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Manjummel Boys and Premam – How Malayalam movies with ‘Kanmani Anbodu’ song become massive hits in Tamil Nadu?

Manjummel Boys and Premam, the two Malayalam movies that became massive hits in Tamil Nadu have one thing in common – the iconic ‘Kanmani Anbodu’ song from Kamal Haasan’s Gunaa.

Manjummel Boys and Premam – How Malayalam movies with ‘Kanmani Anbodu’ song become massive hits in Tamil Nadu?
Premam poster, Kamal Haasan in Gunaa, Manjummel Boys poster

Last Updated: 11.43 PM, Mar 02, 2024


Manjummel Boys, the survival drama is now creating wonders at the box office. The Chidambaram directorial is performing extremely well in Tamil Nadu and has already emerged as the highest-grossing Malayalam film in the state. The box office rampage of Manjummel Boys in Tamil Nadu reminded us of the glorious run of Premam, the Nivin Pauly starrer. Interestingly, both the films have one common factor, and it is the iconic ‘Kanmani Anbodu’ song, from Kamal Haasan’s classic film Gunaa.


Manjummel Boys and Premam’s connection with ‘Kanmani Anbodu’ song

The ‘Kanmani Anbodu’ song, which is composed by maestro Ilaiyaraaja and penned by Vaali, is still on the favourites list of Tamil cinema music lovers. The song, which is sung by Kamal Haasan himself along with S Janaki, plays a major role in taking the narrative forward, in Chidambaram’s Manjummel Boys and Alphonse Puthren’s Premam. Both films had the iconic song placed in drastically different contexts. But it is impossible to imagine both the blockbusters without the Gunaa song.

Both Manjummel Boys and Premam impressed the Tamil Nadu audiences in every aspect – from the making to performances and technical aspects. However, the inclusion of Kamal Haasan’s ‘Kanmani Anbodu’ song in the narrative indeed has made a larger impact, as it made the Tamil Nadu audiences connect with the films and their narratives more.

The significance of Gunaa in Manjummel Boys

Interestingly, the Chidambaram directorial which revolves around the concept of friendship, has used Kamal Haasan’s lines in the ‘Kanmani Anbodu’ song to convey the same. The iconic lines by the legend: “Manithar unarndhu kolla ithu manitha kaadhal alla... Athayum thaandi punithamaanathu” (This is not just human love... it is holier than that) is played in the backdrop as Soubin Shahir’s character Kuttettan finally succeeds in his mission and saves his best friend Subash (played by Sreenath Bhasi). Well, isn't it the best way to define friendships of a lifetime?

According to director Chidambaram, it was impossible to make Manjummenl Boys without including the ‘Kanmani Anbodu’ song, as the movie has Gunaa caves as its backdrop. For the unversed, Kamal Haasan and his team shot the major portions of Gunaa in this cave of Kodaikanal, and it was eventually named after the iconic film. Both the classic film and the 'Kanmani Anbodu' song are indeed the two important factors that made the movie a wholesome theatrical experience.

‘Kanmani Anbodu’ song in Premam

When it comes to Premam which hit the theatres in 2015, the movie revolves around the three different stages in the life of its protagonist George, played by Nivin Pauly. The Alphonse Puthren directorial majorly focused on the three romances of George’s life. But it is the love story of the protagonist and his lecturer Malar (played by Sai Pallavi), who hails from Tamil Nadu, that won the hearts of audiences.

The ‘Kanmani Anbodu’ song, which initially appears on a television screen in Premam, eventually sets the backdrop for the George-Malar romance. In some of the best scenes in the film, the friends are seen teasing the protagonist as he falls in love with his teacher, by jamming to Kamal Haasan’s iconic number. When George and Malar's romance meets a tragic end, the audiences are instantly reminded of Gunaa's heartbreaking climax.