|Starring||Rajinikanth, Khushbu Sundar, Sarath Babu|
|Singers||S. P. Balasubramanyam, Chithra, K. J. Yesudas|
Annaamalai is a 1992 Indian Tamil-language action drama film directed by Suresh Krissna and produced by Kavithalayaa Productions. A remake of the 1987 Hindi film Khudgarz, itself based on Jeffrey Archer's novel Kane and Abel, it stars Rajinikanth, Kushboo and Sarath Babu with Radha Ravi, Nizhalgal Ravi and Manorama in supporting roles. The film revolves around Annaamalai, a poor milkman, and Ashok, the son of a rich businessman, who have been friends since childhood. However Ashok's father disapproves of their friendship and attempts to create a rift between the two.
Annaamalai was launched with director Vasanth, who later opted out due to personal reasons. Suresh Krissna replaced him as director, and also contributed to the screenplay while Shanmugasundaram wrote the dialogues. Principal photography of the film began in March 1992 and the entire filming process lasted 45 working days. The score and soundtrack were composed by Deva and lyrics for all songs were written by Vairamuthu. The cinematography was handled by P. S. Prakash and editing by the duo Ganesh–Kumar.
Annaamalai was released on 27 June 1992. The film became a box-office success, running for 175 days in theatres and was the highest-grossing film in Rajinikanth's career until 1995 when the record was broken by Baashha. It was remade in Telugu in 1993 as Kondapalli Raja and in Kannada in 2003 as Gokarna.
The soundtrack was composed by Deva, with lyrics by Vairamuthu. It was released under the Lahari label. Annaamalai marked Deva's first collaboration with Rajinikanth. Balachander chose him as composer due to a misunderstanding with his usual composer Ilaiyaraaja. Rajinikanth and Krissna were initially worried with the choice of Deva. When Krissna met Deva, he had already composed the song "Annaamalai Annaamalai" when Vasanth was the director. The song is set in the Carnatic raga known as Mohanam.
"Vanthenda Paalkaaran" was inspired by a Kannada poem which Rajinikanth had suggested; the poem talked about cows as deities, useful to humans in many ways. Vairamuthu grasped the core of the poem and embellished it further, adding an element of contrast between the ever-giving cow and selfish humans who only take from other beings. He also inserted a few ingenious words to boost Rajinikanth's image as a "mass hero" of the Tamils, such as "Ennai Vaazha Vaithadhu Tamizh Paalu". The song's tune is based on the Marathi folk song "Mee Dolkar Daryacha Raja" (1969). The theme song, which does not appear on the soundtrack and plays during the "Super Star" graphic title card, was inspired by the James Bond Theme.