Tenali (2000)

 ●  Tamil ● 2 hrs 44 mins

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Thenali (Kamal) is a traumatized Sri Lankan Tamil, who is beset by a variety of elaborate phobias. A psychiatrist Panchabutam (Delhi Ganesh), convinced that Thenali would be in possible to treat, refers him to rival shrink Kailash (Jayaram). The doctor takes an instant dislike to his new patient, while his wife (Devyani) and sister (Jyothika) take more of a liking to him than Kailash would like. Will the doctor succeed in curing his ailments and mould him into a better-adjusted human being?
See Storyline (May Contain Spoilers)

Cast: Jyothika Sadanah, Kamal Haasan

Crew: KS Ravikumar (Director), Priyan (Director of Photography), AR Rahman (Music Director)

Rating: U (India)

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romantic Comedy

Release Dates: 26 Oct 2000 (India)

Tamil Name: தெனாலி

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Did you know? Due to the rift between Rahman and Vairamuthu the lyricist has been replaced by newcomers. Read More
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as Janaki
as Tenali Soman
Special Appearance
Special Appearance
as Kamakshi
as Kanthaswamy
as Dr Panchabhootam
as Dr Kailash
Supporting Actor
Supporting Actor




Production Company
Production Manager


Screenplay Writer
Story Writer
Dialogue Writer

Camera and Electrical

Director of Photography


Art Director



Stunt Coordinator

Visual Effects

Visual Effects Supervisor
Film Type:
Feature Film
Spoken Languages:
Colour Info:
Frame Rate:
24 fps
Aspect Ratio:
Music Director: AR Rahman
Music Director: AR Rahman
Lyricist: Arivumathi
Music Director: AR Rahman
Lyricist: Arivumathi
Music Director: AR Rahman
Lyricist: Thamarai
Playback Singer: Kamal Haasan, KS Chithra
Music Director: AR Rahman
Lyricist: Piraisoodan
Playback Singer: Srinivas, Gopika Poornima
Music Director: AR Rahman
Lyricist: Derek Peterson
Music Director: AR Rahman
Lyricist: Mauro Ranallo
"Thenali" completed 175-day runs across halls in South India. A success meet was also held with Rajinikanth again attending the function, where Ravikumar revealed that it was the actor who picked the title, "Thenali".

It went on to win three Tamil Nadu State Film Awards with Thamarai picking up the Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Lyricist and Krishnamurthy won the Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Art Director in the technical award categories. Jayaram received a Tamil Nadu State Film Award Special Prize for his role in the film.

The film was dubbed into the Telugu language as "Tenali" under the production of singer, SP Balasubrahmanyam and won good reviews.

A Hindi language remake with Shahrukh Khan in the role played by Jayaram was discussed, but the project failed to materialize.

Due to the rift between Rahman and Vairamuthu the lyricist has been replaced by newcomers.

The song "Swasame Swasame" from the soundtrack, was re-used in the final scene of the Hollywood film "The Accidental Husband".

The album also featured the song "Injerungo", which became the first noted song of lyricist Thamarai, who used Jaffna slang within the song.

The soundtrack of the film was composed by AR Rahman, with lyrics written predominantly by newcomers.

The story of the film was inspired by the 1991 Hollywood movie "What About Bob?", directed by Frank Oz.

Vivek rejected the film as he felt that he didn't get the best lines.

Mohanlal was the initial choice to play Kailash and actress Simran was the original choice for the role of Janaki, but Jayaram and Jyothika later took the roles.

Actress Meena was signed on by the producers to appear in a guest role.

The film was launched at the Kalaivanar Arangam in Chennai on March 22, 2000 with Y Gee Mahendra as compere and with Rajinikanth as chief guest.

Kamal Haasan played a Sri Lankan Tamil in the film and to get the accent right, he took lessons from prominent television host, Abdul Hameed.

Scenes from this movie were shot predominantly in Ooty, while some song sequences were shot in New Zealand.
Movie Connection(s):
Dubbed into: Tenaali (Telugu)
Dubbed into: Shree Yogi Yatiraj Vasudevanand Saraswati (Marathi)