Muthu (1995 film)

Directed by K.S. Ravikumar
Produced by Rajam Balachander
Pushpa Kandaswamy
Written by K.S. Ravikumar
Story by Priyadarshan
Starring Rajinikanth
Sarath Babu
Music by A. R. Rahman
Cinematography Ashok Rajan
Edited by K. Thanigachalam
Distributed by Kavithalayaa Productions
Release dates
23 October 1995 (Tamil)
3 April 1998 (Japanese)
Running time
165 minutes
Country India
Language Tamil
Box office 21 crore (equivalent to 66 crore or US$9.8 million in 2016)

Muthu is a 1995 Indian Tamil-language comedy-drama film directed by K. S. Ravikumar. The film stars Rajinikanth, Meena, and Sarath Babu. The film's score and soundtrack is composed by A. R. Rahman. It was inspired from Priyadarshan's Malayalam film Thenmavin Kombath (1994).[1][2] The film released on 23 October 1995 amid much fanfare and hype and became the highest-grossing Tamil film at the time, running for over 175 days in theaters across Tamil Nadu. The film also released in Japanese in 1998 and became a commercial success in Japan, earning Rajinikanth a large fan following there as well.


Muthu (Rajinikanth) is a kind-hearted man working in the zamin of Sivakami Ammal (Jayabharathi) taking care of the chariot and the horses used by her son Raja Malayasimman (Sarath Babu). Muthu is very loyal to the zamin family and in the meantime Muthu and Raja encounter Ranganayaki (Meena), a stage artist during their visit to a show and Raja immediately falls in love with Ranganayaki. Ambalathar (Radha Ravi) is the maternal uncle of Raja and he has plans of getting his daughter Padmini (Subhashri) married to Raja.

Ranganayaki’s drama troupe faces financial issues and Raja offers jobs to the entire troupe in his zamin. Now Muthu and Ranganayaki fall in love with each other and Sivakami gets to know about this. Kaali (Ponnambalam) is a spy for Ambalathar working in the zamin and keeps informing him about the happenings in the zamin. Kaali lies to Raja that Muthu is forcing Ranganayaki to marry him. This angers Raja and he has Kaali beat up Muthu, then orders him to leave the zamin. Sivakami gets angry on hearing about her son’s behaviour and informs him the truth that both Muthu and Ranganayaki are in love which shocks Raja.

The story moves to flashback where it is shown that Muthu’s father (Rajinikanth) is the zamindar and real owner of all the properties. Rajasekhar (Raghuvaran) is the cousin of zamindar. Sivakami is married to Rajasekhar and their son Raja is adopted by the zamindar as he did not have children. Later the zamindar’s wife gives birth to a child and dies. Rajasekhar and Amabalathar plan to grab the zamindar’s properties by forging false documents. The zamindar on knowing these worries about the nature of people around him and decides to give all the properties to Rajasekhar and his family and also to leave the place along with his son Muthu. But Sivakami pleads for guilty of her husband and asks to at least give his son so that she will raise him. The zamindar hands over Muthu to Sivakami but says that he should be brought up as an ordinary man and not as a zamindar for which Sivakami agrees. Rajasekhar feels bad about his cruel activities and upon seeing the generous behaviour of the zamindar, commits suicide. The zamindar leaves the place and Sivakami moves to another town. She informs everyone that the zamindar’s child is dead as she has been asked to raise the child as a normal man by the zamindar.

Sivakami says that the zamindar currently lives in a nearby place as a nomad and Raja, realising his mistake decides to go and meet zamindar and bring him back. Kaali overhears the conversation made between Sivakami and Raja and informs to Ambalathar. Now Ambalathar decides to murder Raja and frame Muthu so that he can take over all the zamin properties. But he is saved by zamindar and is married to Padmini. Finally Muthu comes to know all the truth and wishes to see his father but he leaves the place before Muthu could reach there. Muthu becomes the new zamindar, but prefers to see himself as a worker.



The film was first reported in March 1995, when it was mentioned that K. S. Ravikumar would direct Rajinikanth in a film titled Velan, to be produced by K. Balachander.[3] The title was later changed to Muthu. The film is characterised by location shots in Kerala and was shot in numerous palaces. The Zamindar's palace in which the movie was shot is the Lalitha Mahal Palace in Mysore.


