IMDb > A Peck on the Cheek (2002)
Kannathil Muthamittal
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A Peck on the Cheek (2002) More at IMDbPro »Kannathil Muthamittal (original title)

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Mani Ratnam (screenplay)
Mani Ratnam (story)
View company contact information for A Peck on the Cheek on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
14 February 2002 (India) See more »
A little girl is told by her parents that she is adopted. Determined to find her birth mother, her family eventually agrees to take her to Sri Lanka, where they are abducted by the terrorist group known as the Tamil Tigers. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
19 wins & 1 nomination See more »
(7 articles)
User Reviews:
An entertaining film that also tackles serious issues See more (38 total) »


  (in credits order)

Madhavan ... G. Thiruchelvan
Simran ... Indra
Prakash Raj ... Dr. Herold Vikramsinghe (as Prakashraj)

Nandita Das ... Shyama
J.D. Chakravarthi ... Dhileepan
P.S. Keerthana ... Amudha
Delhi Kumar ... Ganesan
Pasupathy ... LTTE fighter
Bala Singh ... Shyama's father
Master Suraj ... Vinayan
Master Kethan ... Akhilan
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Shefali Chowdhury ... Refugee (uncredited)

Siddharth ... Bus passenger (uncredited)

Directed by
Mani Ratnam 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Mani Ratnam  screenplay
Mani Ratnam  story
Sujatha  dialogue

Produced by
Mani Ratnam .... producer
Fenon J. Rodriguez .... co-executive producer
G. Srinivasan .... producer
Original Music by
A.R. Rahman 
Cinematography by
Ravi K. Chandran 
Film Editing by
A. Sreekar Prasad 
Art Direction by
Sabu Cyril 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Dhinesh Babu .... assistant director
R. Kannan .... assistant director
Latha Menon .... assistant director
U. Milind Rau .... assistant director
Siddharth .... assistant director (as R. Siddharth Narayan)
Sound Department
A.S. Laxmi Narayanan .... audiographer
A.S. Laxmi Narayanan .... sound re-recording mixer
H. Sridhar .... sound mixer (DTS mix)
Visual Effects by
Ramesh Jayaraman .... digital compositor
Kamalakkannan .... digital compositor
Ashok Smith .... senior compositor
Srirengaraj .... digital compositor
Vikram Dharma .... stunt coordinator
Camera and Electrical Department
Steven Desbrow .... camera operator: helicopter (uncredited)
Music Department
A.R. Rahman .... playback singer
Chinmayee Sripada .... playback singer
Chinmayee Sripada .... vocalist
Vairamuthu .... lyricist
M.S. Viswanathan .... playback singer
Other crew
Brinda .... choreographer
Vikram Dharma .... action director

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Kannathil Muthamittal" - India (original title)
See more »
Canada:123 min (Toronto International Film Festival)
Aspect Ratio:
2.20 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
India:U | Switzerland:12 (canton of Geneva) | Switzerland:12 (canton of Vaud)

Did You Know?

The movie is inspired by a Time magazine article about an American couple who took their daughter to Philippines to meet her biological mother.See more »
Kannathil MuthamittaalSee more »


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13 out of 14 people found the following review useful.
An entertaining film that also tackles serious issues, 11 June 2007
Author: Howard Schumann from Vancouver, B.C.

In Sri Lanka, a country divided by religion and language, the civil war between the pro-Sinhalese government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a separatist organization, has claimed an estimated 68,000 lives since 1983. Human rights groups have said that, as a result of the war, more than one million people have been displaced, homeless or living in camps. The impact on children and families caught in the conflict is sensitively dramatized by acclaimed Tamil director Mani Ratnam in his 2002 film A Peck on the Cheek, winner of several awards at the National Film Awards in India. While the civil war is merely a backdrop for the story of a young girl's voyage of discovery, the human cost of war is made quite clear and Ratnam gives the fighting a universal context, pointing the finger at global arms traffickers as the source of wrongdoing.

Beautifully photographed in Southern India by cinematographer Ravi K Chandran in a setting mirroring the terrain of Sri Lanka, the film tells a moving story about an adopted 9-year old girl who sets out to find her real mother in the middle of the fighting in Sri Lanka. Played with deep feeling and expressiveness by P.S. Keerthana in a memorable performance, Amudha is brought up by a loving middle class family with two younger brothers after her natural parents Shyama (Nandita Das) and Dileepan (J.D. Chakravarthi) were forced to flee when the fighting broke out, leaving her in a Red Cross camp. In a loving flashback, we see Amudha's adoptive parents, father Thiru (Madhavan) a prominent Tamil writer, and mother Indra (Simran) a TV personality, marry to facilitate their adoption of the darker-skinned little girl.

Young Amudha has no idea that she is adopted until it is sprung upon her abruptly on her ninth birthday, according to the parents' prior agreement. While she is playing, Thiru tells her almost in a matter of fact tone that "you are not our daughter" and the response is predictable. Distraught, she questions who her father was, what her mother's name was, why she gave her up, and so forth but few answers are forthcoming. Amudha runs away several times until her parents agree to go to Sri Lanka to help her find her true mother, now a fighter for the Tamil separatists. The family's immersion in the reality of the civil war leads to some traumatic moments and difficult decisions, handled mostly with skill by Ratnam, though a sequence where the family was caught in a crossfire felt amateurish.

A Peck on the Cheek is of course a Bollywood-style film and that means tons of music and melodrama. The melodrama did not get in the way because of the strong performances by the lead actors; however, I found the musical dramatizations of songs by A. R. Rahman counter to the mood of the film with their slick, high production techniques and fast-paced music video-style editing. Yet the compelling nature of the story and the honesty in which it is told transcend the film's limitations. Tamil cinema has been criticized by many, even within the country as being too clichéd and commercial, yet A Peck on the Cheek is both a film of entertainment and one that tackles serious issues. That it successfully straddles the line between art and commerce is not a rejection but a tribute.

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for A Peck on the Cheek (2002)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Song Subject Icthus381376
What does Madhavan recite to prove he is Tamil when caught by LTTE? kapilsub
Just Wondering... okjana
Mani Ratnam andrew-osullivan
Is the suicide bomber Dhileepan? mnalgirkar
Songs Subtitled (English)? wontonbaby
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