Raghavendra, Timmy||5:56|
|2.||"Iru Vizhi Unadhu (Orey Nyabagam)"||Thamarai||Devan Ekambaram||1:56|
|3.||"Maddy Maddy"||C. S. Amudhan||Karthik, Timmy||1:15|
|5.||"Oh Mama Mama"||Vaali||Shankar Mahadevan, Tippu||4:40|
|6.||"Poopol Poopol"||Thamarai||Karthik, Tippu||1:57|
|7.||"Nenjai Poopol"||Thamarai||Harish Raghavendra||1:01|
|8.||"Venmathi Venmathiye Nillu"||Vaali||Roop Kumar Rathod, Tippu||5:28|
|9.||"Ivan Yaaro"||Thamarai||Unni Krishnan, Harini||5:13|
|Soundtrack album by|
|Genre||Feature film soundtrack|
All tracks are written by Bhuvana Chandra.
|1.||"Ningiki Jabili Andam"||Unni Krishnan, Harini||5:24|
|3.||"Varshinche Megam La Ne Nunna"||Srinivas, Timmy, Vasu||5:27|
|5.||"Aei Vennella Sona"||Harish Raghavendra, Timmy||5:47|
|6.||"Ooh Mama"||Mano, Timmy, Vasu, Chandran||4:36|
|7.||"Manohara" (Part 2)||Bombay Jayashree||4:57|
- "More for Maddy's crowd". The Hindu. 27 October 2001. Retrieved 18 September 2017.
- ""Nagaichuvai Mannan" Nagesh: Monarch of Humorous Actors in Tamil Movies". dbsjeyaraj.com. 23 December 2015. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
- Kumar, Ashok (2009). "My First Break". The Hindu. Retrieved 28 April 2011.
- Rangan, Baradwaj (2011). "Shooting from the Lip". Baradwaj Rangan. Retrieved 28 April 2011.
- Padmanabhan, Savitha (9 February 2001). "Film Review: Minnale". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 13 November 2002. Retrieved 28 April 2011.
- Adarsh, Taran (2001). "Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 28 April 2011.
- "Bollywood's Cult Classics". PINKVILLA. Retrieved 16 February 2016.
- "Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein turns 15: Watch Madhavan deliver THE dialogue from the film". India Today. 19 October 2016. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
- "Minnale – Harris Jayaraj – Download or Listen Free – Saavn". 1 March 2001. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
- "Cheli (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) by K.P. Siva". 20 February 2001. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
- "Cheli – All Songs – Download or Listen Free – Saavn". 15 February 2001. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
- S, Srivatsan (19 February 2020). "I was devastated when Mysskin called me a 'sidekick': Prasanna on playing 'second-hero' roles, and his upcoming 'Mafia'". The Hindu.
- "Films add glamour to harvest festival". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 10 January 2003.