Mudhalvan (1999) Poster


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Read and u'll know how good it is!!!
srininet124 February 2001
You all may find this review to be a little exaggerated but that is exactly the truth. Nothing but the truth. I have to say, till this date, except for a few exceptions like the movies by Shyam Benegal or Satyajit Ray or for that matter, Satya and Khamoshi, Sholay, Angoor and a few others, I haven't seen such a DIFFERENT and THOUGHT PROVOKING, PRAISE INVOKING AND MARVELLOUS movie as Mudhalvan.

It is and will remain an eye-opener for all those in the Indian film industry who have been experimenting with the same love formula umpteen number of times and in effect, producing some of the most sensationally boring love stories of all times (Example: Kaho..Naa Pyar Hai). Hitting us like a bullet, the plot moves swiftly, never leaving any time to think. The story and screenplay, by Shankar himself, deserve mention for being creative, complete and utterly enjoyable to watch.

Shankar deserved an award for making this movie with such style and technique, while also keeping the story and other aspects in mind.

Pros. Award winning direction, dialogues, script, music, background music, cinematography, first-rate performances by Arjun, Manivannan, Raghuvaran and above all, the super climax, and excellent song picturization.

Cons. Manisha, who looks too flabby and old in some scenes
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A film with a sincere message. Rarity in Indian films.
Kalki8 December 1999
The movie has its usual cinematic moments. But, the message comes from the heartfelt anguish. The happenings in the country currently attest to this fact and instead of just pointing out the problems, this attempts to point out some of the solutions as well. Very commendable.
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biznizzman8 July 2006
One of the earlier Shankar thrillers and also one of his better ones. This movie is under-rated on IMDb. The popularity of this movie is reflected by the fact that it forms the basis for Shankar's latest movie, Anniyan, which isn't nearly as good as Mudhalvan. Not only is the movie thought provoking but also sheer fun to experience. Thats how all movies should be and thats what makes Shankar so special. Even though Raghuveran is a familiar face, he plays his role as the villain very convincingly. Manisha was however, pretty pointless and added just for the sake of having a romantic angle in the film. Arjun is the only actor whom Shankar has cast two times and this is without doubt, his best movie and performance ever besides gentleman. Each of Shankar's movies usually has a unique hero or first timer.
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Not as good as Indian but still excellent
wastemyhateonyou27 July 2006
If I had'nt seen this movie before seeing the same director's Indian/Hindustani which had released 3 years earlier, I may not have been so very impressed. While Mudhalvan represents an excellent movie by itself, the director had already produced a movie which was simply much bigger and better, earlier, which thus takes expectations a bit higher.

One of the subjects handled in Mudhalvan, namely caste-based politics and vote banks, is very important. If it were'nt for the running time, I think that the same subject should have been explored further. I also did'nt appreciate Arjun in the movie, reducing the caste nos to 4, instead of eliminating caste based reservation in totality? I guess caste based politics have a hand even in movies. See some vijaykanth movies if you want more on that subject.

This movie is without a shadow of a doubt, Arjun's best performance in his career. While it may not be Shankar's best, it is again without doubt, one of Shankar's better movies and a must watch.
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An awesome movie
karthik-adept20 August 2006
The movie is an excellent movie , one of the best dynamic movies of Shankar. It is the movie which clearly explains how politics should be and what sort of people should come to politics. The way in which Arjun traps raguvaran in the movie will take u to the real thrill. The steps that he takes after getting into the post as a single day CM(which is an entirely new concept.. hats off to Shankar) are really great and makes us think how good it will be if its the reality. Though, Manisha koirala will not play an important role in the movie, her role will be important in songs. Vadivelu's acting and comedy with 'Poda Panni' will make everyone laugh. In total, one of the best movies credited for Direction Skills!!
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Good Intentions, But Executed Haphazardly
ash-3552411 August 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Mudhalvan, directed by the renowned S.Shankar and with a background score composed by A.R. Rahman, would appear to be an awesome movie on paper. After watching it, I can say that Shankar had good intentions to crudely showcase the level of corruption + prejudice present within South Indian cities and communities at the time. However, the movie did not meet my expectations. So, what was good and what derailed this film?


Performances: Arjun performs aptly, displaying the perfect "no- nonsense" attitude when dealing with the issues present at hand and also subtly handling his relationship with Thenmozhi. Raghuvaran is decent as the villain in the movie, delivering his lines with a pinch of harshness and irritation.

Songs/BGM: Songs are hella nice. Kudos to A.R. Rahman for crafting such a nice background score.


Performances: Koirala is wasted. The romance angle is completely unnecessary, as she doesn't really play a super substantial role in the film after her introduction (which is very good btw). Vadivelu is annoying as hell. I don't understand what Shankar was thinking when crafting this character. Everyone else was strictly average.

Screenplay/Story: Solid message, but haphazard screenplay. Too many songs coupled with the "superhero" abilities of Arjun in this film, which takes away some of the realism that Shankar was trying to shoot for. The second half is a drag, as it is basically a useless fight between the corrupt politicians and Arjun. But that's a fairly standard feature in Tamil films, so I can't blame Shankar too much for falling into that trap.

Cinematography/Editing: Action scenes + special effects were generic (to be expected from that time). Some scenes in the beginning went by too fast. As stated earlier, scenes dragged on in the second half. The movie needed to be shot crisper and tighter.

Overall: 5.5/10. Watch it for its message and Arjun's performance.
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Rather average film making renders the (good) message weak.
Warning: Spoilers

A man is challenged to run the state for a day and he takes up the challenge and attempts to fix the mother of all problems (corruption) in just a day. He then becomes the chief minister and tries to run a clean government in spite of hardships. The message is that it IS possible to run a corruption free government.

The message is tainted because of the super human qualities attributed to the hero. He is able to survive a gang attack after his challenge day as the CM. He personally "takes care" of a rowdy gang by fist fighting with them while the cops look over (in awe, should I add). Is there director trying to say that an average man without martial arts knowledge is incapable of running a clean government?

The plot does move swiftly but is punctuated by the pace-breaking song and dance sequences. Tell me how Shusmitha Sen's cameo adds to the message or to the entertainment. It's just a waste of time.

This is a Bond movie with 007 promoted to be the head of state. If you like action movies with grand guignol violence scenes, this is for you. Hey, you can even convince yourself that it's worth your time. This movie is average and instills in the audience that it is possible to provide a good government for the people but you have to be very good at self defense as opposed to be selfless.

The good things are powerful performances by Raghuvaran and Manivannan. The minuses begin with Manisha and Arjun (the poor guy is just acting out his part) and some put-a-bag-over-me type canned embarrassing scenes involving Arjun's mom and dad.

4 out of 10
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Political drama
knsrinu24 May 2005
Every south Indian chills about shankar's film. Though this film seems to be novel work but lacks some basics regarding politics. Always shankar takes lot of attention on photography. He might have studied something about the current political strategies.

Music is by A.R. Rahman. We can't criticize about his talent. Manisha koyirala doesn't suit very well in this film.

The director has to show what really politics is?? Simply showing how one can do crazy things in a single day is ridiculous. Of course every one in the country has a vision to make their country corrupt free.

Only music and photography part of the film is commendable. Rest of the things are crazy and simply ridiculous. Last but not least I am very much impressed by Raghuvaran's action.
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