Minnale (English: Lightning) is a 2001 romantic Tamil movie written and directed by Gautham Menon. The film featured Madhavan, Abbas and Reemma Sen, with Vivek and Nagesh also appearing in pivotal roles. It’s soundtrack was composed by debutant Harris Jayaraj, which became very successful prior to release, helping the film at the box office. It opened to positive reviews from critics and enjoyed significant commercial success. It emerged as the top grosser of the year.
The movie opens in an engineering college in Ooty with a narration of the characters. Rajiv Samuel (Abbas) is a computer engineering student and is one of the top students in the college, whereas Rajesh (R. Madhavan) is a mechanical engineering student who is the bad guy of the college. A mutual problem between the two groups led by both Samuel and Rajesh puts both Sam and Rajesh at loggerheads and they pull pranks on each other to get the other in trouble. It culminates into a fist fight but is soon broken up their friends. In the fight, Rajesh punches Sam in the face, which is against the rule, and Sam promises to return the favor in future. They graduate from the college soon and promise to not see each other ever again. Sam goes abroad for job, while Rajesh stays back in India saying that he does not want to leave his motherland.
A few years later, Rajesh becomes responsible and settles in a job by taking classes for mechanical engineering students. 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 does not get to meet her. To his pleasant surprise he sees her again in Chennai but is again unable to meet her.
A friend of Rajesh, Chockalingam (Vivek), spots Reena’s friend Vasuki in a market one day and recognises her from the wedding pictures. They both extract information about Reena’s whereabouts from Vasuki, posing as her family friend. Though they get Reena’s phone number, Rajesh is disappointed when he learns that Reena is engaged and is about to marry soon a guy called Rajeev, whom Reena has only talked to on the phone but has yet to meet. 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. Before Rajesh could actually tell Reena the truth, the real Rajiv (Abbas) comes to Chennai and both their families gettogether. Reena is shocked to learn that the person she loves is an imposter.
Directed by Gautham Menon
Produced by Murali Manohar
Written by “Dhinanthorum” Nagarajan (dialogues)
Story by Gautham Menon & Vipul Shah
Starring R. Madhavan, Abbas, Reemma Sen, Vivek, Nagesh
Music by Harris Jayaraj
Cinematography R. D. Rajasekhar
Edited by Suresh Urs
Release dates 14 February 2001
Running time 150 mins