Action Hero Biju

Action Hero Biju is a 2016 Indian Malayalam-language police procedural drama film directed by Abrid Shine. The film chronicles the professional life of Biju Paulose (Nivin Pauly), a sub-inspector in Kochi City Police. Nivin jointly produced the film with Abrid Shine and Shibu Thekkumpuram. It was co-written by Muhammad Shafeeq and Abrid Shine. Jerry Amaldev composed the original songs, while Rajesh Murugesan composed score. Principal photography began in May 2015 and ended in October 2015.

Action Hero Biju
Action Hero Biju (2016) - Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAbrid Shine
Written byAbrid Shine
Muhammad Shafeeq
Produced byNivin Pauly
Shibu Thekkumpuram
Abrid Shine[1][2]
Narrated byLal Jose
CinematographyAlex J. Pulickal
Edited byManoj
Music bySongs:
Jerry Amaldev
Suresh Thampanoor
Rajesh Murugesan
Distributed byLJ Films & Tricolor Entertainment
Release date
  • 4 February 2016 (2016-02-04) (India)
Running time
150 minutes[3]
Budget3 crore[4]
Box office32 crore[5]

After being postponed several times, Action Hero Biju was released in Kerala on 4 February 2016 and rest of India the following day. The film was a blockbuster success at the box office. Nivin Pauly won Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Malayalam for his performance in this film in 2016 at 64th Filmfare Awards South.[6] Suraj Venjaramoodu only had a brief cameo in the movie, but it is considered as a turning point in his career as he underwent a complete evolution with his acting.[7]


The story opens as sub-inspector Biju Poulose is informed of the location of a few wanted criminals in his jurisdiction. As he corners and apprehends them, he gets injured when one of the criminals stabs him. Now, the story goes back to a month before the incident when Biju and other officers handle a series of different types of complaints and cases, petty and major, that are registered at the police station.

Biju receives a call from the hospital informing him of a twelve-year-old girl who gets mauled by a dog when she tried to pluck some mangoes from a highly influential businessman's house. Eyewitnesses report that the businessman had purposefully let the dog out. Biju sets out to his house to arrest the businessman. However, some local politicians try to use their political power to prevent the case from being registered. Biju tracks the culprit from a club and arrests him.

The next complaint resolved was lodged by a lady who was yet to receive her salary. When Biju tries to mediate a negotiation between the employers and the lady, the employers act callously which enrages Biju. He threatens to shut down their company for registration inaccuracies if the dues are not paid; the employers immediately comply.

Later, Biju encounters a case of a suicide attempt and missing of a Navy personnel who jumps in to rescue the woman and her child. During the subsequent search, he and his subordinates manage to save the woman. The child dies as people who rescued the child from the river assumed that she died and emergency services didn't take her to the hospital on time. This affects Biju emotionally and the search for the missing Navy man fails. Through the course of the next few days, he resolves different cases including that of an auto driver who stalks a woman he loves, bikers without helmet and a drunk who steals a wireless-set from a careless police officer.

When investigating a substance abuse and battering case by an adolescent he goes after the rising narcotic sales that targets school children, he discovers a group of teenagers purchasing marijuana from a notorious criminal during random vehicle checks. He arrests them in the presence of the magistrate and takes them to police station and uses third degree interrogation on the criminal and informs the parents of the teenagers. Biju after giving warnings lets them off without registering the case to avoid spoiling their future. Later he solves a case regarding eloping of a timid Pavithran's wife with their daughter.

Biju tackles a case assigned by his superiors whereby some jewelries stolen from a house. Deducing from the clues and circumstances, Biju suspects the housemaid is the thief. He visits her and during interrogation, finds flaws in her alibi. They confirm her as the culprit and arrests her. Meeting her husband and children, a child is a respected SPC student cadet whom he knows; Biju faces moral dilemma when he comes to know the mother did it to pay school fees. Biju half-heartedly follows the law and takes her to station. The film cuts back to the scene in the beginning of the movie. Through an informant he finds out the location of a murderer and his cohorts in hiding. While pursuing to arrest, gets stabbed by one of them. Biju successfully manages to prevent them from escaping until the rest of the police force arrives.

