Thenali is a 2000 Indian Tamil comedy movie directed by K. S. Ravikumar and written by Crazy Mohan. The film stars Kamal Haasan in the title role, along with Jayaram, Jyothika, and Devayani. The film’s music was composed by A. R. Rahman. The story of the film was inspired by the 1991 Hollywood movie What About Bob? directed by Frank Oz.
The film opened to positive reviews from critics and was a commercial success at the Tamil Nadu box-office. The film won three Tamil Nadu State Film Awards, including a Special Jury award for Jayaram’s performance as Dr. Kailash.
Thenali (Kamal Hassan) is a man who fears anything and everything. Dr. Panchabhootham (Delhi Ganesh) and his assistant (Ramesh Khanna), who are the doctors treating him, are jealous of a relatively junior doctor Dr. Kailash (Jayaram) getting all the media attention. They decide to derail Dr. Kailash’s success by sending Thenali over to him. Soon after their first appointment, Dr. Kailash heads to his home in Kodaikanal on a vacation with his wife Jalaja (Devayani) and his two children. Dr. Kailash tells Thenali to wait until after the vacation before his therapy can begin, but Panchabhootham asks for him to go meet Kailash while on vacation.
The expected happens. Thenali falls in love with Janaki (Jyothika), the younger sister of Dr. Kailash, which was vehemently opposed by the latter. The whole film is about how Dr. Kailash goes mad with the antics of Thenali and even begins to suspect that his wife has an affair with Thenali, as she has a soft corner for the latter. He even tries to kill Thenali by tying him to a tree with a time bomb, which Thenali (not knowing it is a bomb) removes and puts it in the doctor’s house, causing it to explode and Dr. Kailash, seeing this, suffers a paralytic attack.
Eventually, Thenali marries Janaki and cures Dr. Kailash through shock treatment by bringing Meena, B. H. Abdul Hameed and K. S. Ravikumar and makes Meena act as his wife.
Directed by K. S. Ravikumar
Produced by R. Karpagam
Written by Crazy Mohan
Starring Kamal Haasan, Jayaram, Jyothika, Devayani
Music by A.R. Rahman
Edited by K. Thanigachalam
Production R. K. Celluloids
Distributed by R. K. Celluloids
Release dates October 26, 2000
Running time 164 minutes