MGR Titles

Sri MGR Year 93, 13th May, Thursday


Below is the article that was published in News of India Glitz website.


Kamal, Vijay, Others and MGR titles

IndiaGlitz [Saturday, May 08, 2010]


Ilaya Thalapathi’s next film is titled ‘Kaavalkaran’. The title may match the one liner story which is about shielding the heiress to a wealthy empire from villainous forces. Even the original version of this Vijay film in Malayalam was titled ‘Bodyguard’ which also means ‘Kaavalkaran’. But Vijay still maintains this title is not final.


Now we hear the famed ‘Mannathi Mannan’ title is being used for the Tamil dubbed version of the Telugu film ‘Mahadheera’. And again Tamil dubbed Malayalam movie this year has taken the 1975 super hit ‘Ninaithadhai Mudippavan’ only by adding prefix Naan to escape criticism.


If you look at the craze for using the titles of old films and remixing classic hits you will be surprised. Of that re-using craze it is MGR who suffers most. Most of the re-used titles and re-mixed songs are from his films. The most successful star ever in Tamil cinema is more than beneficial to our film makers even after 33 years he left the movies and 23 years after he died.


Perhaps the first one to start this trend was Kamal Haasan. His 1995 comedy film ‘Sathi Leelavathi’ is the title of the film which introduced MGR to cinema in 1936. In 1997 Parthiban starred in ‘Abhimanyu’ which was a MGR film in 1948. In 1985 the title ‘Naam’ was repeated for a film which was sold on the star power of Sujatha. In 1953 MGR starred in ‘Naam’ which is one of the most powerful films depicting the life of physical labouring.


If these film titles could be pardoned because they are films in which MGR played small roles except for ‘Naam’. But even the most successful film titles of MGR are in the most wanted list today. Kamal Haasan announced a film ‘Marmayogi’ which was one of the super hits of MGR in 1951. Though the film, called the new version of ‘Marudhanayagam’, has not progressed it is still not dropped.




In 2007 the title of one the most successful films of MGR released in 1956 `Madurai Veeran’ was reused for a `Jithan’ Ramesh film directed by R K Vincent Selva. In 1998 a Parthiban starrer had the title of the 1957 hit ‘Pudhumaipithan’. Both the new films are untraceable today.


The ever green 1966 classic ‘Anbe Vaa’ was used by a film starring new comer Thendral and Sridevika in 2005. The 1972 hit ‘Raman Thediya Seedhai’ is a film by Cheran in 2009. Malayalam director Vinayan dished out a ‘Naalai Namathey’ in 2009 starring Ashish Vidyarthi, Karthika and Manivannan. No body remembers when this film was released. Another director Lakshmikanth tried to cash on the craze for MGR by titling his film ‘Netru Indru Naalai’ with Ravikrishna-Akshara in the lead.


It’s not just the new comers who like to use the evergreen popularity of MGR. Even established top line actors try to break in by associating with a MGR title.  First on the list is Sarath Kumar. His films Naadodi Mannan, Ragasiya Police (115) and Nam Nadu are all taken from MGR classics. Of these nothing is memorable except the song Mayil Thogai Azhaithal from ‘Ragasiya Police’. Sarath Kumar is a passionate fan of MGR but his titles did not help him.


Selvaraghavan’s much anticipated part period film used a evergreen super hit title of MGR. The Karthi starring ‘Aayirathil Oruvan’ which released this Pongal was a non-shaker. The original was an eternal block buster.


Following Sarath Kumar in this act is Ilaya Thalapathi Vijay. Of late Vijay seems to be particular to have his films titled with a MGR title.


When Vijay announced ‘Vettaikkaran’ many had their apprehensions. They were right when the film didn’t do that well when it released early this year. Reports even said the just released ‘Sura’ was initially titled ‘Meenava Nanban’. Presently Vijay is doing ‘Kaavalkaran’. Buzz is also there claiming Vijay has blocked many more MGR titles like Urimaikural, Meenava Nanban and Engal Thangam for future use. Meanwhile Sunder C. was planning to remake ‘Ulagam Sutrum Vaaliban’ with the same title.




If the original Tamil film makers carefully choose a MGR title to make the best if it, dubbed films use the without any uneasiness or wavering. With a ‘Baap ka maal’ emotion. The 1997 Telugu film ‘Osey Ramulamma’ starring Vijayashanthi, Krishna and Ramkee was dubbed into Tamil as ‘Adimai Penn’. Now the Malayalam hit ‘Robinhood’ starring Prithviraj and Bhavana is cleverly dubbed in Tamil as ‘Naan Ninaithathai Mudippavan’. There are Hollywood dubbed films too use the titles.


But a MGR title for another actor’s film doesn’t guarantee success. Even a passive observation reveals almost all the films which used a MGR title had a poor to very poor run at the box office. Are MGR films as unique as him? Of course yes. That’s why when Kamala Theatre in Chennai screened ‘Adimai Penn’ for a week last year– almost 41 years after it first released – 21 shows ran full house, overshadowing new releases during the time.


End of Article.


When we look into MGR title used by other movie stars we can easily say that out of the movies given here 99% of the movie was average it did not equaled or surpassed the craze, collection and fame of original movie. What we understand is that (already written by the author) that is MGR IS UNIQUE SO HIS MOVIE NAME. The pain MGR took during filming and care in technical side, even though MGR movies did not have today’s technical advancement that made the difference standing apart from the crowd.

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