The film won three National Film Awards, including Best Film on National Integration, catapulting Ratnam to national acclaim. The film also gained international acclaim with its nomination for Best Film at the Moscow International Film Festival. The film was recently re-released for international audiences in light of the growing fear of terrorist attacks across the world. This film was so popular during that time, that terrorists in Kashmir, got a copy of the movie in Tamil. It is the first in Ratnam's trilogy of films that depict human relationships against a background of Indian politics, including Bombay and Dil Se.
The film's successful and acclaimed score and soundtrack were composed by A. R. Rahman, who debuted in Tamil as a music director with this film. This soundtrack is among the "10 Best Soundtracks" of all time listed by TIME magazine, issued in 2005