Revisiting Kadhalan: A look back at the memorable Shankar - Prabhudheva collaboration Published: 17th September 2019 Shankar's Kadhalan, the director's second collaboration with producer KT Kunjumon, got a release in 1994. As the movie completes 26 years, here are some exciting trivia about its making. When Gentleman became a huge hit, producer KT Kunjumon gifted Shankar two pairs of keys. One to a brand new flat and the other to a Maruti 800, which was considered a status symbol at the time. When Kunjumon wanted to do a second film with Shankar, the latter narrated the plot of 'a dancer from a normal middle-class household falling in love with a girl from an influential household.' Kunjumon wanted something more controversial, and suggested a new angle with a governor as the antagonist, which was ultimately accepted by Shankar. It was rumoured that the film's governor portions were an indirect attack on the then TN governor - Channa Reddy - as Kunjumon was from the AIADMK. Congress MP R. Anbarasu called for a ban on the film shortly after the release, alleging negative portrayal of the governor. But, the film's run was largely unaffected. Despite director Shankar's apprehensions, the popular dancer Prabhu Deva was roped in to portray the lead role for the first time after Kunjumon felt that he would fit the role of the underdog. Prabhu Deva had earlier heavily contributed to the success of two of Kunjumon's previous productions, Suriyan and Gentleman, with his viral dance-performances. However, the decision to cast Prabhudheva as the hero met with significant backlash from the trade, as distributors felt audience wouldn't watch him as a protagonist. But, Kunjumon was apparently firm The dubbing voice for Prabhu Deva was provided by then struggling actor Vikram. The I actor had also given his voice for Ajith in Amaravathi and Vineeth in Pudhiya Mugam the previous year. Madhuri Dixit was originally approached for the lead role. But, her busy schedules meant that Nagma was signed up to play Shruthi Kakarla. She was voiced by Saritha. Kunjumon wanted to have Goundamani to provide the humour, but, because of scheduling conflicts, Vadivelu was chosen to play the sidekick. Kadhalan had dialogues penned by writer Balakumaran. This was his fifth movie project after Nayakan, Guna, Shenbagathottam, and Shankar's debut film, Gentleman. The set resembling that of Natyanjali dance school was built in the ourskirts of Pondicherry. The majority of the Petta Rap number was shot here. Incidentally, Petta rap was the first rap-style song to be recorded in Tamil cinema. The fun number interspersed the Madras Baashai with Tanglish words. The song 'Urvasi Urvasi' was shot near the SPIC building in Guindy, and other landmarks across the Mount Road in Chennai. Art director Thotta Tharani specially created a glass framed bus for the song, which was, incidentally, blasted in another action-sequence for the movie. Kadhalan was the last film to be shot inside the temple premises of Natrajar temple in Chidambaram. The film's crew was sued by court for shooting inside the temple, and then a blanket ban was issued. Since the film's cast created doubts amidst the trade, Shankar decided 'to use the newest technology available to make the film special.' It was decided to go all out with visual effects in the songs. S. T. Venky, who would later become a Shankar-regular was roped in to handle the visual effects. Most of the CGI work including that of the Mukkaala song was outsourced to technicians from abroad. Mukkabla got viral on a national level, becoming, arguably, tmost recognisable Tamil song of the 90s. The song was plagiarised freely by Bollywood's musicians for many a tune. More than a dozen versions of Mukkala churned out in the next few years, a feat that earned the song and Rahman a place in the Limca Book of Records. The Mukkaala song was first officially remixed in the album. Bom Bass. The remix was titled 'Muqabala (Murder Mixx) by Amit and San J of X Zecutive'. This was in 1995. In fact, Mukkaala and Urvasi were the earliest Indian songs to be widely sampled by international artists. The 'Urvasi' song was later used in the Hollywood film, Lion. During the scene when Dev Patel is walking down the sidewalk, and blushing. The Urvasi song also inspired the 2014 song 'It's My Birthday' by American rapper Will.i.am. The Urvasi song, in addition, inspired the title of Rajsirpy's 1996 film Take It Easy Urvasi. Urvasi was remade in Hindi as a single, Urvashi in 2018, sung and composed by Yo Yo Honey Singh, featuring Shahid Kapoor and Kiara Advani. Playback singer Unnikrishnan made his singing debut with the song 'Ennavale Ennavale', which was composed in Kedaram raga by ARR. Vaali penned the Mukkala number, Shankar wrote the Petta rap song, and Indirayo ival sundariyo was penned by Thirikudarasappa Kavirayar (Kutrala Kuravanji). The other songs were written by Vairamuthu This particular dance-training sequence in the film was shot on the Pallavaram hills in Chennai. When it was decided to dub the film in Hindi, the makers had initially titled it 'Sachcha Premi' . They later decided on Humse Hai Muqabala. Kadhalan was also dubbed in Telugu as Premikudu. Both the Hindi and Telugu versions were very successful. The Hindi version of the soundtrack, Humse Hai Muqabala, sold 2.5 million units in India, Kadhalan won 4 national awards - Unnikrishnan for his first ever Tamil song, Ennavale, Venky for visual effects, AS Laxmi Narayanan and VS Murthy for audiography and B Lenin and VT Vijayan for editing Kunjumon donated the first day collections of the film to the CM's welfare fund.