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The Duo (1997)

Iruvar (original title)
Mani Rathnam's take on the real-life rivalry between M.G. Ramachandran and Karunanidhi.



(screenplay), (story) | 2 more credits »
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Cast overview:
Anand (Anandan)
Tamil Selvam (Tamilzhchelvan) (as Prakashraj)
Kalpana / Pushpa (as Aishwarya Rai)
Selvam's lover
Selvam's wife
Anna Durai (the party leader) (as Nasser)
Special Appearance (Song "Narumugaiye") (as Madhubala)
Ravi ...
Ramani's manager
Rajesh ...
Party functionary
Anandan's helper
Sunder Rajan ...
Police Commissioner


A struggling actor Anandam (Mohanlal) is befriended by up and coming grassroots leader and scriptwriter Tamilchelvam (Prakashraj). As Anandam grows in popularity, he becomes an important tool for the Tamilchelvam and his party in wooing the public. After the death of the party leader Annadurai (Nasser), both protagonists find themselves in candidacy for the top spot, the schism is inevitable. Written by Joyojeet Pal

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Biography | Drama


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Release Date:

14 January 1997 (India)  »

Also Known As:

Iddaru  »

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Did You Know?


The film was showcased in The Masters section at the 1997 Toronto International Film Festival. The film won the Best Film award at the Belgrade International Film Festival. See more »


Aayirathil Naan Oruvan
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User Reviews

A film that will stand the test of time
17 January 2003 | by (Dubai) – See all my reviews

Mani Rathnam has told a fine story about two friends. One who is a film actor whom the people love dearly and harbours political ambitions. One who is an accomplished writer, poet and politician. sounds familiar?

Anand is played by Malayalee actor Mohan Lal and Tamil Selvam's role by the very talented Prakashraj.

One cannot miss the resemblance to the real lives of M.G. Ramachnadran and Karunanithi. However very little is revealed of Pushpa who plays the love interest of Anand. Perhaps Manirathnam was playing his cards carefully, avoiding possible repercussions from Ms Jayalalith, who was the real life mistress of MGR.

There is also some fine acting by Naser who portrays the real life Tamil leader, Anna Durai. Indian cinema has few directors who can make a film that will stand the test of time. Manirathnam is one of them. The story for this film has been well researched and planned. Most Indian films skip these vital steps prior to production. Some may complain about the typical indianess of the film with the usual song and dance sequences in a good film like this. But do bear in mind that the intellectual crowd who sees the usual song and dance as a distraction is a minority. Majority of our desi brothers go to see Aishwarya Rai shaking about. And a movie can make money only by pleasing the Lowest common Factor of the society: The typical desi. Unless Mani Rathnam entertains them we won't have the opportunity to see more movies from this fine director.

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