Karnan is one of the finest mythological characters from the great epic Mahabharata. He is the first-born of Kuntidevi, mother of the Pandavas who fight the Kauravas in this epic war, lorded by Sri Krishna. But as Destiny would have it, Karnan, the mighty warrior and among the noblest and most generous of Kings has to alas! perish fighting on the wrong side...the side of the Kauravas.
Abandoned by his mother as a baby due to force of circumstances, the Royal blooded but unfortunate Kshatriya is adopted and brought up by a humble charioteer but grows to become a great archer and mighty wrestler, by overcoming great odds and prejudices of that time.. He was so generous that the word Karnan has become a synonym for generosity in India. But his own great qualities of generosity and loyalty lead to his tragic downfall.
Karnan’s fate is sealed when he is given due recognition for his might and talent by Duryodhana, the arch enemy of the Pandava brothers, on being insulted by others in an archery competition for his widely believed‘lowly’birth in a charioteer's family. Duryodhana honors him by making him a king in one of his kingdoms, a rare gesture in those times to a (supposed) non-kshatriya!
Karnan, who learns about his real origin too late (As arranged and planned by the wily Lord Krishna to ensure that the powerful Karnan’s resolve to fight his Pandava brothers is weakened),however stays true and loyal to his friend Duryodhana even after knowing the latter to be in the wrong and also knowing that defeat and death were certain.
Chevalier 'Shivaji' Ganesan , one of the greatest ever actors, has done a superlative job enacting the character of Karnan in the Tamil movie titled ‘Karnan’. His majestic appearance, royal gait and deep voice made him the obvious choice for such a role.