Love stories have never failed to amuse Tamil movie audience, and have always proven to be safe formula for makers to entice people with charming, unique tales of romance. At a time when the makers began to innovate in love stories, with movies where the leads fell in love without seeing each other (Kadhal Koattai), without speaking (Sollamale),via internet (Kadhalar Dhinam), and many more, came another unique love story from director Ezhil - Thullatha Manamum Thullum.
The movie revolved around Kutty(Vijay) an aspiring singer and part of a cable service. Situations constantly present him in a negative manner to Rukku(Simran), who actually admires his voice, without knowing Kutty's identity, and in an unfortunate turn of events, Kutty's actions lead to Rukku losing her sight. Now Kutty decides to take care of Rukku, helps her, and they fall in love, and just as Rukku is about to get back her sight, Kutty gets entangled in a situation. Whether Kutty and Rukku unite, and how Rukku feels on knowing that it was the same Kutty she admired for his voice and deeds was the person she had once hated, is what the movie is all about.

The hit romantic entertainer was released this day, 20 years back, and here are some lesser known facts on the movie. Director Ezhil had made his debut with Thullatha Manamum Thullum, and was the movie was the third hit from the combo of producer RB Choudary's Super Good Films and Vijay, after Poove Unakkaga and Love Today. It was Charlie Chaplin's classic City lights that inspired Ezhil to pen the story of Thullatha Manamum Thullum, and initially, Ezhil's screenplay was written for a comedian and he had wanted Vadivelu to play the lead. Only later he had modified the screenplay, and after initial efforts to have Murali in the lead role, Vijay came in finally. Simran wasn't the first choice to play Rukku either, as the makers initially wanted to cast Rambha as Rukku.
After Track Suresh evinced interest to produce the movie, but could not, he referred Ezhil to RB Choudary, who had reportedly given him only 10 minutes to narrate the script, and after Ezhil had narrated with a negative climax, RB Choudary wanted a positive climax, following which Ezhil had promised to have a positive climax if the producer listened to the full script. Initially, Ezhil had titled the movie as Rukmanikaga and as the producer suggested a lengthy title, the movie was rechristened Thullatha Manamum Thullum. 

It was only after knowing that Ezhil was an associate of Robert-Rajasekhar duo that SA Rajkumar agreed to compose for the movie. It was Robert - Rajasekhar who had introduced SA Rajkumar in their 1987 flick Chinna Poove Mella Pesu. An interesting incident had happened during the recording of songs of TMT. While initially the makers had planned Megamaai Vandhu pogiren, inspired by the Arabic song Sayoni as the theme song and recorded it, they got to know that music director Deva had already composed Salomiya inspired by the same song. However, within a day, SA Rajkumar composed the chartbuster melody Innisai Paadi Varum, that still remains fresh.
One of the memorable scenes of the movie happens to be the episode where Kutty breaks down inside the toilet after receiving the news of his mother's demise, and initially Vijay had said that he will shoot the intense scene only once, but later performed the scene second time too, as the film ran out. The Triplicane set featured in the movie was one of the highlights, and incidentally, Ezhil had been a resident of Triplicane area. Thullatha Manamum Thullum marked the debut of comedian Paari Venkat, whose Madras slang in a show in Doordarshan had impressed Ezhil that he cast him as Trouser Pandi. 

Thullatha Manamum Thullum was one of the biggest Superhits of 1999, and also opened up Vijay's market in Kerala, where he's now on par with top Malayalam heroes like Mohanlal and Mammootty. Way back in 1999 itself, Thullatha Manamum Thullum achieved silver jubilee run in several screens of the state. Though Vijay - Simran pair had acted together in many movies, Thullatha Manamum Thullum remains special for fans of both the actors, as it presented them in different dimensions, and the movie won Simran the state award for best actress. Many romantic entertainers released after Thullatha Manamum Thullum, but still the movie stays fresh and is one of the most memorable movies of Vijay thanks to the lively performances and entertaining screenplay by Ezhil sans double entendres or vulgarity.

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