After the blockbuster Shivaji, when the whole industry was abuzz with talks about the film's impressive theme and the treatment, Superstar Rajinikanth accepted his friend Srinivasan's invitation and attended a special screening of the Malayalam movie Katha Parayumbol. Absolutely impressed with the theme, Rajini wanted to take up the Tamil remake and was willing to act in the role of the Mammootty in the original. Without further delay, he called Srinivasan and from that moment, the project began to take shape. Titled Kuselan in Tamil and Kucheludu in Telugu, later renamed Kathanayakudu, Rajini chose the experienced and wise P. Vasu as the director of the remake. K. Balachander's Kavithalaya took over the production. Needless to say, Rajinikanth's presence in the project galvanized the whole team into swift activity.
Though a remake, the plot has been modified suitably to suit the tastes of the Tamil and Telugu audiences. It is also understood changes have been made to amplify and expand the role of the Superstar; as a result, Rajni appears in over 50% of the film, though he is not the hero.
The theme of the film is simple: Balan (Pasupathy) is a barber who lives a hand-to-mouth existence in his village with his wife Sridevi (Meena) and three children. A secret love affair, elopement, subsequent marriage, fatherhood and poverty have pushed the barber to the brink and he is absolutely vanquished by the crushing weight of his failure to fulfill his responsibilities. And Balan is a man who just cannot dupe, lie, or commit fraud. So without knowing any means to make extra money, Balan struggles to cope with life and demands of the family. Each and every day poses a mighty challenge to him; there is no money to pay the children's school fees, absolutely no money for everyday expenses, food and clothing. As if all these are not sufficient to stir trouble, his business also goes through a dull period. Deprived of caring friends and relatives on whom he can rely for help and support, Balan struggles through life daily, getting on with the business of living, trying to make sense of life, trying to do his job, to keep his wife and children fed and clothed.
At this critical juncture, Balan comes to know that Superstar Ashokraj (Rajinikanth) is visiting the village in connection with the shoot of his latest film. As soon as he receives news about the shooting, an enthusiastic Balan reveals the precious piece of information that - Ashok is his childhood friend. Coming to know about the connection, Balan's wife and children yell with joy as if they have won the lottery overnight. Also, armed with the foresight and thoughtfulness of a dutiful mother, Sreedevi urges her husband to extract maximum advantage of the connection. Balan, a man of great self-esteem and individuality, is taken aback by the shrewd suggestion. Though he and Ashok had enjoyed a good friendship, he does not want to temper the purity of the first meeting after all these years by asking for a personal favour. Needless to say, Balan is also awed by Ashok's Superstar airs and is not sure whether he would even recognize the poor barber. So what happens next? Do Ashok and Balan meet? Does Ashok agree to help them out? Does he fulfil Sreedevi's expectations, showering fortune on them? Or is he the cool, reserved star who considers himself several notches above the poor barber's social status? Does he feel ashamed to acknowledge his friendship? Kuselan/Kathanayakudu has captured an emotional explosion at this point in the narrative. Wait and watch!
It is a Superstar film, one he has happily accepted! So obviously, the whole industry is curious to enjoy news and information regarding the production. Based on those snippets, it appears there are going to be interesting star-cameos (Sneha, Kamal Haasan and so on) and Vadivelu is going to appear.