Article Tamil

Karthik and Revathy, the pairing that defined romance – Valentine's Day special

The two artistes worked together in over half-a-dozen films and became one of the most iconic pairings in Tamil cinema.

A still from Mouna Ragam (1986)

Manigandan KR

Karthik Muthuraman, or simply Karthik, is probably Tamil cinema's most beloved romantic hero. The man is a charmer, both on and off the screen, and was loved wholeheartedly by those in the film industry and outside.

Kind, considerate, playful, and forgiving in real life, Karthik, whose peak was in the mid-1980s to the 1990s, was a favourite with directors and audiences. Insiders still recall how producers and directors would be fuming and ready to explode with his latecoming on sets, only to sit down and share laughs with him once he showed up, charming man that he was.

Karthik was the kind of leading man who could look wonderful with any heroine on screen, but some of his most memorable roles were opposite Revathy, one of the most versatile actresses of the 1980s and 1990s. The two artistes were comfortable with each other on screen and starred together in over half-a-dozen films, two of which became blockbusters.

One of these was Mani Ratnam's Mouna Ragam (1986), in which Karthik played a character named Manohar. The actual hero of the film was Mohan who played Chandrakumar. However, the romantic portions between Manohar, a firebrand youngster, and Divya (Revathy), a college student, were what defined the film for many. Mouna Ragam remains one of the best romantic dramas ever made in Tamil.

The other film that went on to earn the love of millions was Kizhakku Vaasal (1990), directed by RV Udayakumar. While Mouna Ragam was set in the metros (the film begins in Chennai, or Madras as it was then called, and moves to Delhi), Kizhakku Vaasal is a rural drama set in the Tamil heartland. Both films had mesmerizing music by the master Ilaiyaraaja which ensured that their appeal is eternal.