Minnale (; ) is a 2001 Tamil film written and directed by Gautham Menon. The film featured Madhavan, Abbas and Reemma Sen, with Vivek and Nagesh also appearing in pivotal roles. The film's soundtrack was composed by debutant Harris Jayaraj, which became successful prior to release, helping the film take a good opening. The film opened to positive reviews from critics and enjoyed significant commercial success.
The movie opens in an engineering college in Ooty. Samuel (Abbas) is a computer engineering student, and is one of the top and good students in the college, while Rajesh (R. Madhavan) is a mechanical engineering student and is a rowdy in the college. A mutual problem between the two groups puts Sam and Rajesh at loggerheads and both of them pull pranks on each other to get the other in trouble. It culminates into a fist fight but is soon broken up. They graduate from the college soon and hope to never to see each other ever again as Samuel goes abroad for higher studies.
A few years later, Rajesh has becomes responsible and mature and has settled into a nice office job as a mechanical engineer. Rajesh lives with his librarian grandfather Subbuni (Nagesh), who means the world to him; he even turns down a very lucrative job assignment in Singapore to be with his grandfather. Rajesh, on a trip to a friend s wedding in Bangalore, comes across Reena (Reema Sen) and is smitten by her beauty but doesn t get to meet her. To his pleasant surprise he sees her again in Chennai but is again unable to meet her, to his disappointment.
A friend of Rajesh, Chockalingam (Vivek), spots Reena s friend in a market one day and recognizes her from the wedding pictures in Bangalore earlier. Together with Rajesh, they pressure the girl for more information on Reena; they learn her phone number and that she is engaged to be married to someone named Rajiv, whom she has never met but has only spoken on the phone. Goaded by his grandfather and his friends, Rajesh decides to enter Reena s life pretending to be Rajiv. Within a few days of hanging out with each other, both fall in love with each other and couldn t be any happier. But before Rajesh could tell Reena the truth, the real Rajiv had come to Chennai and both their families gather together. Reena is shocked to learn that the person she loves is not Rajiv.
Rajesh comes clean with Reena and pleads to be forgiven but Reena is adamant that she doesn t want to talk to Rajesh anymore. So Rajesh and his friends decide to meet Rajiv and ask him to break up the engagement with Reena. They are surprised to learn that Rajiv is actually Rajiv Samuel, Rajesh's foe from his college days. Rajiv becomes enraged when he learns the truth, but believes that Reena was duped and refuses to break up the engagement. After repeated attempts to talk to Reena fail and when Rajiv and Reena s wedding is fixed, Rajesh sadly accepts the bitter truth.
Heartbroken and unable to live in the city anymore, he plans to leave. Reena, finally realizes that even though she was duped by Rajesh, she had indeed fallen in love with him. Rajiv senses this on the eve of their wedding. Just before Rajesh boards his plane, Rajiv appears and says that they are still bitter enemies but he couldn t marry a girl who doesn t love him. Reena appears and embraces Rajesh.
Gautham Menon launched a Tamil romantic film O Lala in 2000 with the project eventually changing producers and title into Minnale with Madhavan, who was at the beginning of his career, being signed on to portray the lead role. About the making of the film, Menon revealed that he found it difficult as the team was new to the industry with only the editor of the film, Suresh Urs, being a prominent technician in the industry. Menon had come under further pressure when Madhavan had insisted that Menon narrated the story to his mentor, Mani Ratnam, to identify if the film was a positive career move after the success of his Alaipayuthey. Despite initial reservations, Menon did so and Ratnam was unimpressed; however Menon has cited that he thought that Madhavan "felt sorry" and later agreed to continue with the project.
The film was advertised as a Valentine's Day release in 2001 and upon release it went on to become a large success commercially and won positive reviews from critics with claims that the film had a lot of " lot of verve and vigour" and that it was "technically excellent".
The success of the film led to producer Vashu Bhagnani signing Menon on to direct the Hindi language remake of the film, Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein, which also featured Madhavan with Diya Mirza and Saif Ali Khan added to the film. However in comparison, the Hindi film gained poor reviews and subsequently went on to become a below average grosser at the box office.
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