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Chaappa Kurishu

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Chaappa Kurish (Malayalam: ചാപ്പാ കുരിശ്, English: Heads or Tails) is a 2011 Malayalam thriller film co-written and directed by Sameer Thahir and starring Vineeth Sreenivasan, Fahadh Faasil, Roma Asrani, Remya Nambeesan and Nivetha Thomas in the lead roles.

Chaappa Kurish
Theatrical Poster
Directed bySameer Thahir
Produced byListin Stephen
Written bySameer Thahir
Unni R.
StarringVineeth Sreenivasan
Fahadh Faasil
Roma Asrani
Remya Nambeesan
Music byRex Vijayan
CinematographyJomon T. John
Edited byDon Max
Magic Frames
Distributed byCentral Pictures
Release date
  • 14 July 2011 (2011-07-14)
Running time
130 minutes

The film started production in April 2011 at Kochi and released on 14 July. The film is the directorial debut of Thahir. The film was remade in Tamil as Pulivaal with Prasanna and Vimal. The promo of the movie was reported to be a copy of 2003 movie 21 Grams and poster was reported to be based on the 2000 movie Amores perros.[1]

The film is loosely based on the 2009 South Korean film Handphone with reported structural similarity to the 2002 movie Changing Lanes.[2]



The film revolves around the lives of two people: Arjun (Fahadh Faasil), a wealthy man in the construction business in Kochi who has an affair with his subordinate, Sonia (Remya Nambeesan), even though he is preparing to be engaged to his family friend's daughter Ann (Roma); and Ansari (Vineeth Sreenivasan), who lives in a slum and works in a supermarket doing odd jobs who is mocked for his appearance and has a crush on his co-worker Nafiza (Niveda).

When Sonia learns that Arjun is getting engaged to Ann, a fight occurs between the two and in the heat of the moment he forgets to take his cell phone. The phone accidentally reaches the hands of Ansari. Arjun gets upset over his lost phone because it has videos of Arjun and Sonia making love. Arjun tries to recover it because he is afraid that the videos will be uploaded onto YouTube. Arjun makes several calls to his missing phone but Ansari always turns it off. Arjun gets terribly frustrated.

Finally, Ansari attends a call, but not ready to give the phone back to Arjun. Ansari undergoes a total change in his character after the phone incident and Nafiza notices it. Under pressure from Nafiza, Ansari opens up. Realizing the seriousness of the matter, Nafiza asks Ansari to return the phone to its rightful owner.

When the phone's battery runs out, Ansari cannot afford a charger for the phone, so he takes the phone to a shop. After watching the clips, the shop owner uploads the video onto YouTube where it quickly spreads. Arjun is shown to be regretful of having taken advantage of Sonia's trust in him when she allowed him to record them. Sonia too finds out about the YouTube video, and after making a call to Arjun, is shown to be preparing for suicide.

A chase follows when Arjun tries to find Ansari. The two meet in a confrontation that is vicious and bloody before finally settling down and resignedly going their separate ways. Sonia, whose intimate video clips are all over YouTube, decides to leave town instead of killing herself. Arjun finds out and is seen seeking her out at the airport. He's all bruised from the fight, and the film leaves them at that point while the film ends with Ansari standing up to people who mock him.




"Chappa Kurishu" means Head or Tail in Malayalam. Sameer Thahir says: "While I was writing the script itself, giving shape to the main male leads, Ansari and Arjun , I knew that they were the two sides of the same coin. So I thought of 'Heads or Tails' as the title. But I wanted it in the colloquial lingo. It's called 'Changum Chappayum' in Kollam, 'Thalayum Valum' in Kottayam, 'Raja Kozhi' in Thrissur, 'Chappa Pulli' in Kozhikode and 'Chaappa Kurish' in Cochin. And I belong to Cochin."[3]


The director says: "As the script took shape, Vineeth Seenivasan and Fahadh Faasil, two wonderful actors, seemed to fit perfectly as the characters of Ansari and Arjun. In the movie they are one and the same but stand at two extremes just like the head and tail of a coin."[3]


Chappa Kurishu was launched by actor Kamal Haasan at the 100th day function of Traffic. The film was produced by Listin Stephen who also produced Traffic. It was director Anwar Rasheed who introduced Sameer Thahir to Listin.[3] The film started production in April 2011 at Ernakulam. The film was shot entirely with a Canon 7D DSLR camera.[4][5][6]


By the release of the trailer itself Chaappa Kurishu had kickstarted controversies. There is some similarities between trailer title insets of American drama film 21 Grams directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu and written by Guillermo Arriaga, released in 2003.[7] The director says: "It was a blunder on my part. I did not give much thought to it while I adopted those lines. Now that it has been asked, it is actually doing good to the movie. So I really don't mind.".[3] Moreover, the film has been accused of stealing the idea from the Korean movie Handphone.