The film was a blockbuster and completed a 175-day run at the box office. It was dubbed into Telugu under the same title. It was also dubbed in Hindi as Muthu Maharaja and was distributed by Eros Labs. In 1998, the film was dubbed in Japanese, by the distributor Xanadoux, as Muthu Odoru Maharaja (ムトゥ 踊るマハラジャ) which means Muthu - The Dancing Maharaja[4]) and completed a 182-day run grossing ¥200 million at the box office.[5][6] Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh made a special note about the reach of this film among the Japanese in his speech at the National Diet of Japan on 14 December 2006.[7][8]


Soundtrack album by A. R. Rahman
Released 1995 (India)
1998 (Japan)
Recorded Panchathan Record Inn
Genre Film soundtrack
Label Pyramid
Aditya Music
Producer A.R. Rahman
A. R. Rahman chronology
Love Birds

The soundtrack was composed by A. R. Rahman, with lyrics by Vairamuthu. Muthu is the first Rajinikanth film for which Rahman composed music. The soundtrack for this movie turned out to be a major hit and Rahman gained popularity in Japan when the movie was released in Japanese. The Hindi version is titled Muthu Maharaja and had lyrics penned by P. K. Mishra. The "Omanathinkal Kidavo" portion of "Kuluvalilae" is written and tuned by the famous Malayalam poet Irayimman Thampi.

The video for the hit song "Thillana Thillana" became famous for the belly dance of Meena featuring a lot of closeup shots of her navel.[9][10] Rahman sampled African humming in the song; French group Deep Forest had earlier sampled the same in their song Night Bird.[11][12] Thillana Thillana was later adapted by Nadeem-Shravan as Deewana Deewana for the 1996 film Jung.[12]

This soundtrack was selected as the most popular foreign soundtrack in Japan.[13][6]

Tamil version

# Song Artist(s)
1 "Kuluvalilae" Udit Narayan, K. S. Chithra, Kalyani Menon
2 "Thilana Thilana" Mano, Sujatha
3 "Oruvan Oruvan" S. P. Balasubrahmanyam
4 "Kokku Saiva Kokku" S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, Theni Kunjaramma, Febi Mani, Ganga Sitharasu
5 "Vidu Kathaiya" Hariharan
6 "Theme Music" Instrumental

Telugu version

The soundtrack features six songs composed by A. R. Rahman, with lyrics Penned by Bhuvanachandra.[14]

# Song Artist(s)
1 "Thilana Thilana" Mano, Sujatha
2 "Kalagalile Prema" S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, K. S. Chithra, G. V. Prakash
3 "Konga Chitti Konga" S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, Ila Arun
4 "Virisinada Vidhi Galam" Hariharan
5 "Okade Okkadu" S. P. Balasubrahmanyam
6 "Theme Music" Instrumental

Hindi version

# Song Artist(s)
1 "Ooperwala Malik Hai" S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, Chorus
2 "Phoolwali Ne Loota Mujhko" Udit Narayan, K. S. Chithra, G. V. Prakash
3 "Koi Samjhade" S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, Ila Arun
4 "Rangeela Rangeela" Mano, Sujatha
5 "Chhod Chala Nirmohi" Hariharan
6 "Theme Music" Instrumental




The quote from the film "Naan eppo varuven eppadi varuvennu yarukkum theriyathu. Eppo varunumo appo correctaa varuven" (English: Nobody knows when or how I will come, but I will come when the time is right) became popular.[15][16]

In popular culture

The scenes and songs from the film has been parodied in verious films Unnidathil Ennai Koduthen (1998), Aethiree (2004),[17] Thiruvannamalai (2008),. The footage from the film has been used in French film Prete Moi Ta Main (Lend Me Your Hand).[18]


  1. "The Hindu : Metro Plus Coimbatore : Thinking actress". Retrieved 17 September 2015.
  2. "tamil movie ajith rajini mohanlal sathyaraj prithviraj kreedom chandramukhi sundar c veerappu sphadikam image gallery". Retrieved 17 September 2015.
  3. "Google Groups". Retrieved 17 September 2015.
  4. Mutu: Odoru Maharaja
  5. Gautaman Bhaskaran (6 January 2002). "Rajnikanth casts spell on Japanese viewers". The Hindu. Retrieved 2007-05-10.
  6. 1 2 Ramachandran 2012, p. 20.
  7. "It's India-Japan Friendship Year". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 15 December 2006.
  8. "The Statesman". Retrieved 17 September 2015.
  9. "'Bollywood navel fashion has led to re-emergence of sari' : Blog Radio - India Today". Retrieved 17 September 2015.
  10. Meena's exposure
  11. "PLAGIARISM POLICING IS GOING OUT OF HAND". The Times of India. Retrieved 27 December 2012.
  12. 1 2 Ramachandran 2012, p. 163-164.
  13. "Films don't believe in borders". Archived from the original on 18 December 2008. Retrieved 17 September 2015.
  15. "Rajinikanth's punchnama". The Hindu. Retrieved 17 September 2015.
  16. "Rajinikanth, Punch dialogues, The superstar". Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  17. Ethiri (DVD): clip from 51.39 to 51.50
  18. "Rajini wows French filmmaker". Retrieved 17 September 2015.

External links


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