Kamaraj (film)

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Kamaraj Official DVD Cover.jpg
DVD cover
Directed byA. Balakrishnan
Produced byRamana Communications
Written byChembur Jayaraj, J. Francis Krupa
StarringRichard Madhuram
Sambathraj Sumant
Music by Ilayaraja
CinematographyM. M. Rengasamy
Edited by V. T. Vijayan
Release date
  • 13 February 2004 (2004-02-13)
Running time
121 minutes
Country India

Kamaraj (Tamil : காமராஜ்) (A film on the kingmaker) is a 2004 Tamil biographical film directed by Balakrishnan made about the life of the Indian politician K. Kamaraj from Tamil Nadu, widely acknowledged as the "Kingmaker" in Indian politics during the 1960s. He was the chief minister of Tamil Nadu during 1954-1963 and a Member of Parliament during 1952-1954 and 1969-1975.

Tamil language language

Tamil is a Dravidian language predominantly spoken by the Tamil people of India and Sri Lanka, and by the Tamil diaspora, Sri Lankan Moors, Douglas, and Chindians. Tamil is an official language of two countries: Sri Lanka and Singapore and official language of the Indian state Tamil Nadu. It has official status in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and the Indian Union Territory of Puducherry. It is used as one of the languages of education in Malaysia, along with English, Malay and Mandarin. Tamil is spoken by significant minorities in the four other South Indian states of Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and the Union Territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. It is one of the 22 scheduled languages of India.

Biographical film film genre; dramatizes the life of an actual person or people

A biographical film, or biopic, is a film that dramatizes the life of a non-fictional or historically-based person or people. Such films show the life of a historical person and the central character's real name is used. They differ from films "based on a true story" or "historical drama films" in that they attempt to comprehensively tell a single person's life story or at least the most historically important years of their lives.

K. Kamaraj Indian politician

Kumaraswami Kamaraj, was a leader of the INC, widely acknowledged as the "Kingmaker" in Indian politics during the 1960s. He served as INC president for two terms i.e. four years between 1964–1967 and was responsible for the elevation of Lal Bahadur Shastri to the position of Prime Minister of India after Nehru's death and Indira Gandhi after Shastri's death. Kamaraj was the 3rd Chief Minister of Madras State during 1954–1963 and a Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha during 1952–1954 and 1969–1975. He was known for his simplicity and integrity. He played a major role in developing the infrastructure of the Madras state and worked to improve the quality of life of the needy and the disadvantaged.


Music was composed by Ilaiyaraaja and the film was produced by Ramana Communications. The film had a theatrical release across India in February 2004.

Ilaiyaraaja Indian film singer and composer

Ilaiyaraaja is an Indian film composer, singer, songwriter, instrumentalist, orchestrator, conductor-arranger and lyricist who works in the Indian Film Industry, predominantly in Tamil. Widely regarded as one of the greatest Indian music composers, he is credited for introducing western musical sensibilities in the Indian musical mainstream. Reputed to be the world's most prolific composer, he has composed over 7000 songs, provided film scores for more than 1000 movies and performed in more than 20,000 concerts. Being the first Asian to compose a full symphony with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London, Ilaiyaraaja is known to have written the entire symphony in just 13 days which has never been done before in the world. He is also a gold medalist in classical guitar from Trinity College of Music, London, Distance Learning Channel. According to Achille Forler, board member of the Indian Performing Right Society, the kind of stellar body of work that Ilaiyaraaja has created in the last 40 years should have placed him among the world's Top 10 richest composers, somewhere between Andrew Lloyd Webber and Mick Jagger.


The narration is divided into three phases. The pre-Independence period, depicting Kamaraj's childhood, the influence of Satyamurthy, Kamaraj's growth as a politician and his prison life.

The second phase depicts his taking over as the Congress Chief Minister of the state, the reforms he tries to bring in, especially in education, his largesse and his bending the rules for a good cause-like for the urgent eye-operation of a kid. It also displayed his sense of humour (like his response when his mother in the village sends word that she needed a fan and a blanket), his refusal to take advantage of his position (asking for the newly installed tap to be removed from his village-house).