Another controversy was a two-minute smooch between Remya Nambeesan and Fahadh Faasil which was first ever on a Malayalam film. Remya says: "An actress should always be ready to take risks if her character demands so. Even when I was aware that the two- minute intense scene could create waves, I was sure that it was inevitable as it suited the plot. A sense of necessity made me accept that scene. I think director Sameer Tahir brought out the best in me. In fact, I enjoyed doing the scene".[8] The director says: "We live in the 21st century and this is no big deal any more. Kissing and making love is part of life. That scene is very relevant to the script. And it is very aesthetically done. It's part of the movie's soul. So there is no reason why I should not include that."[3]


Critical receptionEdit

Keerthy Ramachandran of Deccan Chronicle gave the film a rating of 2 out of 5 stars saying "The film is a dark riveting account of the lives of two men who lead extremely contrasting lives."[9] Veeyen of rated the film 2.5/5 and said "It's a brave and genuinely heartfelt directorial effort from a young director, who has clearly won the toss this time around." [10] gave the film a score of 2.5 out of 5 saying "Chaappa Kurishu, Samir Thahir's debut as a director holds promise but leaves us with a feeling that it could have been better." [11] Sify on its review said that "Chappa Kurishu shocks the viewers for sure, but sadly for all the wrong reasons." [12] Indiaglitz rated the film 5/10 and wrote: "The generous dose of skin show sequence, violent action and the need for a more tighter scripts will tell on its business and restrict its appeal further to limited audiences."[13]


Music by: Rex Vijayan, Lyrics by: Engandiyoor Chandrasekharan


Award Category Result Recipient Ref.
Second Best Actor Won Fahadh Faasil [14]
Ramu Kariat Memorial Cultural Forum Awards
Best Second Film Won Chaappa Kurish [15]
Film Guidance Society of Kerala Film Awards
Best Supporting Actress Won Remya Nambeesan [16]
Vayalar Ramavarma Chalachitra Television Award
Best Actress Won Remya Nambeesan [17]
Best Character Actress Nominated Remya Nambeesan
Asiavision Movie Awards
Trendsetter Award Won Listin Stephen [18]
Vanitha Film Awards
Best supporting Actress Won Remya Nambeesan
Mathrubhumi Kalyan Silks Film Awards
Best Path Breaking Movie of the Year Nominated Chaappa Kurish [19]
Amrita Film Awards
Best Film Won Chaappa Kurish
Kochi Times Film Awards
Best Youth Film Won Chaappa Kurish [20]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c d e "Behind The Camera: Chappayum Kurishum Screenil". Retrieved 19 July 2011.
  4. ^ The Hindu. Chennai, India Archived from the original on 2013-02-04. Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  5. ^
  6. ^[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "Chaappa Kurish trailer, a rip off of Hollywood flick 21 Grams" Archived 24 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine.. 21 June 2011. Retrieved 11 July 2011.
  8. ^ Keerthy Ramachandran. (18 July 2011). "Risque-taking Remya Nambeesan". Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved 19 July 2011.
  9. ^ "Chappa Kurishu: Engrossing thriller". Deccan Chronicle. Archived from the original on 21 September 2011. Retrieved 16 November 2011.
  10. ^ "Chappa Kurishu: Review". Retrieved 16 November 2011.
  11. ^ "Review: Chappa Kurishu has it moments - Movies". Retrieved 16 November 2011.
  12. ^ "Movie Review:Chappa Kurishu". Retrieved 16 November 2011.
  13. ^ "IndiaGlitz - Chappakurisu Malayalam Movie Review". IndiaGlitz. Retrieved 16 November 2011.
  14. ^ "Kerala State Film Awards".
  15. ^ "Ramu Kariat Memorial Cultural Forum Awards".
  16. ^ "Film Guidance Society of Kerala Film Awards".
  17. ^ "Vayalar Ramavarma Chalachitra Television".
  18. ^ "Asiavision Movie Awards". Archived from the original on 2012-01-25.
  19. ^ "Mathrubhumi Kalyan Silks Film Awards". Archived from the original on 2012-03-03.
  20. ^ "The Kochi Times Film Awards 2011". The Times Of India. 23 June 2012.

External linksEdit