As he is treated for his wounds in the hospital, he jokes with his fiancée that injuries are common in his occupation and that she is free to marry someone else. Later, it is shown that he survived and that he is apprehending another gang of criminals. In the middle of this his father calls and informs him that his wife has given birth to a daughter. He joyfully receives the news but continues his assigned task of arresting the criminals. A voice over briefs that Biju is not a superhero but one of the many dedicated police officers in the state.




In August 2014, after the success of Shine's debut film 1983, Shine announced his next project, Action Hero Biju, would star Nivin Pauly. It was reported that Nivin, Abrid and Shibu Thekkumpuram would both produce the film under Pauly's production banner Pauly.Jr Pictures and Shine's Full on Studios.[8][9] From scripting to post-production it almost took two years and the scripting of the film taken ten months to complete which Abrid collaborated with Muhammed Shefeeq.[10]

It was earlier reported that Nivin Pauly will be seen as a police officer in the film.[11][12] For the role Nivin took physical training and workouts, special fighting classes and followed special diets to gain more weight and followed workout regimens, to fit the role of a police officer, he spent time with police officers to understand the real feel of a police and to make it realistic.[10][13]

About the title, the director says "The title, Action Hero Biju, stems from my interest in narrating a common man's story. Biju is an extremely common and secular name in Kerala and I felt it has cuteness about it. My film tells the story of a common man who becomes a brave cop, and I felt the title is a perfect fit".[14] He also explained "The film is a light take on policing, it is not the hardcore police kind of story – it is a mix of humour and action. It is about a police sub-inspector’s heroism. We see the world through his eyes – we experience his views, experiences and emotions".[10] The title was announced in September 2014.[15]

Casting and crewEdit

Nivin Pauly was selected to play the title character of the film sub-inspector Biju.[9] Anu Emmanuel who made her debut as a child artist in Swapna Sanchari (2011) was placed to play the female lead,[16][17] who was suggested by her father and producer Thankachan Emmanuel.[18]

In July 2015 director Jude Antony Joseph signed to play a minor role in the film. Joju George, Saiju Kurup, Kalabhavan Prajod, and Major Ravi were confirmed to do police roles. Suraj Venjaramoodu and Jayasree who worked on 1983 was called to act in the film, in addition around 35 actors were selected to play smaller roles in the film.[10][19][20] Suresh Thampanoor was introduced in the film by Abrid when he saw a small WhatsApp video clip of Suresh performance, he was totally impressed and Suresh was into the film.[21]

The Cinematography was given to Alex J. Pulickal, background score to Rajesh Murugesan and lyrics were written by Santosh Varma and Harinarayanan. The veteran music director Jerry Amaldev composed the music for the film, he composed songs for the film after a long break of 20 years.[10] Editing for the film was panned by Manoj, while sound designer was Raja Krishnan, whereas art direction by M Bawa and costume design by Remya Suresh.[22]


Filming began in May 2015.[16] The film was shot in Fort Kochi in Kerala.[23] When Anu Emmanuel came for the filming almost 50 per cent of the project was shot.[18] Filming was wrapped up in October 2015 in Kochi and was given for post-production in November.[16][24][25]


The soundtrack for the film was composed by Jerry Amaldev after a long break of 20 years.[10] Rajesh Murugesan composed the background score of the film while Santhosh Varma and BK Harinarayanan wrote the lyrics.[26] Satyam Audios own the audio rights of the film and was released in YouTube by Satyam Audios itself. The film features 4 tracks. The tracks for the film were recorded in Yesudas's studio in Chennai and were mastered in New York City.[27][28] Jerry Amaldev was chosen to compose the songs for the film by Abrid. Abrid met Jerry at his house a few months before the filming where he told Jerry that "he is tired of electronic music and is looking for some good melodies and acoustic instrumented songs".[29]

Suresh Thampanoor who also acted in the film as a drunkard sung the song "Muthe Ponne Pinangalle" which is a folk song, was also composed and wrote by him it was released on 11 February 2016.[30] The song became popular on social media and received good reviews.[31][32] Pookkal Panineer Pookkal sung by KJ Yesudas and Vani Jayaram, is a duet which Jerry started working on it in November 2015. Jerry Amaldev used acoustic instruments only for all songs.[29][26] Long ago Jerry heard a Young India gramophone version of Vande Mataram which was composed by Rabindranath Tagore. It was a monophonic composition and had a chorus he added the song to the film by adding a small difference. It was sung in the film by Swetha Mohan.[27]