The third phase where he puts forth the Kamaraj Plan, resigns from the post of CM, involves himself in party work; his influence on national politics, his emergence as a kingmaker and finally his disillusionment with the emerging non-ethics in political life.

The closing scene (taken from the record files of the actual funeral), show swarms of humanity mourning the death of their beloved leader.


J. Mahendran Indian film director

J. Alexander, known professionally as Mahendran, was an Indian film director, screenwriter and actor, known for his work in the Tamil film industry. Mahendran is regarded as one of the greatest film makers of Tamil cinema and has influenced several filmmakers of the generations followed.

K. Rajaram was an Indian politician of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and later, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (ADMK) and Member of the Legislative Assembly of Tamil Nadu. He served as the Speaker of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly from 1980 to 1985.

V. S. Raghavan actor

V S Raghavan was a Tamil actor, who has acted both in Tamil films as well as television, had started his career as a dramatist and stage actor and went on to act as a character actor in films, starting with Vairamali (1954) and over 1000 films in all. He has also acted in numerous television series. He died on 24 January 2015.


Balakrishnan had previously made a television serial on K. Kamaraj and wanted to make a feature-length film on the politician. Richard Madhuram, a retired duty manager (Indian Airlines), was selected for the film after Charuhasan had spotted him and recommended him to the director as a lookalike of the political leader in 1995. [1] After pre-production, the film was launched on 23 August 2002 with several politicians in attendance at the launch event. [2] M. S. Bhaskar has lent his voice for Richard Madhuram in the film. [1] The film was shot in 20 days on a budget of Rs 50 lakh. [1]

Charuhasan is an Indian film and television actor, director and retired lawyer who has acted in Tamil, Kannada, Telugu, Malayalam and Hindi films. He won the National Film Award for Best Actor and also the Karnataka Government's Best Actor Award for the Kannada movie Tabarana Kathe, directed by Girish Kasaravalli in 1987. Charuhasan is the elder brother of veteran film actor Kamal Haasan.

M. S. Bhaskar Indian actor

Muthupettai Somu Devar Bhaskar is an Indian actor. Before entering to film, he was a theatre artiste, he made his film debut in 1987 in a small role in the film Thirumathi Oru Vegumathi. This was followed by several films in the 90's, in which he appeared in very minor or small roles. He has appeared in supporting roles in Tamil films and as a comedian in Tamil TV series. After he got film breakthrough in Engal Anna (2004). Then he is regular cast and widely recognised supporting and comedy actor in Tamil cinema.


The film gained positive reviews prior to release, with a critic from Sify.com noting that it was a "class act" and that "Balakrishnan has been faithful to the subject and has come out with a mature form of cinema." [3] [4] The film was released across Tamil Nadu in February 2004, but took a low key opening at the box office. A year after release, the makers chose to dub the film into English and release it in 2007 as Kingmaker in attempt to increase financial gains from the project. [5]

In 2013, Balakrishnan revealed that the film would have a re-release with fifteen extra scenes edited into the film. Richard Madhuram's death in 2005 meant that his son Pradeep Madhuram essayed scenes which needed the protagonist while Vijayakumar was featured as Periyar. Scenes were later digitalised and extra portions featuring actor Samuthirakani were filmed in June 2014. [6] [7] The updated version of the film was re-released in July 2015.

Vijayakumar (actor) Tamil actor and politician

Vijayakumar is an Indian Tamil actor and politician. He has started his filmy career in 1961 from the movie Sri Valli as a child Actor. He became popular in the seventies. He has started playing a lead role from the movie Aval Oru Thodar Kathai (1974) then he worked in Madhurageetham (1977) and Azhage Unnai Aarathikkiren (1979). He has acted in a few Hindi, Malayalam and Telugu movies. He also works in television serials like Thangam, Vamsam, Talambralu and Nandini. Popular films of Vijayakumar are Agni Natchathiram (1988), Kizhakku Cheemayile (1993) and Anthimanthaarai (1996). He has worked in more than 400 films in Tamil and Telugu Cinema. He has performed roles of lead role, negative role, supporting role and villain in various movies.

