Kadhalan – Hellish Movie, Heavenly Music

By God, how we hated this dungheap of a Tamil movie.

Only God knows how much we loved the music in Kadhalan.

Released in 1994, Kadhalan is a landmark Tamil movie that shows A.R.Rahman at the Himalayan heights of his career.

Truth be said but for Rahman’s music and Prabhu Deva’s dances, Kadhalan would have been long forgotten and consigned to the dustheap of ignominous Tamil movies like the recent fiascos Satyam, Kuruvi or Azhagiya Tamil Magan.

So, what better way to start or end your day than by listening to the classic Mukkala Mukkala song/dance by clicking on the below image.

Go ahead, just click on the below image of the ugly Prabhu Deva and the big-bosomed Nagma for a few moments of heavenly bliss.

Prabhu Deva & Nagma in Mukkala Mukkabala
(Source: YouTube)

Oh, no. Non pareil though it was, we were not enamored of just the Mukkala, Mukkabala song in Kadhalan.

There’s the lovely Kadallikku…, Urvasi Urvasi, Ennavale, Pettai Rap and more.

Life’s short, and who knows when your clock will stop. So stop whatever you are doing and watch/listen to these timeless classics by clicking any of the above links or the image.

As good as the songs were in Kadhalan, the movie itself is a piece of shit. So bad indeed that we quickly reached for the bottle of cheap Jacquin’s ginger brandy we keep handy for occasions when we crave a quick high to forget our misery.

Both Prabhu Deva and Nagma are appallingly bad actors. No question about it.

Nagma, of course, represents the nadir of the acting profession, an abomination. If the devil could act, he would be a shade better than this grotesque caricature a.k.a. Nagma. The dregs of the lees just like her half-sister Jyothika (from whose sadistic clutches we were fortuitously saved, thanks to her doting beau Surya).

But for her Namitaesque bazookas, Preita Zintian booty, Sridevilish thighs and a fair complexion so beloved by the black-as-coal Tamils, the ugly as Neha Dhupia Nagma wouldn’t merit a second glance. Never.

Prabhu Deva wouldn’t have girls swooning over him either. So in a sense, they are the made-for-each-other beauty oops beast-and-beast couple.

For all his compassion deficit disorder, director Shankar still made history with this ugly pair of Prabhu Deva and Nagma thanks to Rahman. The movie went on to become a phenomenal blockbuster with people even north of the Vindhyas humming the Mukkala Mukkabala tunes.

Kadhalan’s story is hardly the stuff that legends are made of. Sruti (Nagma) is the daughter of a crooked and murderous governor Karkala Sathyanarayana (Girish Karnad) while Prabhu (Prabhu Deva) is the son of a lowly police head constable Katheerasan (S.P.Balasubramaniam).

How their love triumphs over all adversity from the venal politician Karkala Sathyanarayana constitutes much of this crappy movie.

A gratuitous insult to the intelligence of the Tamil film audience, the Vadivelu comedy track in Kadhalan is absolute garbage.

The nauseous picturization of the Pettai Rap song featuring Vadivelu, Prabhu Deva and a large herd of human-like creatures (including some Caucasians) was a traumatic experience that’ll haunt us, surely as long as breath exists in our body.

Some of the scenes in Kadhalan go far beyond nonsense. For instance, when Prabhu’s father jumps into a garbage van to look for a small hook belonging to his son’s girlfriend or when the dog brings the prattle to the beach in the second half.

The late Raghuvaran’s fans will be glad to see a much younger version of this talented actor as the villain Malli before the descent into the hell of alcohol and drugs ended his life prematurely.

The stunt/fight scenes in Kadhalan are beyond amateurish – they are freakishly comical, par for the course in Tamil movies.

For all its inadequacies, and there are plenty in this movie, Kadhalan stands out for the majestic beauty of its music. Yes, Kadhalan’s songs will continue to thrill Tamil movie fans for generations to come.

Oscillating between the bliss of its music and the torment of a shopworn story/atrocious acting, Kadhalan is a strange beast – it can’t rise any higher or sink any lower.

13 Responses to "Kadhalan – Hellish Movie, Heavenly Music"

  1. shuaib68   September 16, 2008 at 2:49 am

    You are some guy, I’m telling. We never liked the story nor the actress Nagma. We used to call her “Mutta Kodhu Waai” Egg shelled mouth.

    Whenever the image came-up on mind I quickly search for the delete button. She’s less and less captivating to portray as a beauty. When I was first watching it I thought to my self, is it for this Prabu Deva is suffering so much to gain????

    Apart from that, we have the God given blessing – The Fast Forward Button. Hit it, where it used to. Only watched and enjoyed the music scenes several times over.

    When will the Tamil movie directors do away with the “love memorabilia stuff collected and worshipped by the Hero” scenes? We know what happens after marriage in real life – “Adiye! enga wetchai enda shoe pairerrr???” (Hey! you woman, where did you keep my shoe pair?) is the final style of acting that will remain for lifetime for many.

    You won’t find the rare specie called “MURALI” who is famous for “Single Head Love – Oru thalai kaadhal” who goes on collecting love memorabilia and worships.

