Abhay (2001)

 ●  Hindi ● 2 hrs 57 mins

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A psychopath tries to protect his twin brother from a lady he visualizes as his evil stepmother, and eventually ends up fighting with him.
See Storyline (May Contain Spoilers)

Cast: Kamal Haasan, Manisha Koirala, Raveena Tandon

Crew: Suresh Krissna (Director), S Tirru (Director of Photography), Ehsaan Noorani (Music Director), Loy Mendonsa (Music Director), Shankar Mahadevan (Music Director)

Rating: A (India)

Genres: Action

Release Dates: 14 Nov 2001 (India)

Tagline: I don't write poems, I speak them.

Hindi Name: अभय

Movie Rating
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Music Rating
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Did you know? The soundtrack, composed by music trio Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, created a record by selling over 2,00,000 copies in less than eight hours of its release. Read More
Abhay Review : An excellent film from the time when such films weren't made at all!

Kamal Haasan is a master actor. You get the evidence from his 2001 Hindi Action film ABHAY. This film was made and released at a time when such films weren't made at all. Neither did people like them too much as they kept sticking only to romantic films. But this film shows that Indian cinema doesn't always mean the same kind of films with boring and romantic scripts. ABHAY raises the bar of Indian Cinema and extends it at par with the cinema of the world.

ABHAY is entirely a Kamal Haasan show. He once again dominates the entire film with his striking presence. Since it is evident from the posters and trailers that he plays two roles, it needs to be put forward that Kamal Haasan gives a stellar performance as the titular psychopath character Abhay. He rather deserved a national award for this, but he didn't. But the film won a national award of course, for its world class, top notch visual effects.

The other cast including Raveena Tandon, Manisha Koirala etc is good in the respective parts. In this story, all other characters except the two played by Kamal are almost pawns in this game. But that's not a negative point. It's a plus point rather.

The story and screenplay of ABHAY are both something about which I can talk about till many hours. The visual effects are completely out of the box and tremendously excellent, for these kind of visual effects didn't reach India at that time. Even today, these visuals outnumber a lot of present day movies. The fight sequences, as it's an action film, are choreographed and executed very well, especially the climax fight. The film also uses animation technology and those scenes are just outstanding.

The editing, however, seems a little tacky and could have been paid more attention to. Several sequences extend and drag a bit, in the first half. Also, the length of the film goes a little beyond the usual one, i.e, 3 hours. But one can't deny that ABHAY is an adaptation of Kamal Haasan's own "novel" Dayam, therefore this negative point can be crossed because cutting down a novel to 3 hours is something that can be well understood.

The music isn't very good, with only songs like "Dekho Abhay" and "Kal Tak Mujhko Gaurav Tha" leaving an impact, both on stereo and video. However, the other songs look good with the visuals only rather than simply listening them on stereo.

But still, ABHAY emerges as a huge victory, and rather a grand triumph: not just for Kamal Haasan, but also for the Indian Cinema.

If you really want Indian Cinema to change and if you are also looking for the films that changed it, watch ABHAY. You'll yourself believe it.

as Major Vijaykumar/Abhay
as Sharmilee
as Tejaswini
as Nandakumar's Mother
as Nandakumar's Step Mother
Supporting Actor
as Lt Col Santosh Kumar
as Tejaswini's Father
as Sulthan
as Dr Srinivasa Rao
as Tejaswini's Mother




Production Company




Screenplay Writer

Camera and Electrical

Director of Photography


Sound Designer


Art Director

Costume and Wardrobe

Costume Designer


Film Type:
Spoken Languages:
Colour Info:
Frame Rate:
24 fps
Aspect Ratio:
Music Label: Universal Music India
Lyricist: Javed Akhtar
Playback Singer: Nandini Srikar
I don't write poems, I speak them.
When Abhay slits the stomach of Sharmilee in animation sequence, some blood can be seen on her stomach. But when she jumps over Abhay, the blood disappears.
The title of the film is revealed only in Hindi and not in English

Abhay received the national award for best visual effects.

The soundtrack, composed by music trio Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, created a record by selling over 2,00,000 copies in less than eight hours of its release.

Finally, Manisha Koirala was chosen to play the cameo while, after long time Raveena agreed to play the lead female role, thus marking her comeback to Tamil cinema.

When the movie was first announced with Kamal Haasan and Simran in lead roles with Bollywood actress Rani Mukherji in a special appearance. But later Simran and Rani decided to leave the project due to the delay in its launch.

The film featured Kamal Haasan in two distinct roles, for one of which he had his head shaved bald and gained ten kilograms. To play the other army major in the film, he went to the NDA for a crash course.

This film was distributed by reputed Shringar Films.

Actor Jayam Ravi worked as an assistant director for this film.

After "Indrudu Chandrudu", this movie marks Suresh Krishna's third collaboration with Kamal.

This was Thanu's first production with Kamal Haasan, incidentally Thanu played a small role in Kamal's production "Magalir Mattum". Dhanu decided to produce a film for Kamal Haasan, but he rejected the storylines of "Pammal K Sambandham" and "Nala Damayanthi", eventually accepting to produce the story based on Kamal's novel "Daayam".

A stunt group called Grand Bedge who worked in Hollywood film "Its a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, World" was assigned to compose stunt sequences in Kashmir. Another fight sequence was shot in Delhi for 15 days using 39 cars with 3 cameras.

A state of the art machine called Airramp was brought from abroad for jumping scenes, it was the first Indian film to use Motion Control Camera and Edit cutprow.

The film is an adaptation of the novel "Dayam" that was written by Kamal Haasan in 1984.

Quentin Tarantino in his conversation with Indian director Anurag Kashyap admitted that that the celebrated manga animation-action sequence in Kill Bill: Vol. 1 was inspired from 2001 Hindi-Tamil film, Aalavandhan starring Kamal Hassan. Tarantino was quoted saying 'Yes, saw this Indian serial-killer film which showed violence as animated'.

This film originally featured a nude scene by Kamal Hassan, but this was not permitted by the Indian censor board (CBFC). So, it was deleted from the final print.
Movie Connection(s):
Bilingual of: Aalavandaan (Tamil)
Referenced in: Tere Naam (Hindi)