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Mullum Malarum Movie Details

Mullum Malarum
Name: Mullum Malarum
Censor Type: U
Running Time: 143 min
Genre: Romance
Release Date: August 15, 1978
Director: Balu Mahendra
Stars: RajinikanthSarath BabuVenniradai Moorthy
Music Director: Ilaiyaraja
Producer: Venu Chettiar

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Credited cast:
Rajinikanth Rajinikanth ...
Sarath Babu Sarath Babu ...
Shoba Shoba ...
Venniradai Moorthy Venniradai Moorthy ...


Mullum Malarum (English: The thorn and the flower) is a 1978 Indian Tamil-language drama film written and directed by J. Mahendran and produced by Venu Chettiar and V. Mohan, with a soundtrack by Ilaiyaraaja. The film, starring Rajinikanth, Sarath Babu, Fatafat Jayalaxmi and Shoba, marked Mahendran's directorial debut and is loosely based on Umachandran's novel of the same name.

It tells the story of Kali, a winch operator who dotes on his sister and clashes with Kumaran, his superior, at a power plant; the dispute eventually costs him his left arm and his job.

The film's production was tumultuous. Chettiar opposed casting Rajinikanth as the protagonist because of his dark skin and typecasting as a villain at the time, but Mahendran refused to direct the film without the actor and Chettiar capitulated. Since Mahendran had no previous directing experience, cinematographer Balu Mahendra (a director himself) assisted Mahendran with the screenplay, dialogue, camera angles, casting and editing.

The film significantly deviates from the novel, with Mahendran having read only a part of it. Filming lasted for roughly 30 days, and primarily took place in Sringeri. Chettiar was surprised that the finished film had less dialogue than visuals, which he did not expect from Mahendran.

Although Mullum Malarum opened to a tepid box office reception at its 15 August 1978 (Independence Day) release, positive reviews from critics and favourable word of mouth helped make it a success. Rajinikanth's performance as Kali received unanimous praise, and it is widely considered the best performance of his career. The film won the Filmfare Award for Best Film – Tamil and the Tamil Nadu State Film Award Special Prize for Rajinikanth, who also won the Arima Sangam Award for Best Actor

Mullum Malarum, a breakthrough for Rajinikanth, became a milestone in Tamil cinema; it focused on visual realism, without excessive melodrama. The film's success inspired remakes in 1979 (Venalil Oru Mazha in Malayalam) and 1985 (Pyari Behna in Hindi), and a Telugu-dubbed version titled Mullu Puvvu.

Kali is a winch operator at a village power plant. Although a reputed troublemaker, he occasionally does good deeds for the local community. Kali and his younger sister Valli—to whom he is devoted—were orphaned during their childhood and have no close family. When a poor wanderer named Manga and her aged mother arrive in the village with no assets and no-one to assist them, Valli helps them set up their home in the village. Although Manga becomes fond of Kali, he is disgusted by her fondness for food.

The power plant's new supervising engineer is Kumaran, an austere but fair boss. His relationship with Kali is difficult, worsening after he sees the latter's negative side in a series of incidents, which included Kali allowing people to ride the winch in violation of the power plant's rules. Kali calls Kumaran "Law Point" because of his strict application of the rules. One day when Kali is on duty, Manga teases him; he abandons the winch and chases her. In his absence, an emergency arises at the plant. An enraged Kumaran suspends Kali from his job the following day for dereliction of duty, ignoring his protests and threats.

Kali becomes drunk and faints in the middle of the road; a lorry runs over his left arm, which is later amputated. He cannot perform his job with one arm, and is fired. Now unemployed, Kali directs his anger and frustration at Kumaran; Manga feels guilty because she is responsible for Kali's plight. At Valli's request, she marries Kali and takes care of him.

Kumaran is attracted to Valli, and asks Kali for permission to marry her. Because he hates his former boss, Kali arranges for Valli to marry Murugesa, a philandering grocer. Although Manga opposes Kali's decision, he stubbornly refuses her plea to allow his sister to marry Kumaran. Manga decides to arrange the marriage without his consent.

On the day Murugesa is supposed to marry Valli at his house, Kali learns that the entire village has left to attend Valli's marriage to Kumaran. He intercepts Valli's group, reminding her that he loves her and how difficult it would be to live without her.

Although everyone else ignores him, Valli runs to him and assures him that she would never abandon him. Kali then tells Kumaran that although he still dislikes his former boss, he and Valli have his permission to marry.   




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