  2. sganeshkumar1989   September 16, 2008 at 7:46 am

    Till 5th class,I remember that I used to switch on the tape recorder and just dance and enjoy the songs of A.R.Rahman’s Jeans and Kadhalan(Esp. Muqabala song) all the time.Roja and Bombay were the other albums I used to enjoy listening,was a big fanatic of A.R.Rahman then.(Not anymore,after listening to many Ilayaraja and K.V.Mahadevan’s old melodies.)
    By the way,I found this film Kadhalan to be terribly cliched with nothing new story-wise/screenplay.Just some funny yet innovative dance movements(Urvasi Urvasi) and great music.Shankar’s good luck that it clicked at the B.O! :p

  3. sganeshkumar1989   September 16, 2008 at 7:50 am

    I believe Shankar’s best are just Gentleman and Mudhalvan.I liked Anniyan for Vikram’s performance though.Indian too wasn’t that great(Except for pre-Independence scenes)Need not talk about the rest!

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Yes, Anniyan was an interesting movie.

  4. mitchell   September 16, 2008 at 9:16 am

    ‘Beast and Beast couple’- Very funny indeed.. I never watched this ‘Kadalan’ movie and I am not planning to do so..Well Nagma’s a bad actress just like her stupid sister jyothica and looks ugly indeed.I know that.But I thought Prabhu Deva is fairly decent in acting .He’s not that bad in Minsara Kanavu..

  5. gandhiji   September 16, 2008 at 9:44 am

    Loved your attack on Nagma. Nausea-inducing beast..

    I liked the Petta Rap picturization.. We used to have lots of fun dancing to that song.

    Got fed up of “Muqabala”.. because it used to be play so often on every damn tv channel and cassette/CD player.. SI, you were probably already in the US when Kadhalan was released? I think the TV show “Superhit Muqabla” was named after it.. That show was instrumental in bringing Simran into movies. I (used to) like her.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    You write: Loved your attack on Nagma. Nausea-inducing beast..

    We understand Nagma has now sought asylum in Bhojpuri land.

    You write: I think the TV show “Superhit Muqabla” was named after it..

    We have never been great fans of the medium of TV even here in the U.S. (although we occasionally watch the Unfair and Unbalanced Bill O’Reilly show on Fox)…We love the printed word more.

  6. gk   September 16, 2008 at 10:00 am

    A.R.RAHMAN has saved lot of movies lik. kadhalan……”so beloved by the black-as-coal Tamils”…????

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    so beloved by the black-as-coal Tamils”…????

    What part of that sentence do you find hard to understand.

  7. gk   September 16, 2008 at 10:25 am

    do you guys review music too?

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Not yet.

  8. satya   September 16, 2008 at 10:41 am

    Back in 94-95 The music of kadhalan was such a monstrous hit that i was hearing it in every nook and corner. Just love those songs, Nostalgic.

    I would say movie torturously dragged for 3 hours . I was chided and scoffed at in my class when i said Movie is crap.

    Out of Shankar’s best . I would place Anniyan above mudhalvan and gentlemen. I like all these 3 movies for the concept. I myself feel like torturing and killing people when i see corruption in the system and people’s indifference to it in India.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    You write above: I was chided and scoffed at in my class when i said Movie is crap

    De gustibus non est disputandum

    You write: I myself feel like torturing and killing people when i see corruption in the system and people’s indifference to it in India.

    The corruption in Kollywood in terms of outright theft of successful Hollywood movies is no less pernicious.

  9. gandhiji   September 16, 2008 at 1:08 pm

    latest nagma sighting.. http://hubpages.com/hub/Surya-Jyothika-baby-pictures

    don’t be too harsh on Jo’.. she just had a baby 🙂 She used to be (marginally) better looking than her big sis.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    You write above: don’t be too harsh on Jo’.. .She used to be (marginally) better looking than her big sis.

    Simian siblings of the same feather (note: we didn’t say same father).

  10. gandhiji   September 17, 2008 at 6:11 pm

    SI, you said “Not yet.” for music reviews..

    I suggest “Death Magnetic” released last week by Metallica as an auspicious way to start your music reviewing career.. but I am thinking that you are not much into rock.. as you haven’t reviewed the movie “Rock On!” yet.. I didn’t like the Rock On! songs.. but I should probably listen to them on a good sound system rather than my PC speakers.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    We listened to the 25 second samples of all the songs in the Death Magnetic album on our iPhone + iTunes. Sounds interesting especially The End of the Line, Broken, Beat & Scarred, Cyanide and The Unforgiven III.

  11. guruprasad.s   September 18, 2008 at 7:49 am

    I remember that the music of Kadhalan was a rage in 1994-95 (at least in Mysore where I lived then).
    The movie itself was so-so, but Prabhudeva’s dances ensured that people still flocked to cinema halls to watch him.
    I am a bit saddened that you have bracketed Nagma along with Neha Dhupia in the matter of ugliness.

    In response to ‘gandhiji’, Superhit Muqabala was aired on DD-2 (or DD Metro) even in 1993, so the show was not named after the song.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    You write above: I am a bit saddened that you have bracketed Nagma along with Neha Dhupia in the matter of ugliness.

    Sad? Why? Are you suggesting that Nagma is prettier than Neha Dhupia?

  12. gandhiji   September 18, 2008 at 8:27 am

    I listened to “The Judas Kiss” and “Cynanide” on XM radio.. I think they had set the bar very high in their earlier songs.. so probably have fallen sort of that.. or maybe it will take a few more listenings to start loving them. I’ll just keep listening to my old metallica CDs..

  13. gandhiji   September 18, 2008 at 10:14 am

    @guruprasad – thanks for the info..

    I thought the two were related in some way.. Was the song name inspired by the program? Now I remember that the song did rock that program for a few weeks.. so obviously the song came after the program.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login