Directed by P. Vasu
Produced by Ramkumar Ganesan
Written by P. Vasu (screenplay)
Madhu Muttam (story)
Music by Vidyasagar
Cinematography Shekhar Joseph
Distributed by Sivaji Productions
Release date(s) April 14, 2005
Running time 166 minutes
Budget $0.8 million (excluding Rajnikanth's Salary)
Gross revenue $27 million
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The film starred Rajinikanth in the lead role, making Chandramukhi his "come back" film after the controversy regarding his previous film Baba. Prabhu Ganesan, Jyothika Saravanan and Nayantara were also given lead roles. Vadivelu, Nassar, K. R. Vijaya, Vijayakumar, Vinaya Prasad, Sonu Sood, Vineeth and Malavika were given supporting roles. It was released on April 14, 2005, coinciding with Tamil New Year, to become the largest opening in Tamil cinema at the time.
Following its original release, Chandramukhi was successful enough to be released in several other languages. It was subsequently dubbed into Telugu and released on April 14, 2005 with the same title. Later on, it became the first ever Tamil film to be dubbed into German and it was released in several German-speaking countries as Der Geisterjäger (lit. The Ghost Hunters). On February 29, 2008, producer M. Rathnam dubbed and released the film in Hindi, despite Bhool Bhulaiyaa, the Bollywood remake of Manichithrathazhu directed by Priyadarshan, which already released on October 12, 2007.
Since release, Chandramukhi has become the highest grossing Tamil language film ever beating the previous record set by Rajinikanth's previous film, Padayappa. As of June 25, 2007, it became the longest ever running South Indian film, and still holds this record, completing 800 days at Shanthi Theatres in Chennai, passing the record of the 1935-devotional film, Haridas.
Story: The movie opens with Saravanan (Rajinikanth), an Indian-American psychiatrist coming to India on vacation. He meets up with his friend and foster brother, Senthilnathan (Prabhu Ganesan), and his wife, Ganga (Jyothika Saravanan). Senthil and Saravanan's mother Kasturi (K. R. Vijaya) wanted Senthil to marry his parental aunt's eldest granddaughter Priya (Malavika) to reunite the two families after 30 years of separation. They separated because their father was supposed to marry his intimidating older cousin, Akhilandeshwari (Sheela), who is the bachelorette family head of her late parents' family, and Priya's paternal aunt and foster mother. However he marries Kasturi. Saravanan learns that they have bought the Vettayapuram Palace, despite a fear of the place and attempts by the elders to dissuade them. Saravanan moves in with them. Akhilandeswary is jealous of Saravanan and with her assistant, (Sonu Sood) she tries to destroy Saravanan.
When they go to a temple, a priest reveals why everyone is frightened. When King Vettayan lived in the palace, he took a trip to Andhra Pradesh and met the dancer Chandramukhi, instantly falling in love with her beauty. However, she would not return his love because her heart was already set on the dancer Gunasekaran. Vettayan kidnapped her and brought her back to his palace. Chandramukhi, without letting the king know, had Gunasekaran stay in a nearby house. When the king found out, he killed Gunasekaran on Durgashtami and burned Chandramukhi alive. Chandramukhi's spirit continued to remain in the palace so as to take revenge on the king. Legend had it that her soul was locked up in the southern room along with a king cobra. Shortly afterward, Saravanan helps Priya with her love affair with their neighbour, dance professor Viswanathan (Vineeth), and persuades her parents and aunt to speak with him to arrange their marriage.
When Ganga learns of Chandramukhi's story, she wants to go to Chandramukhi's room because she thinks that this story was made up to scare thieves from stealing costly treasures which she believes is in Chandramukhi's room. She gets the key and opens the door. Subsequently, strange things begin happening in the household: a ghost is scaring the people in the house, things are inexplicably breaking, and Ganga's sari catches on fire. Suspicion turns towards Durga (Nayantara), the gardener's granddaughter. Senthil calls Saravanan for help with the mysterious events. The night Saravanan returned , a mysterious being made an attempt to kill Priya. As someone tries to kill Senthil, once with poison, and another time by pushing a fish tank a mysterious voice sings in the middle of the night, and Saravanan tries to figure out what's happening. The night of Priya and Viswanathan's wedding reception, Ganga mysteriously disappears from the canopy. When Saravanan notices he goes to look for her. But he ends up almost getting killed by the goon sent by Akhilandeshwari for arranging her niece's marriage. He knocks the goon out, and with Senthil's help, they find Ganga, supposedly being sexually harassed by Viswanathan. Saravanan then informs Senthil and Viswanathan that Ganga has split personality of Ganga and Chandramukhi. The reason she tried to kill Priya and Senthil, and frame Viswanathan for sexual harassment was because in Chandramukhi's eyes, Viswanathan is her lover Gunasekaran, who looks just like him. The only way to stop it is to make her believe Saravanan is dead. This is because Chandramukhi was killed by King Vettayan, who looked just like him. Then Saravan says that he will act as the king and let Chandramukhi kill him and get out of Ganga's body, with the help of world-renown exorcist Ramachandra Acharya. The reason he will sacrifice his life is because he looks just like the king and he went up to Chandramukhi's room and she saw him. Akhilandeswary hears his idea, realising that she was wrong to try to destroy Saravanan and begs him for forgiveness. Later, in the dance hall, the family and Ramachandra Acharya did what Saravanan asked them to do. They let Chandramukhi pour oil on him so she can burn him alive and when she lights the match, Ramachandra Acharya blows the smoke and ash in her face. Then Senthil opens a trapdoor to let Saravanan fall down and a cardboard figure of him gets burnt. Chandramukhi thinks that the king is dead and leaves Ganga's body. Ganga is cured. After 30 years of separation, the two families are reunited. Saravanan and Durga have a love affair. And finally, Sorna and Murugesh (Vadivelu) are parents after 8 years of marriage.