Samuthirakani Indian film director

P. Samuthirakani is an Indian film actor and director who predominantly works in the Tamil film industry besides appearing in a number of Malayalam films. He worked as an assistant to director K Balachander. His 2009 directorial Naadodigal was a runaway hit, which was later remade in three languages. He has acted in several films as well and is best known for his performances in Subramaniapuram, Easan, Saattai and Oppam. He won the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actor in 2016 for Visaranai.


The film featured five songs composed by Ilaiyaraaja. [8] Song lyrics by Mahakavi Subramania Bharati, Vaali, Ilaiyaraaja.

See also

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The second legislative assembly election for the Madras Presidency after the establishment of a bicameral legislature by the Government of India Act of 1935 was held in 1946. The election was held after 6 years of Governor's rule starting from 1939, when the Indian National Congress government of C. Rajagopalachari resigned protesting Indian involvement in World War II. This was the last election held in the presidency - after Indian independence in 1947, the presidency became the Madras state. The election was held simultaneously with that of the Legislative Council. The Congress swept the polls by winning 163 out of 215 seats. The years after this election saw factionalism in Madras Congress party with divisions across regional and communal lines. Competition among T. Prakasam, C. Rajagopalachari and K. Kamaraj resulted in the election of Prakasam as the Chief Minister initially. But he was later defeated by Omandur Ramaswamy Reddiar with Kamaraj's support. In turn, Reddiar himself was ousted to make way for P. S. Kumaraswamy Raja with the support of Kamaraj.

The second legislative council election for the Madras Presidency after the establishment of a bicameral legislature by the Government of India Act of 1935 was held in March 1946. The election was held after 6 years of Governor's rule starting from 1939, when the Indian National Congress government of C. Rajagopalachari resigned protesting Indian involvement in World War II. This was the last direct election held for the Madras Legislative Council in the presidency - after Indian independence in 1947, the presidency became the Madras state and direct elections to the council were abolished. The election was held simultaneously with that of the Legislative Assembly. The Congress swept the polls by winning 32 out of 46 seats. The years after this election saw factionalism in Madras Congress party with divisions across regional and communal lines. Competition among T. Prakasam, C. Rajagopalachari and K. Kamaraj resulted in the election of Prakasam as the Chief Minister initially. But he was later defeated by Omandur Ramaswamy Reddiar with Kamaraj's support. In turn, Reddiar himself was ousted to make way for P. S. Kumaraswamy Raja with the support of Kamaraj.

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Vilai is a 2010 Tamil drama film directed by G. Kamaraj. The film features Saravanan, Bharani, Udhayathara and newcomer Ritu Soni in lead roles, with Fathima, Charmila, Shathiga, Krishnamoorthy, Gemini Balaji, Rajasanthuru and Devaraj playing supporting roles. The film, produced by M. Sathia and S. Babu, had musical score by D. Imman and was released on 27 August 2010.


  1. 1 2 3 "Kamaraj". Chennai Online. 11 June 2004. Archived from the original on |archive-url= requires |archive-date= (help). Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  2. "A great biography on celluloid". p. 02. Retrieved 27 June 2016 via The Hindu (old).
  3. Oppili, By P. (3 September 2004). "Call for entertainment tax waiver". p. 06. Retrieved 27 June 2016 via The Hindu (old).
  4. http://www.sify.com/movies/kamaraj-review-tamil-13391922.html
  5. RANGARAJAN, MALATHI (8 October 2005). "A message goes global". p. 01. Retrieved 27 June 2016 via The Hindu (old).
  6. "Samuthirakani Bags Key Role in Tamil Biopic Kamaraj" . Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  7. http://www.hindustantimes.com/entertainment/regional/now-a-restored-film-on-congressman-kamaraj/article1-1195827.aspx
  8. http://www.thiraipaadal.com/album.php?ALBID=ALBIRR00258