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Ilaiyaraaja issues notice to Manjummel Boys makers for unauthorised use of Gunaa song Kanmani Anbodu

The Malayalam hit is based on a true incident that occurred in the Gunaa caves in Kodaikanal in 2006

PTI Chennai Published 24.05.24, 10:17 AM
(L-R) Ilaiyaraaja, a poster of Manjummel Boys

(L-R) Ilaiyaraaja, a poster of Manjummel Boys IMDb

Malayalam hit 'Manjummel Boys' is the latest to receive a legal notice by legendary music director Ilaiyaraaja for unauthorised use of his hit song, 'Kanmani Anbodu' from the film 'Gunaa'.

A sleeper hit, 'Manjummel Boys', produced by Soubin and Babu Shahir, and Shawn Anthony under Parava Films, is based on a true incident that occurred in the 'Gunaa' caves in Kodaikanal in 2006. It has been received exceptionally well in Tamil Nadu, as well as globally.


Originally called The Devil’s Kitchen, the caves were notorious for many accidents that led to the disappearance of people with no trace. After the release of 'Gunaa', the Tamil film featuring Kamal Haasan in 1991, which was shot there, the caves were referred to as Gunaa caves and became more popular among tourists.

'Manjummel Boys' traces the story of one such bunch of inebriated tourists from Kochi, fans of the film ‘Gunaa’. Their holiday turns nightmarish when one of the boys falls into the cave. The film ends with the song, 'Kanmani Anbodu', in what is referred to by many as a tribute to the cult status of the song and the film.

"Whether it is a tribute or not, when a song by someone is used in another film, it has to follow legal procedures and permission must be sought," said Illaiyaraaja’s legal counsel Saravanan Annadurai to PTI.

The notice stated that "it is a settled position of law that where a person is using such original musical works for commercial benefit, exploitation and other business gains, such person is legally obliged and bound to acquire necessary and appropriate permission/license from the author/owner…" "In this case, the owner of the song is Ilaiyaraaja and ‘Majummel Boys’ used his song without his consent or any payment of royalty or license fee," added Annadurai.

The notice calls upon the producers to either obtain proper permission to continue using the song in the film, or remove the song within 15 days of receiving the notice. "If they fail to do so, we will seek remedy under the Copyright Act 1957," said Annadurai.

On May 2, Ilaiyaraaja, a Padma Vibhushan recipient, had also issued a notice to the yet-to-release film, ‘Coolie’ starring Rajinikanth, directed by Lokesh Kanagaraj. The film, produced by Sun Pictures, had used a refrain from yet another hit of Ilaiyaraaja, ‘Va Va Pakkam Va’ from 1983 Tamil film 'Thanga Magan', which, incidentally, also features Rajinikanth, in its teaser.

"There’s a history of exploitation, many others have also used his songs without proper permission, so yes, they are also being issued notices," said Annadurai.

Despite trying, PTI could not reach out to producers of ‘Manjummel Boys’ for comments.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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