Duet is a 1994 Tamil musical film directed by K. Balachander, starring Prabhu, Meenakshi Seshadri, Ramesh Aravind and Prakashraj. The film's score and Soundtrack is composed by A. R. Rahman. Duet's score is centred on the saxophone. The movie was also dubbed in Telugu under the same name and in Hindi as 'Tu Hi Mera Dil'.
The movie is inspired by the 1990 French comedy Cyrano de Bergerac which was about a swashbuckler who’s self-conscious about his long nose and feels his love will go unrequited. When the girl he loves gets infatuated with a dasher, he helps him by pouring his emotions in poems soaked in love. In the Tamil movie, the hero's ungainly nose was replaced by his girth.
The soundtrack of the film by Academy Award winner A. R. Rahman is hailed as a masterpiece.
In a bridge across a sea, saxophone music is heard which is played by Guna (Prabhu Ganesan). He recollects about the tragedy which happened two years back in his life.
Guna and Siva (Ramesh Aravind) are two brothers who own an orchestra and are very popular with their performances. Both are very affectionate towards each other. Both of them look for their love and eventually find one. The girl whom Siva chose, accepted his love while the girl chose by Guna insults him of his fat size which hurts him. Siva's love fails and he is heart broken. To console him Guna shifts to city with Siva and his sister. Guna's father had an illegal affair with a woman named Sitamma during their childhood and in death bed his father gets a promise from Guna that he should accommodate her with them as she does not have any relation. Guna who lost his mother invites her to live with them. Sitamma accepts on condition that nobody in the family should know how she is related to them and also she should be introduced as a cook. Unwillingly Guna accepts for that. Guna being a saxophone player, music director and lyricist and Siva as singer flourish in their career. Sitamma finds Guna is a very affectionate person and Siva is a very sensitive person who cannot bear any downfalls in life even to a little extent.
Next to Guna's home located the house of film choreographer Anjali (Meenakshi Sheshadri) who is a very beautiful woman. Both Guna and Siva see her separately and fall in love. Siva approaches her directly and impress her. Anjali hears a saxophone music which she misunderstands that it is played by Siva. She gets attracted to Siva for that reason. Siva also lies to her that all his brother's talents as his talents. Guna who has got a complex about his fat size decide to begin a friendship to Anjali's father and gradually to her not knowing she already loves Siva. Anjali responds to his non-direct approach thinking it is done by Siva but Guna is very happy that she loves him.
Film superstar Sirpy (Prakash Raj) also gets attracted to Anjali and he behaves very closely to her which irritates possessive Siva. This creates a fight between the two. Sitamma finds about the misunderstanding among Guna, Anjali and Siva and tells Guna about love affair between them which shocks Guna. She convinces Guna to drop his love for her as Siva cannot tolerate any defeat in his life to which Guna does not accept it. Anjali gets confused when Guna confesses his love for her. Anjali also comes to know that Siva has lied to her about his saxophone and poem writing talent and she gets furious on him. She asks him to drop the love as she does not want be the reason for heat between two brothers. Siva decides that he will not accept anyone between them even if it happens to be his own brother. Filmstar Sirpy compels Anjali to marry him and Anjali refuses to it. On anger he gives a fake statement to press that both himself and Anjali are in love and planned to get married shortly. Guna gets furious that she cheated both him and his brother. But Anjali explains that she is not responsible. Anjali's father convinces her that Guna is right for her as she got attracted only to his talents and eventually her love should be for him. Sirpy provokes the heat between Guna and Siva and because of which Siva insults his brother and Sitamma resulting to her demise. Sirpy kidnaps Anjali to marry her. Unable to save Anjali he comes back to his family pleading to save her. Guna fights with Sirpy and rescues Anjali. But Sirpy threatens Guna with Siva on the top of the hill. Siva pulls him and jumps from the hill top and dies.
Back to the present, it was the day Siva died on the same place where Guna is playing sax on his memory. Anjali's father convinces Guna about Anjali and requests him to marry her or he will kill her by his hands as he could not tolerate her sufferings. Guna and Anjali finally unite.Prabhu as GunaMeenakshi Sheshadri as AnjaliRamesh Aravind as SivaPrakash Raj as SirpyCharleSenthil as KarumbaayiramMohan RamanSudhaMayilsamy as MayilswamySubhalekha SudhakarSarath BabuArvind Swamy as himself (Guest appearance)Nassar as himself (Guest appearance)Nizhalgal Ravi as himself (Guest appearance)Solomon Pappaiah as himself (Guest appearance)
The film is based on the French film Cyrano de Bergerac which itself was based on the play of same name by Edmond Rostand. This was the first film of actor Prakashraj in Tamil as antagonist. In remembrance, he named his production house Duet Movies. Saran was one of the assistant directors in the film.
The lyrical voyage of the film has been enhanced by the fine background score in the film, composed by A. R. Rahman. It got excellent reviews and is regarded as a master work in its class. Music was a big success and Background Score was very much appreciated and is still regarded as one of Rahman's best Scores till date.
The soundtrack was composed by A. R. Rahman and lyrics written by Vairamuthu. The soundtrack proved popular upon release. Rahman got so many acclaims for his work. "Anjali Anjali" proved to be one of the most popular songs in the nineties. The soundtrack features 8 songs, 3 recitals and 3 instrumental pieces. Duet songs are considered some of Rahman's greatest hits in the 90's. The saxophonic instrumentation was done by Kadri Gopalnath and Raju. Gopalnath who is now an icon in Indian instrumental music reached public fame after this album. He once told about this album, "I played some 30 ragas for Rahman. He wasn't satisfied. Finally I played Kalyanavasantam, and he said, "Thats it!"".
The song "Mettu Podu" is based on raga Anantabairavi and the song "Anjali Anjali" is based on raga Maand.
The film and soundtrack were adapted to Hindi (as Tu Hi Mera Dil) and Telugu (with the same title).
All the lyrics were penned by Vennelakanti. As per that existing trend in telugu film industry Rahman used the common voices of all the films, S.P.Balasubrahmanyam & K.S.Chithra for all the songs.
All the lyrics were penned by P.K. Mishra.On director Priyadarshan's request A. R. Rahman remade the song "Anjali Anjali" in the Bollywood film Kabhi Na Kabhi starring Pooja Bhatt and Anil Kapoor. Original song in Tamil was sung by S. P. Balasubramaniam and K. S. Chithra whilst the Hindi version by Kumar Sanu and Alka Yagnik.This is a film in which Meenakshi Seshadri, who acted in Bollywood, starred in a Tamil movie after a long gap and the film has a tag line which goes "My fair lady".Actress Saritha dubbed for Meenakshi Seshadri.