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Punnagai Mannan (1986)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 1 November 1986 (India)
After a failed suicide attempt that ultimately leaves his lover dead, a dancer changes his life.


K. Balachander


K. Balachander (story, screenplay, dialogue)




Credited cast:
Kamal Haasan ... Chaplin Chellappa
Revathi ... Malini (as Revathy)
Rekha ... Ranjini (as Rekha)
Srividya ... Padmini
Delhi Ganesh
Vijaya Chandrika
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
K.S. Jayalaxmi K.S. Jayalaxmi ... Mother of Malini
R.N. Sudarshan R.N. Sudarshan ... Father of Ranjani
Sundar Krishna Urs Sundar Krishna Urs ... Father of Malini

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After a failed suicide attempt that ultimately leaves his lover dead, a dancer changes his life.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


This movie was one of the first to showcase chalakudi water falls that was not famous at the time of the shooting of this movie. KB while scouting for locations in Kerala saw a small board indicating that there is a falls and went in search of it. After the movie, the falls became famous as punnagai Mannan falls and became a tourist spot in its own right. The rocks with engravings used in the movie are still visible. During the shoot, there were heavy rains and the shooting crew used to wait for the rains to take a break and then rushed to the spot to capture the scenes. See more »


Referenced in Master (2021) See more »


Theme Music
Produced by: Ilaiyaraaja
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User Reviews

A tragic but a close-to-heart love story.
19 April 2010 | by gowtu-gowtuSee all my reviews

Punnagai mannan is an unimmitable love story, written and directed by K. Balachander, one of the greatest directors in Indian cinema. This story begins with the suicidal attempt of Sethu and Ranjani, in which Sethu is 'unfortunately' not dead. After a year in prison for the offense of attempting suicide, Sethu comes back and tries to lead a new life, but still in the memories of Ranjani. Meanwhile he meets Revathy, and saves her from attempting suicide and explains the stupidity of committing suicide as an experienced customer. This makes Revathy to fall in love with Sethu. The movie then moves on as a template love story except for the humor provided by Chaplin Chellappa. Chellapa is Sethu's uncle, also played by Kamal haasan. The movie then ends with a tragic note, unlike all the feel-good love stories of classic tamil cinema. The film has got exceptional music and background score by Maestro Illayaraja. The music for which kamal and revathy provide an outstanding dance performance was played by academy award winner, A.R.Rahman, when he was a keyboardist in Illayaraja's troop. This musical piece, though was not Rahman's own composition, was the first to be a part in a movie, originating from A.R.R's keyboard. This movie is backed by K.Balachander's excellent screenplay, and outstanding performances by all the people who've actually lived rather than acted in the movie. The movie also won Kamal haasan's third national award and proved the excellence of the living legend, yet again. This movie is surely a milestone in history of romance in tamil cinema.

Outstanding scenes in the movie: The first day of Sethu as a dance tutor and he counts 1....2.....3....

All the dance sequences.

And obviously, the unforgettable climax....!!

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Tamil | Hindi

Release Date:

1 November 1986 (India) See more »

Also Known As:

Cha Cha Charlee See more »


Box Office


INR100,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs



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