Movie wiki in one line Title: Amarkalam, Running time (duration/length): 148 min, Release date: 13 August 1999, Language: Tamil, Censor type: Not known, Stars: Ajith Kumar and Shalini, Director: Saran, Music director: Bharathwaj, Poster: Attached, Budget: Not known, Box office collections: Not known, Producer: V. Sudhir Kumar
Amarkalam (English: First Class) is a 1999 Tamil action romance film written and directed by Saran and produced by Venkateswaralayam. The film featured Ajith Kumar, making it his 25th film and Shalini in the lead roles with Raghuvaran, Raadhika and Nassar in other pivotal roles. The film opened in August 1999 to positive reviews from critics and became a commercial success.
The producers of the previous collaboration of Ajith Kumar and Saran during Kadhal Mannan, Venkateswaralayam had lost a lot of money on that film so Ajith insisted on doing another film for the studio. Saran initially approached Shalini, who was studying at the time and she refused but after a three month pursuit, he finally got her to sign on as well. The role of Tulasi Das was initially offered to Amitabh Bachchan who accepted before later pulling out of the film.
The film began production in January 1999 and during the production of the film, the lead pair Ajith Kumar and Shalini fell in love and eventually got married in April 2000.
The film won predominantly positive reviews upon release with a reviewer describing the film as having an "okay storyline made very good because of its brilliant execution" whilst stating that the "climax is also very well-developed" and praising the performance of Ajith Kumar.
The film went on to become a large commercial success at the box office, extending the lead actor Ajith Kumar's success after his previous film Vaali. Ajith went on to purchase Saran a car as a token of gratitude for the success. Due to the success of the film, it was subsequently dubbed into the Telugu language with title Adbhutam and produced by V. Sathyanarayana. It was later remade in Kannada as Asura starring Shiv Rajkumar and Raghuvaran, who reprised his role, before there was also a 2004 version in Telugu titled Leela Mahal Center with Aryan Rajesh. A remake in Hindi featuring Vivek Oberoi was also reported by the director in 2002, however the project failed to materialize.
A digitally restored version of Amarkalam was released in May 2014.
The film's score and soundtrack was composed by Bharathwaj.