Both in real and reel, Tamil cinema has showered love on Lankan Tamils and highlighted their plight. In Vijay Sethupathi’s ‘Yaadhum Oore Yaavarum Kelir’, Kaniha, who is making her comeback in Kollywood, plays a refugee from Sri Lanka.
This week, as part of its Friday special articles series, Mykollywood.com attempts to throw light on some of the Tamil movies that had Sri Lankan Tamil characters.
‘Kannathil Muthamittal’ is a 2002 musical war drama film produced and directed by Mani Ratnam. It was based on a short story, ‘Amuthavum Avanum’ by Sujatha Rangarajan.
The film features Madhavan, Simran and Baby Keerthana in the leading roles with Nandita Das, J D Chakravarthy, Prakash Raj and Pasupathy portraying other pivotal characters. The film’s score and soundtrack were composed by A R Rahman, while Ravi K Chandran handled the cinematography.
Mani Ratnam presents the story of a child of Sri Lankan Tamil parentage adopted by Indian parents, whose desire is to meet her biological mother in the midst of the Sri Lankan Civil War.
The film premiered at the 2002 Toronto International Film Festival, It also received a strong reception when screened at the San Francisco International Film Festival in 2003. The film received high critical acclaim upon release and went on to win six National Film Awards, three Filmfare Awards South, seven Tamil Nadu State Film Awards and Best Film awards at six international film festivals.
‘Nandha’ is a 2001 action drama film written and directed by Bala, starring Suriya and Laila in the leading roles, while Rajkiran, Saravanan and Rajshree play other supporting roles.
The film also marked the debut of comedian Karunas. The score was by Yuvan Shankar Raja and cinematography by R. Rathnavelu. The film was released on 14 November 2001.
Nandha is story about a young man from a borstal coming back to a society and his family he had left many years ago. It is about a battle of love and life, and how a misfit tries to fight to fit into the usual social circus, a fight to earn his mother’s love, and a fight to live the second chance he has given himself. The story takes place in the town of Ramanathapuram.
Kalyani (Laila), a Tamil exile from Sri Lanka, meets Nandha and both fall in love. Meanwhile, the villain Saravanan asks Periyavar (Rajkiran), who also helps Sri Lankan students in his college a lot, to aid an antisocial element, but Periyavar refuses outright.
‘Kaatrukkenna Veli’ is a 2001 film directed by Pugazendhi Thangaraj. The film features Sujitha and Sriman in the lead roles, with Khushbu Sundar, Arunpandian, Chandrasekhar, Sudhangan, Sakthi Kumar, Arulmani, Kalairani, Diana and Premi playing supporting roles.
The film, produced by T. Vellaiyan, had musical score by Ilaiyaraaja and was released on 27 April 2001. Manimekalai (Sujitha) is a young woman and a LTTE rebel fighter. During a battle in Valvettithurai (northeast coast of Sri Lanka), she was seriously injured in the leg.
A small group of rebels take her on a boat and are headed to India. They land in Point Calimere (India). With the help of an Indian Tamil intermediate, they reach a hospital in Nagapattinam.
The doctor Subhash Chandra Bose (Sriman), also known as Subhash, first refuses to treat Manimekalai because it is an illegal matter. After seeing her leg’s condition, he finally accepts to operate her but Manimekalai does not want to have her leg amputated.
‘Thenali’ is a 2000 comedy film produced and directed by K. S. Ravikumar and written by Crazy Mohan. The film stars Kamal Haasan in the title role, while Jayaram, Devayani and Jyothika did the supporting roles.
The film’s music was composed by A R Rahman. The film’s cinematography and editing was handled by Priyan and K Thanigachalam respectively.
The film revolves around a senior psychiatrist who is jealous of his junior doctor Kailash getting all attention sends Thenali Soman, a disturbed Sri Lankan Tamil to prove his methods a failure. Kailash who is annoyed by the presence of Thenali tries various ways to throw him out of home, the rest of the film shows whether he succeeds or not.
The film opened in 26 October 2000 to positive reviews from critics and was a commercial success at the Tamil Nadu box-office. The film won three Tamil Nadu State Film Awards, including a Special Jury award for Jayaram’s performance as Dr. Kailash.