1."Pookkal Panineer"Santhosh VarmaK J Yesudas, Vani Jayaram4:23
2."Oonjalilaadi Vanna"Santhosh VarmaChinmayi, Jerry Amaldev4:14
3."Chiriyo Chiri"Santhosh VarmaVineeth Sreenivasan, Vaikom Vijayalakshmi3:27
4."Hara Hara"BK HarinarayananSuchith Suresan, Jerry Amaldev4:00
5."Muthe Ponne Pinangalle"V Suresh ThampanoorV Suresh Thampanoor1:40
6."Vande Mataram (Cover)"Bankim Chandra ChattopadhyaySwetha Mohan1:59
Total length:18:09



The film released on 4 February 2016 in 131 screens in Kerala and in 116 screens in rest of India and in more than 10 screens in the United States on 5 February.[33][34] It released on 68 screens in United Arab Emirates on 25 February 2016.[35][36] The film was distributed by LJ Films of Indian film director Lal Jose.[37] Daiwik Films distributed the film in UAE.[38]

Home mediaEdit

Action Hero Biju was released on DVD and VCD by Sathyam Audios on 24 May 2016.[39]


Critical responseEdit

Veeyen of lauded the film. He states that "the cinematic reconstruction of the life of a police officer that Abrid Shine attempts in 'Action Hero Biju' is efficient to the core, and the craft elements on display exceptional. The mother of all gambles that the film indulges in - of keeping conventionalities at bay - makes it a level-headed film that traverses the rugged planes of law, justice, truth and life with consummate ease."[40]

Arathi Kannan of Malayala Manorama rated of 3.5/5 and said "With a salute to the cops, who sweat their ways through their duties and moral obligations, Abrid Shine leaves a sparkling note of thanks before the screen blackout."[41]

S.R. Praveen writing for The Hindu criticised the film for glorifying custodial torture by police especially at a time when Kerala Police was facing criticism for a spate of custodial deaths across the state. Glorification of sexist and racist remarks uttered by Nivin's character were also called out in the review.[42]

Box officeEdit

The film grossed 17.2 crore (US$2.3 million) in Kerala[43] and over 30 crore (US$4.0 million) worldwide. It opened well in Tamil Nadu, grossing 65 lakh (US$86,000) in the opening day from more than 12 screens, which is the highest opening gross for a Malayalam film there.[44] The film grossed an estimated total of 32 crore (US$4.2 million) worldwide.[5] The film ran over 100 days in theatres.[45]


Date of ceremony Award Category Recipient(s) and nominee(s) Result Ref.
18 November 2016 Asiavision Awards Best Actor – Malayalam Nivin Pauly Won [46]
20 January 2017 Asianet Film Awards Popular Actor Won [47]
Best Director Abrid Shine Won
12 February 2017 Vanitha Film Awards Best Movie on Social Awareness Action Hero Biju Won [48]
Popular Actor Nivin Pauly Won
Best Supporting Actress Rohini Won
Best Lyricist – Malayalam Santhosh Varma ("Pookkal Panineer") Won
28—29 March 2017 IIFA Utsavam Best Director – Malayalam Abrid Shine Nominated [49]
Best Actor – Malayalam Nivin Pauly Nominated
Best Female Playback Singer – Malayalam Vani Jairam ("Pookkal Panineer") Nominated
17 June 2017 Filmfare Awards South Best Film – Malayalam Action Hero Biju Nominated [50]
Best Director – Malayalam Abrid Shine Nominated
Best Actor – Malayalam Nivin Pauly Won
Best Music Director – Malayalam Jerry Amaldev Nominated
Best Female Playback Singer – Malayalam Chinmayi ("Oonjalilaadi Vanna") Won
30 June – 1 July 2017 South Indian International Movie Awards Best Film – Malayalam Action Hero Biju Nominated [52]
Best Director – Malayalam Abrid Shine Nominated
Best Actor – Malayalam Nivin Pauly Nominated
Best Actor Critics' Choice – Malayalam Won
Best Supporting Actor – Malayalam Suraj Venjaramoodu Nominated
Best Supporting Actress – Malayalam Rohini Nominated
Best Comedian – Malayalam Joju George Won
Best Lyricist – Malayalam Santhosh Varma ("Pookkal Panineer") Won
Best Female Playback Singer – Malayalam Vani Jairam ("Pookkal Panineer") Nominated


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External linksEdit