Mullum Malarum (1978)

 ●  Tamil ● 2 hrs 23 mins

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Powerful and poignant, this exquisitely crafted drama revolves around the twists and turns in the life of the short- tempered Kali (Rajnikant), who is a worker at a power station and possessively protects his sister Valli (Shobha). In a clash with the new engineer, Kumaran (Babu), he is fired, gets drunk and loses his hand in an accident. Encouraged by Kali’s wife Manga (Jayalakshmi), Kumaran forms a relationship with Kali’s sister and Kali eventually matures enough to realise he cannot monopolise her for ever.
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Cast: Jaya Lakshmi, Rajinikanth

Crew: J Mahendran (Director), Balu Mahendra (Director of Photography), Ilaiyaraaja (Music Director)

Rating: U (India)

Genres: Drama, Family

Release Dates: 15 Aug 1978 (India)

Tamil Name: முள்ளும் மலரும்

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Did you know? This movie was remade in Hindi under the title Pyari Behna (1985). Read More
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as Manga
as Kali
as Kumaran
as Valli
as Murugesa





Camera and Electrical

Director of Photography


Film Type:
Feature Film
Colour Info:
Frame Rate:
24 fps
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1
Music Director: Ilaiyaraaja
Lyricist: Kannadasan
Playback Singer: KJ Yesudas
Music Director: Ilaiyaraaja
Playback Singer: Jency Anthony
Music Director: Ilaiyaraaja
Lyricist: Gangai Amaran
Playback Singer: SP Balasubramaniam
Music Director: Ilaiyaraaja
Lyricist: Gangai Amaran
Playback Singer: Vani Jayaram
As this movie marks the directorial debut of, J. Mahendran, the cinematographer, Balu Mahendra had significant responsibility, involving himself in all aspects of screenplay, dialogue, camera angles, casting and editing, according to Mahendran's wishes.

This film won the Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Film and the Filmfare Award for Best Tamil Film, and Rajinikanth won the Arima Sangam Award for Best Actor, as well as a special prize for Best Actor at the Tamil Nadu State Film Awards.

This movie was released on 15 August 1978 to a tepid commercial response, but positive critical reviews and favourable word of mouth helped it to become a success. The film was a major breakthrough for Rajinikanth, whose performance as Kali received unanimous praise and is widely considered to be the best performance of his career.

This film turned out to be a landmark Tamil cinema that it focused primarily on the visual medium and realism, without melodrama, fights, duets or excessive dialogue.

The production of this film was deeply troubled; Chettiar was opposed to casting Rajinikanth as the lead protagonist because of his dark skin and tendency to portray villainous characters at the time, but Mahendran refused to direct this movie without Rajinikanth and after a vehement dispute between him and Chettiar ensued, the latter eventually capitulated.

The soundtrack and score of this movie were positively received. Elements of the song 'Raman Aandaalum' were later used in the song 'Thambikku Indha Ooru' composed by Dharan for the 2010 film of the same name, and also in the song 'Machi Open the Bottle', composed by Ilaiyaraaja's son Yuvan Shankar Raja for Mankatha (2011).. A remix of 'Raman Aandaalum', composed by Dhina, is featured in the Magane En Marumagane (2010). In the film Baba (2002), the title character is shown listening to 'Raman Aandaalum' on a radio.

The success of Mullum Malarum spawned a Telugu-dubbed version 'Mullu Puvvu'.

This movie was remade in Malayalam as Venalil Oru Mazha (1979).

This movie was remade in Hindi under the title Pyari Behna (1985).
Movie Connection(s):
Remade as: Pyari Behna (Hindi)
Remade as: Venalil Oru Mazha (Malayalam)