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Title: Chithram  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Priyadarshan, Thalavattam, M. G. Soman, M. G. Sreekumar, Sujatha Mohan, Chitram, Vandanam, List of Malayalam films of the 1980s, Santhana Bharathi, Poornam Vishwanathan
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


DVD cover
Directed by Priyadarshan
Produced by P. K. R. Pillai
Screenplay by Priyadarshan
Story by Sreenivasan
Starring Mohanlal
Nedumudi Venu
Poornam Vishwanathan
M. G. Soman
Maniyanpilla Raju
Music by Songs:
Kannur Rajan
Background Score:
Cinematography S. Kumar
Editing by N. Gopalakrishnan
Studio Shirdi Sai Creations
Distributed by Shirdi Sai Release
Release date(s)Template:Plainlist
Running time 159 minutes
Country India
Language Malayalam
Box office INR6+ Crores[1]

Chithram (English: Picture) is a 1988 Malayalam screwball comedy film written and directed by Priyadarshan, based on a story by Sreenivasan. The film stars Mohanlal, Ranjini, Nedumudi Venu, Poornam Vishwanathan, Sreenivasan, Soman, Sukumari, Lizy, and Maniyanpilla Raju in the main roles.

The film was a phenomenal success in Kerala and broke all existing records in Malayalam cinema at the time. It had a theatrical run of more than 625 days in some centres and is said to be one of the highest grossing all time blockbuster in Malayalam Cinema.[2] It collected INR 6+ crores from major centres[1] The film is considered to be an all time highest grossing movie in Malayalam when adjusted to inflation, when considering the high increase in number of releasing theatres, ticket rates and money value.


Kalyani (Ranjini) is the daughter of a wealthy NRI Ramachandra Menon (Poornam Vishwanathan) who resides in the United States. Kalyani, brought up in Chennai by her father's friend Kaimal (Nedumudi Venu), falls in love with another man and decides to marry against the wishes of her father. When her boyfriend finds out that she will be disinherited, he ditches her at the altar.

After a short while her father decides to retract his disapproval and spend a fortnight's vacation with his daughter and son-in-law in his estate near a tribal community where Menon is the chief. Because her father is already ill and because this may be his last vacation, Kalyani and Kaimal want to make it as happy for him as possible. They decide to conceal the fact that her boyfriend dumped her.

Kaimal hires Vishnu (Mohanlal) to play the part of the husband for a fortnight. Meanwhile Kalyani's cousin Bhaskaran Nambiar (Sreenivasan) who is the caretaker of the estate was expected to inherit Menon's estate and property when Kalyani was disinherited, is determined not to let go without a fight. He knows that Vishnu is not Kalyani's boyfriend and makes various botched attempts to prove this.

Initially Vishnu and Kalyani do not get along and keep bickering. But as time passes, she develops an affection towards Vishnu and hopes to marry him for real. A couple of days after they have a mysterious visitor (Soman) who claims to be a relative of Vishnu.

Finally it is revealed that Vishnu is actually an escaped convict from jail who is sentenced to death and the visitor turns out to be the prison warden. Vishnu's past is shown in flashback and he was a freelance photographer who was married to a woman named Revathy (Lizy Priyadarshan), a mute dancer. They also had a child. Vishnu discovers that a man was visiting his wife when he was not around and begins to suspect her. Coming home one day he finds the man there and tries to attack him. Revathy dies in the scuffle, Vishnu discovers that the man is actually her brother who is a naxalite. He tells Kalyani that he escaped prison to make money for the surgery of his child.

On the last night of Vishnu's stay at the house, he asks Jail Warden, is it possible for him to live, as he started to like life again. The warden did not reply to his question as he is helpless regarding this. After a happy fortnight, Kalyani's father returns to the US. The final scene shows the warden taking Vishnu to jail, with Kalyani watching him leave, where his execution awaits him.


Actor Role Other notes
Mohanlal Vishnu
Ranjini Kalyani
Nedumudi Venu Kaimal
Poornam Vishwanathan Ramendra Menon Voice-over by Narendra Prasad
Lizy Revathy
Soman Jail Superintendent
Sreenivasan Bhaskaran Nambiar
Maniyanpilla Raju Murugan
Ganeshan Revathy's Brother
Sukumari Bhaskaran Nambiar's mother
Jagadish Vishnu's friend
Unni Mary Sister of Bhaskaran Nambiar
Thikkurissy Sukumaran Nair Revathy's father Guest appearance
Shanavas Ravi


The film's music was composed by Kannur Rajan and penned lyrics by Shibu Chakravarthy. M. G. Sreekumar sang most of the songs in the film. Carnatic music singer Neyyattinkara Vasudevan was a guest singer. The classical Krithis like "Nagumo" and "Swaminatha" gained a mass popularity with this film. Playback singer Sujatha Mohan also sang in this movie, marking her return after years of sabbatical. Mohanlal sang two songs "Kaadumi Naadumellam" and "Aey Monnu".

Track Song Title Singer(s) Other notes
1 Eeran Megham M. G. Sreekumar Raga: Madhyamavati
2 Paadam Pootha Kaalam M. G. Sreekumar
3 Nagumo Neyyattinkara Vasudevan, M. G. Sreekumar Traditional Keerthanam by Tyagaraja
Raga: Abheri
4 Doore Kizhakkudikkum M. G. Sreekumar, Sujatha
5 Aey Moonnu Mohanlal Traditional Folk
6 Paadam Koyyum Munpe Sujatha
7 Swaminaatha M. G. Sreekumar Traditional Keerthanam by Muthuswami Dikshitar
Raga: Nattai
8 Kaadumi Naadumellam Mohanlal, Sujatha, Chorus
9 Paadam Pootha Kaalam (Sad) M. G. Sreekumar


  • P. K. R. Pillai of Shirdi Sai Creations started 2 films together, Chithram and Nair Saab, but as he faced financial issues, he sold Nair Saab to Basheer of Liberty Productions and complete Chithram. Chithram ran for 365 days in ernakulam shenoys.


Year Film Language Cast Director Box Office
1990 Alludugaru Telugu Mohan Babu, Shobana, Ramya Krishna, Kongara Jaggaiah K. Raghavendra Rao Super Hit
1991 Pyar Hua Chori Chori Hindi Mithun Chakraborty, Gouthami, Shikha Swaroop, Shafi Inamdar, Anupam Kher K. Bapayya Moderate
1993 Rayaru Bandaru Maavana Manege Kannada Vishnuvardhan, Dolly, Bindiya, Vajramuni, C R Simha, Dwarakish, Sihi Kahi Chandru B.S. Dwarakish Super Duper Hit
1995 Engirundho Vandhan Tamil Sathyaraj, Roja, Aamani Santhana Bharathi Flop


External links

  • Internet Movie Database

Template:Malayalam films directed by Priyadarshan

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