Here’s how Tamil melody ‘Kanmani Anbodu’ redefined friendship and selfless love in ‘Manjummel Boys’…

The aesthetics of the song were used in the Malayalam movie to convey the power of affection and bonding among friends.

ByArjun Ramachandran

Published Mar 07, 2024 | 12:21 PMUpdatedMar 07, 2024 | 12:21 PM

Manjummel Boys has revived the song Kanmani Anbodu from Guna

The “Kanmani Anbodu” song from Kamal Haasan-starrer Guna (1991) is now trending on social media with netizens using the melodious tune in the background for their reels and stories.

The popular song, composed by Isaignani Illaiyaraaja, has been revived by the recently released Malayalam movie Manjummel Boys.

A survival thriller, Manjummel Boys became the fastest Malayalam film to collect ₹100 crore in 12 days.

Though the film was not dubbed into Tamil, it could strike a chord with the audience in Tamil Nadu because of the “Kanmani Anbodu” song, which was placed in the plot towards the climax.

Audiences are repeatedly visiting theatres to watch the last 30-45 minutes. During this period, the person who falls into a deep pit in Guna Caves in Kodaikanal is rescued as the popular Tamil song plays in the background.

Kamal Haasan and S Janaki sang the song.

In Manjummel Boys, director Chidambaram used the soundtrack to define the friendship among the 11 youths. It was based on a real-life incident.

At the film success meet, Chidambaram declared that Manjummel Boys wouldn’t have happened had there been no Guna and Guna Caves.

Manjummel Boys review: A riveting survival thriller that pays tribute to Kamal Haasan’s ‘Guna’

Right placement of song

Team Manjummel Boys with Kamal Haasan

Team ‘Manjummel Boys’ with Kamal Haasan. (X)

A group of friends enter the Guna Caves (originally called Devil’s Kitchen), a restricted location in Kodaikanal, as Kamal Haasan’s Guna was shot there.

One of the friends, Subhash, falls into a deep pit in the caves and is rescued. It’s here that the soundtrack is played.

After watching Manjummel Boys, Kamal Hassan said he liked the film and was impressed with the song’s placement.

“Love doesn’t exist only between a man and a woman. ‘Mohabbat‘ is also meant for friendship,” the veteran actor felt, during an interaction with team Manjummel Boys.

Further, Kamal Hassan described the song as a love letter between him and Illaiyaraaja.

Meanwhile, Malayalam music director Vishnu Sivasankar, opined that the “Kanmani Anbodu” song was used in Manjummel Boys to offer an experience of the terrain to audiences.

“Music composer Sushin Syam focused on creating soundscapes involving atmospheric and synth sounds rather than making tunes that can be recalled later,” he said.

Vishnu also felt that Illaiyaraja’s music helped the film convey emotion and elevated the sequences.

“The placement of the song is quite convincing. This song conveys love and affection, which exist even in friendship. For instance, ‘Bromance’ involves no sexual affection but love. The aesthetics of this song has the power to convey the feeling of affection,” he added.

Entertainment journalist Gayathri Krishna, too, concurs that the song was masterfully positioned throughout the movie.

“The ‘Kanmani Anbodu‘ is the ideal tune to represent Guna Caves—named after Kamal Haasan’s film. We must appreciate how the music was used to illustrate an incomprehensible connection. A romantic classic that has been loved for so many years now served as a symbol of selfless love,” she added.

Related: ‘Manjummel Boys’ collects ₹100 crore, director Chidambaram thanks everyone

Tribute to real-life Manjummel Boys and Guna

The “Kanmani Anbodu” song created a sensation in Tamil cinema by beautifully blending dialogue with lyrics—written by Vaali.

Guna director Santhana Bharathi recalled that he initially did not consider including dialogues in the song. He said he was happy that scriptwriter Sab John was being remembered after 32 years this way.

He said the song’s placement in Manjummel Boys gave him goosebumps and added that the Malayalam movie paid a heartfelt tribute to “Kanmani Anbodu” and Guna.

Gayathri said the song signifies selfless affection in the flick. “The song is played immediately after Subhash is rescued from the pit. It does not show any romanticisation but the bonding between the friends.”

“The resilience act (by Sujith to save Subhash) is above human understanding, and not everybody can do that. The song is apt for the setting and conveying that emotional act,” she added.

“The soundtrack has nothing to represent the Tamil culture. But it is apt for the location (Guna Caves). No other song could have done justice there. ‘Kanmani Anbodu‘ is a tribute to the real-life Manjummel Boys and the Guna movie.”

Cinematographer Venu, who worked on Manjummel Boys, said in an interview that they faced a tough time shooting inside the caves. most of the crew wasn’t impressed with the location but their hard work paid off.

‘Manjummel Boys was released in Tamil Nadu at a time when the industry had been witnessing a dull season.

The Malayalam film was initially released in 43 centres and word-of-mouth publicity helped it pull audiences to the theatres. Eventually, the screen count rose to 220.

Small towns like Trichy, Salem, and Tirupur saw good footfalls in cinema halls.

The flick earned over ₹20 crore at the Tamil Nadu box office and continues to run to packed houses.

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