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Mahanadhi (1994)

An innocent man is framed in a financial scam and imprisoned. After his release, he learns that his daughter was sold into prostitution and he struggles to free her.


Santhana Bharathi


Kamal Haasan (dialogue), Kamal Haasan (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Trending Tamil Movies #24 | 2 wins. See more awards »




Credited cast:
Kamal Haasan ... Krishna
Sukanya ... Yamuna
Poornam Vishwanathan Poornam Vishwanathan ... Panjapakesan Iyer (Krishna's Cellmate)
Mahanadhi Shobana Mahanadhi Shobana ... Kaveri (Krishna's Daughter)
Cochin Hanifa ... Dhanush (as V.M.C. Hanifa)
Sennalkudi Lakshmi Sennalkudi Lakshmi ... Krishna's Mother-in-Law (as S.N. Lakshmi)
Tulasi Tulasi ... Manju
Mahanadhi Shankar Mahanadhi Shankar ... Dulcana
Rajesh Rajesh ... Muthusamy
Thalaivasal Vijay ... Mannangkatti
Sangeetha Sangeetha ... Older Kaveri Krishnaswamy
Mohan Ram Mohan Ram
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Mohan Natarajan Mohan Natarajan ... Venkatachalam

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Krishna (Kamal Haasan) is a rich widower living in a rural village Tirunageswaram with his mother-in-law and children. He accidentally meets Dhanush (Hanifa) a businessman from the city who invites him to invest in his business to quickly multiply his earnings. Krishna aspires for an urban lifestyle and sells his property in the village and entrusts all the money to Dhanush, who is actually a broker of a bigger businessman in the city. Krishna is soon cheated by Dhanush and lands in jail for defrauding the public who invested in his company. Krishna meets fellow prisoner Panchapakesan, whose daughter Yamuna (Sukanya) turns out to be his prospective bride. Krishna suffers in jail while his children are separated. Dhanush sells the daughter Kaveri to a brothel in Calcutta while the son Bharani joins a band of street performers. Back after a three-year jail term, Krishna traces his children, finds Dhanush, kills him and his boss.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Crime | Drama


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Did You Know?


Mahanadhi has often been cited as one of the saddest and most depressing films from Tamil cinema. See more »


Panjapakesan Iyer (Krishna's Cellmate): Krishna to not worry about the state of affairs in the world, since there is a God above who knows exactly how to deal with criminals and wrongdoers.
Krishna: Could you please keep quiet, Sir? Both God and the Law are silently looking at what is happening to me.
[Neenga konjam summa irunga Sir! Nindru kolra deivamum summa irukku; andru kollum sattamum summa irukku]
See more »

User Reviews

Not for emotionally weak
25 July 2020 | by harineem-209-525488See all my reviews

I would not recommend this movie if you are emotionally fragile and get disturbed easily. This movie will shatter you to pieces in some scenes. I am not a KamalHassan fan but this is a performance which even Gods would come down to watch. Playing a middle class father having his life ripped apart by greedy men this is his best performance ever and maybe his best movie. I will never watch this movie again because I cant handle the intensity of some scenes where you will just breakdown in tears. A fantastic movie which should have easily won the Oscars or any international award.

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Release Date:

14 January 1994 (India) See more »

Also Known As:

Maha Nadhi See more »


Box Office


INR25,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Sri Amman Creations See more »
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Technical Specs



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