Karagattakaran (Eng: The Karagattam Dancer) is a 1989 Tamil film written and directed by Gangai Amaran and produced by Karumari Kandasamy and J. Durai. Karagattakaran stars Ramarajan, debutant Kanaka in lead roles while Goundamani, Senthil, Santhana Bharathi, Chandrasekhar, Kanthimathi and Kovai Sarala play supporting roles. Karagattakaran is about a male Karagattam dancer who falls in love with a female Karagattam dancer who reciprocates his feelings, but unfortunate circumstances and their egoistic nature prevents them from confessing their love for one another. How they overcome forms the rest of the story.
The soundtrack was composed by Ilayaraja and all the songs were well-received and, in particular, the song “Maanguyilae Poonguyile” has become a classic. Karagattakaran was released in 16 June 1989 and was a blockbuster and completed a 425-day run at box office.
Muthaiya (Ramarajan) is the lead performer of a karagattam group based out of a village. His troupe consists of Goundamani, Senthil, Kovai Sarala, Junior Balaiah etc. Muthaiya’s mother Kanthimathi was his dance guru. Similarly Kamakshi (Kanaka) is also a karagattam dancer in the nearby village and she performs regularly during temple festival of that village. Chinnarasu (Santhana Bharathi) is the village panchayat board president and he sets an eye on Kamakshi. But Kamakshi hates Chinnarasu. To avenge her, Chinnarasu invites Muthaiya’s dance troupe to perform during temple festival instead of Kamakshi’s performance.
Muthaiya performs well and is widely appreciated by the villagers. Kamakshi also likes Muthaiya’s performance. Kamakshi’s father Shanmuga Sundaram invites Muthaiya to his home. And to his shock, Shanmuga Sundaram understands that Muthaiya is his nephew but does not reveal it to him. Muthaiya and Kamakshi fall in love with each other. Chinnarasu gets to know about Muthaiya and Kamakshi’s love affair and plans to separate them.
Chandrasekhar is Kamakshi’s innocent brother in law who works for Chinnarasu. Chinnarasu persuades Chandrasekhar to challenge a dance competition between Muthaiya and Kamakshi for which both accepts. In the meantime, Chinnarasu plans to kill Muthaiya during the dance program. But Kamakshi saves Muthaiya thereby getting stabbed by a knife in her leg after the dance. Now Kanthimathi gets furious knowing that Kamakshi is her niece and takes Muthaiya along with her and also does not permit their wedding to happen. Kanthimathi reveals a flashback that Kamakshi’s father is her own brother and he eloped with the jewels that were meant to be sold to meet the medical expenses of Muthaiya’s father which led to his death. But Kamakshi’s father arrives there and reveals the truth that while he went to sell the jewels, he was caught by the police suspecting him to be a smuggler following which he was jailed for a few years.
Now Kanthimathi realizes her mistake and unites with her brother. Also she agrees for wedding between Muthaiya and Kamakshi. Chinnarasu accuses that Muthaiah and Kamakshi misbehaved in the temple and orders them to walk on fire in the temple to prove that they are pure. Muthaiya and Kamakshi successfully walk on fire while Chinnarasu gets killed by Chandrasekhar. Karagattakaran ends with Muthaiya and Kamakshi getting united.
Directed by Gangai Amaran
Produced by Karumari Kandasamy & J. Durai
Written by Gangai Amaran
Starring Ramarajan, Kanaka, Goundamani, Santhana Bharathi, Chandrasekhar, Senthil, Kovai Sarala, Kanthimathi, Shanmuga Sundaram
Music by Ilaiyaraaja
Cinematography A. Sabapathy
Edited by B. Lenin & V. T. Vijayan
Production Vijaya Movies
Distributed by Vijaya Movies
Release dates 16 June 1989
Running time 138 mins