Aalavandhan – A film that could’ve done wonders at the box office, had the makers avoided the Bollywood movie feel (The movie was filled with lots of Bollywood artists – Raveena, Manisha, Kitu Gidwani to name a few) – Well that was a deliberate move considering that the movie was made as a bilingual (Abhay in Hindi). Nevertheless, it was a movie Way ahead of its times, with its perfect screenplay and Technical brilliance.
Some lesser known facts on occasion of 15th anniversary of the movie’s release 😊
1. Aalavandhan was released on the festive occasion Deepavali 2001, alongside Surya – Bala combo’s Nandha, Vijay starrer Shahjahan, K Balachander’s 100th movie, starring Madhavan – Paarthaale Paravasam, Manivannan-Sathyaraj combo’s Aandaan Adimai, Vikram starrer Kasi, Prabhudeva starrer Manadhai Thirudi Vittaai, Vijayakanth’s dual role venture, Thavasi.
2. Aalavandhan was based on the 1984 novel, Dhayam, by Kamal himself.
3. As revealed by Quentin Tarantino himself, the animated sequences in Kill Bill were inspired by Kamal’s usage of animation to reduce the impact of violence/bloodshed in Aalavandhan.
4. The movie was the first and only collaboration of Kalaipuli Dhanu with Kamal (As a producer. Dhanu had earlier did a one-scene cameo in Magalir Mattum). Dhanu, a name synonymous with grandeur, rich production values and novel promotion strategies in Tamil cinema, had produced Aalavandhan at a huge budget and incurred heavy losses.
5. Third movie that had director Suresh Krissna joining hands with Kamal. Other ones were Sathya, Indran Chandran.
6. Shankar – Ehsaan – Loy’s first Tamil venture. The album opened to the then record sales of over 2,00,000 copies in less than eight hours. BGM was scored by Mahesh Mahadevan for whom Aalavandhan was the 3rd movie with Kamal, after Nammavar and Kuruthipunal.
7. Aalavandhan was supposed to have Simran and Rani Mukherji playing leads but were replaced by Raveena and Manisha Koirala, respectively.
8. Cinematographer Tirru’s fourth movie with Kamal after Magalir Mattum, Kadhala Kadhala, Hey Ram.
9. Aalavandhan had the popular Malayalam director Major Ravi who made hit army movies like Keerthi Chakra, Mission 90 days, Picket 43, etc., making an appearance after his minuscule role in Snegithiye (2000).
10. Actor Jayam Ravi worked as an assistant director in Aalavandhan before turning into an actor.
11. To play army officer Vijaykumar in the film, Kamal went to the NDA for a crash course.
12. Aalavandhan won the National Film Award for Best Special Effects.
13. Though a commercial failure at the time of release, it became a cult classic, and when it was screened recently in “Fantastic Fest 2016″, Aalavandhan received overwhelming response from US audience.
14. The scenes where both Vijay and Nandhu characters appear weren’t done with traditional matte or masking shots technique, and without using any static shots for both characters to appear in, went for a motion-control rig to mount the camera on and film these sequences with shifting camera angles. This was the 1st time an Indian film used a motion-control rig.
15. The film was initially planned with K Balachander in the 1980s but was shelved as Kamal Haasan felt the story was way ahead of it’s time. It was relaunched with Suresh Krissna in 2000.