Naan Avanillai (1974 film)

Naan Avanillai (transl. I am not him) is a 1974 Indian Tamil-language film starring Gemini Ganesan. Produced by Ganesan himself, it was directed by K. Balachander. It was adapted from the 1962 Marathi language play To Mee Navhech, written by Pralhad Keshav Atre. The film deals with a man who woos and marries several women while he takes on as many different identities.

Naan Avanillai
Naan Avan Illai 1974.jpg
Directed byK. Balachander
Produced byGemini Ganesan
Screenplay byK. Balachandar
Based onTo Mee Navhech
by Pralhad Keshav Atre
Music byM. S. Viswanathan
CinematographyB. S. Lokanath
Edited byN. R. Kittu
Shri Narayani Films
Distributed byShri Narayani Films
Release date
7 June 1974
Running time
162 minutes[1]

Naan Avanillai was released on 7 June 1974. The film was commercially successful and received critical acclaim. Ganesan's performance won him the Filmfare Award for Best Tamil Actor. It was later remade into a 2007 Tamil film with the same title and a 2008 Kannada film titled Buddhivantha.


Gemini Ganesan portrays a modern-day Don Juan who woos and marries several women while he takes on as many different identities. He is ultimately taken to court, but no-one is able to deduce his true identity as he speaks several languages with great facility. In the jail, the police inspector slaps him, believing he would utter something in his mother tongue when taken by surprise and this Indian exclaims in Chinese! In the final scene a man who maintains that the hero or villain is his brother Fernandez stabs him. Our Don Juan makes a sign of the cross before he dies.


Guest appearance


Naan Avanillai was adapted from the 1962 Marathi play To Mee Navhech, written by Pralhad Keshav Atre.[4] K. Balachander directed the film adaptation with Gemini Ganesan as the male lead. Ganesan also produced the film under his newly inaugurated Shri Narayani Films, this being his only production.[5] Kamal Haasan worked dance assistant in this movie.


The music was composed by M. S. Viswanathan.[6] The song "Radha Kaadhal" was remade in its 2007 remake.

No. Song Singers Lyrics Length
1 "Engirundho Vandhaal" S. P. Balasubrahmanyam Kannadasan 03:46
2 "Radha Kadhal Varadha" S. P. Balasubrahmanyam 06:17
3 "Manthaara Malare" P. Jayachandran, L. R. Eswari Kannadasan, P. Bhaskaran (Malayalam lyric) 04:43
4 "Naan Chinna Chiru" P. Susheela, P. B. Sreenivas Kannadasan, Kumara Mithra (Hindi lyrics) 03:20
5 "Inge Naan" L. R. Eswari, Saibaba Kannadasan 05:37

Release and receptionEdit

Naan Avanillai was released on 7 June 1974.[7] The film was dubbed Telugu-language as Srungara Leela and released on 17 December 1976.[8] Naan Avanillai was commercially successful.[3] The film and Ganesan's performance received critical acclaim.[5] For his performance, Ganesan won the Filmfare Award for Best Tamil Actor.[9] Ganesan's daughter Rekha, despite her strained relationship with her father, praised his performance, saying, "You've acted well, daddy."[10] The film later attained cult status in Tamil cinema for its witty dialogues, the screenplay and the "complete change of image" for Ganesan.[11] Writing for Business Standard in 2011, Suveen K. Sinha called Naan Avanillai "arguably the most memorable film of his career".[12] On Ganesan's centenary in 2020, The Hindu rated his performance in Naan Avanillai as one of his best.[3]


Naan Avanillai was remade in the same language under same title in 2007.[13] A Kannada remake, Buddhivantha, was released in 2008.[14]


  1. ^ Indian Films. B. V. Dharap. 1974. p. 167.
  2. ^ Umashankar, Sudha (17 October 1987). "Poornam: 'acting is a commitment'". The Indian Express. p. 19.
  3. ^ a b c "Gemini Ganesan at 100: Five of the legend's best". The Hindu. 19 November 2020. Retrieved 8 May 2021.
  4. ^ "O.A.Nos.917 And 918 Of 2 vs Rickyy Bahl" To Any Person". 25 January 2012. Archived from the original on 21 February 2018. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  5. ^ a b Ganesh 2011, p. 59.
  6. ^ "Naan Avanillai (1974)". Archived from the original on 8 September 2009. Retrieved 10 July 2014.
  7. ^ "நான் அவனில்லை / Naan Avanillai (1974)". Screen4screen. Archived from the original on 26 May 2021. Retrieved 26 May 2021.
  8. ^ "Srungara Leela". Andhra Prabha. 17 December 1976. p. 8.
  9. ^ The Times of India Directory and Year Book Including Who's who. Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd. 1984. p. 234.
  10. ^ Ramachandran, T. M., ed. (September 1974). "Rekha Snubs Papa". Film World. Vol. 10. pp. 79–80.
  11. ^ Srinivasan, Pavithra (23 November 2009). "Review: Naan Avan Illai -- 2 is worth a listen". Archived from the original on 31 August 2017. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  12. ^ Sinha, Suveen K. (20 January 2011). "Appa and his misdemeanours". Business Standard. Archived from the original on 16 April 2018. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  13. ^ Ganesh 2011, p. 60.
  14. ^ Vijayasarathy, R G (26 September 2008). "Budhdhivantha is extremely satisfying". Archived from the original on 9 October 2013. Retrieved 21 February 2018.


  • Ganesh, Narayani (2011). Eternal Romantic: My Father, Gemini Ganesan. Roli Books. ISBN 978-8174365781.

External linksEdit