Kandahar is a 2010 Indian Malayalam-language war film written and directed by Major Ravi. It is the third instalment in the Major Mahadevan film series, with Mohanlal reprising his role as Major Mahadevan after the 2006 film Keerthi Chakra and 2008 film Kurukshetra. The film also stars Amitabh Bachchan and Ganesh Venkatraman in their Malayalam film debut.
The plot is based on the hijacking of the Indian Airlines Flight 814 in 1999. The political situation is portrayed from an Indian perspective in the film. Kandahar was released on 16 December 2010, along with its dubbed versions in Tamil and Hindi languages.
Suryanatha Sharma (Ganesh Venkatraman) is an educated, unemployed man. His father, Lokanatha Sharma (played by Amitabh Bachchan), wants to see his son victorious in life. Things change when he meets Major Mahadevan (Mohanlal). Though, their initial encounter is hostile at first, Suryanath apologises to Mahadevan for his rudeness, and impressed with Suryanath and seeing potential in him, he suggests him to join the Army. Though he struggles a bit in the beginning, Suryanath is able to pass out of the Indian Military Academy with flying colours.
After graduating, he joins the NSG (National Security Guard) as a commando where he joins Mahadevan’s crew. Soon after, an Air India flight becomes hijacked by hardcore terrorists whose objective was to have the Indian government release their leader who was caught by Mahadevan himself. They are then forced to land in New Delhi to refuel. Mahadevan and his crew are able to infiltrate the plane through the wheels, even though their superior ordered them not to.
Once inside the plane they are able to find out the number of terrorists who are inside and quickly kill them and their leader and retake the plane. However a sleeper cell reveals himself and shoot the pilots and Suryanath injuring them. Mahadevan and Suryanath take control of the plane and with the pilot’s guidance are able to land plane. But Suryanath unfortunately dies from his injuries. He is given a hero’s funeral with honour after which Mahadevan consoles Lokanath, who reveals that he is proud of his son and thanks Major Mahadevan for making his son a hero. Mahadevan then takes his leave
- Mohanlal as Major Mahadevan, NSG.
- Amitabh Bachchan as Lokanatha Sharma.
- Ganesh Venkatraman as Captain.Suryanatha Sharma, NSG.
- Sumalatha as Sumangaly, wife of Sharma.
- Ananya as a student.
- Ragini Dwivedi as Aishwarya, Surya’s girlfriend.
- Major Ravi as Company Havaldar Major Shiva.
- K.P.A.C. Lalitha as Pathumma.
- Mamukkoya as Mullah.
- N.L. Balakrishnan as Ballston.
- Major Kishore.
- Suresh Nair as Cadet.
- Saju Attingal as NSG Commando.
- Naveen Arakkal as NSG Commando Naveen.
- Renjith Reghu.
- Anoop Chandran as Selvan.
- Pradeep Chandran as Senior Officer.
- Jaffer Idukki as Mani.
- S.P.Sreekumar as Cadet.
- Joemon Joshy as Cadet Kishore.
- Ragasya as item number.
- Shrikant Kamat.
Kandahar is the third film in the “Major Mahadevan series”, the previous ones being Kirtichakra (2006) and Kurukshetra (2008). Kirtichakra was a runaway success in Kerala, and Kurukshetra was a superhit. Jeeva played a supporting role in Kirtichakra and Siddique in Kurukshetra. This time Ganesh Venkatraman is playing the supporting role. Surya was supposed to do the role but was replaced by Ganesh when he opted out of the project due to date clashes with 7aam Arivu.
Mohanlal plays the lead role and is the film’s producer. Several other artists from Tamil cinema were initially approached to play secondary leads as well, including Suriya and Arun Vijay, who all cited date conflicts. Later, Ganesh Venkatraman was finalized for a role. Amitabh Bachchan was approached for a major role in the film, and he immediately agreed. Even though he did not ask for any remuneration for his appearance, he was offered a whopping 8 crores. His son in Kandahar is played by Ganesh Venkatraman. Later, model Ragini Dwivedi was signed up to play a supporting role. There were reports that Parvathy Omanakuttan was also cast in the film.
At a press conference, Major Ravi reported that the aeroplane sequences of the film would be shot in Russia. Other locations include Ooty and New Delhi.
The soundtrack features five songs composed by Shamir Tandon, who is known for his compositions in Madhur Bhandarkar’s films, with lyrics by Sandeep Nath, Vayalar Sarath Chandra Varma, Sudhakar Sharma, and Kaushal Kishor.
Kandahar received negative reviews upon release.
The film was released on 16 December 2010 in 111 theatres in Kerala, 9 theatres in Bengaluru, 5 theatres in Chennai, and around 18 theatres in Mumbai, Delhi, Pune and Hyderabad. Kandahar has collected ₹ 5.25 crores revenue from before releasing through selling satellite rights, audio rights, video rights, overseas distribution rights, and theatre advances.
- Asianet Film Awards:
- Best Feature Film on National Integration Award – Major Ravi.
Major Mahadevan Film Series
- Keerthi Chakra (2006) (as Major Mahadevan).
- Kurukshetra (2008) (as Colonel Mahadevan).
- Kandahar (2010) (as Major Mahadevan).
- 1971: Beyond Borders (2017) (as Colonel Mahadevan).
Production & Filming Details
- Director(s): Major Ravi.
- Producer(s): Sunil C. Nair and Mohanlal.
- Writer(s): Major Ravi.
- Music: Shamir Tandon and Vivek V.K.
- Cinematography: Ravi Varman and Velraj.
- Editor(s): Don Max.
- Production: Zoe Estebe Moviez and Pranavam Arts International.
- Distributor(s): Maxlab Cinemas and Entertainment.
- Release Date: 16 December 2010.
- Running Time: 150 minutes.
- Rating: 12A.
- Country: India.
- Language: Malayalam.