Cold Case (film)

Cold Case is a 2021 Indian Malayalam-language crime thriller directed by Tanu Balak and written by Sreenath V. Nath, that stars Prithviraj Sukumaran in the lead role and also features Aditi Balan, Pooja Mohanraj, Anil Nedumangad, Lakshmi Priyaa Chandramouli, Anand and Rajesh Hebbar in supporting roles.[1] The plot follows two parallel investigations of a paranormal murder case by IPS officer M. Sathyajith (Prithviraj) and investigative journalist Medha Padmaja (Aditi), who eventually cross paths.[2]

Cold Case
Cold Case film poster.jpg
Online release poster
Directed byTanu Balak
Written bySreenath V. Nath
Produced by
StarringPrithviraj Sukumaran
CinematographyGireesh Gangadharan
Jomon T. John
Edited byShameer Muhammed
Music byPrakash Alex
  • Anto Joseph Film Company
  • Plan J Studios
  • AP International
Distributed byAmazon Prime Video
Release date
  • 30 June 2021 (2021-06-30)
Running time
140 minutes

The film marks the directorial debut of cinematographer Tanu Balak. With a formal announcement made in September 2020, the principal shooting of the film began on 31 October, and was completed on 7 December 2020. It was filmed mostly in Trivandrum around 36 days. Prakash Alex composed the film score while Gireesh Gangadharan and Jomon T. John jointley handled the cinematography, and Shameer Muhammed edited the film. Cold Case was released on 30 June 2021 on Amazon Prime Video, bypassing theatrical release due to COVID-19-related cinema closures.[3][4]


The movie opens with a Hindu exorcism ritual in Varanasi and a Muslim exorcism ritual in Kerala.

Medha, a journalist leaves her news office while talking to her mother-in-law who is at an ashram. While driving home, A.C.P. M. Sathyajith is called in to investigate a murder, as a result of a skull being found in a bag from a river. Forensic analysis reveals that the murder  was committed over a year ago and the skull belongs to a female aged 25–30 years. The identity of the deceased is then sought. The dental implants on the skull, indicate that the victim was a female named Eva Maria, who was from a wealthy family and that her father had left her a fortune before his death. The police investigate her location and traces her family. Her stepmother tells him that she had married a North Indian and remained estranged from them for a while and that during the Easter of 2019, her father met her and possibly patched up things between them. The police also learn that all the land that Eva had inherited was quietly sold to an outsider.

On the other hand, Eva's spirit tries to contact Medha, a journalist currently seeking help for her daughter's custody case from Advocate Haritha, who is also a friend of Medha, as Eva's spirit needs Medha's help. Medha takes the help of an occult researcher, Zara Zacchai, who tells her the name of the soul as Eva Maria and Medha with the help of Advocate Haritha (who was Eva's lawyer for her divorce case) and Asif, a colleague starts her own investigation in parallel, unaware that the Police are investigating the case.

Sathyajith later meets Eva's ex-husband and finds out that he was deep in debt because of his divorce proceeding as he had to return 2.5 Crore that he had earlier borrowed from Eva to start his own production house. This debt was settled by his now father-in-law who is the owner of the media house where Medha works. Sathyajith traces Eva's last known location to a working women's hostel and through multiple witnesses concludes that she was last seen in September 2019 which is the period of her death. However, her phone was active till April 2020 and her Facebook account showed pictures posted in Varanasi till April 2020. He then traces a list of tourists who due to the lockdown were brought to the home state by a special government bus service. He finds Eva's name in that list and concludes that an imposter was posting pictures and sending messages to her friends so that no one reports her missing. Meanwhile, the dental advisor who helped them with the dental implants on the skull, tells him that sometime back they had recovered a human hand in Tamil Nadu and this possibly could link to this case. On analysis, it is found that the hand belonged to Eva and had strands of hair that might belong to the murderer.

During the investigation, Sathyajith learns that Medha is also in search of the truth. While they are discussing each other's findings, Sathyajith gets a phone call from his uncle who had seen the impersonator for Eva while returning from Varanasi. All the pieces of the puzzle fit into the place and Sathyajith detects that the killer is none other than Advocate Haritha. Haritha was neck-deep in debt when she was handling Eva's case. Her father died when a real estate project was mid-way in construction and she fears if the project is not delivered within a month's period she may be arrested. One day she takes Eva home on the pretext of talking her out of her grief and strangles her to death. Haritha then dismembers Eva's body, stores it in the fridge, and later scatters the pieces. She then creates fake documents assuming Eva's identity and sells off Eva's inheritance and restores her father's business, She takes Eva's phone to Varanasi and posts the pictures on Facebook, after which she throws Eva's phone into the river. She later boards a special government bus service for the trip back to Kerala.

Now alerted, Haritha goes to Medha's home to clean up the evidence. While she was there alone, she sees the same refrigerator that she had used to store Eva's remains and then, Haritha is killed when the refrigerator explodes. In the final scenes, we see Medha saying she was right about her beliefs that the refrigerator was possessed with Eva's soul. Sathyajith tells her that there would always be a conflict between faith and logic, as a police officer he can only rely on logic and terms this incident as an extraordinary accident. Later at Medha's ancestral house, her dead sister's picture breaks into pieces after Medha plays her radio.


  • Prithviraj Sukumaran as ACP M. Sathyajith IPS
  • Aditi Balan as Medha Padmaja, a freelance journalist (Dubbing: Angel Shijoy)
  • Anil Nedumangad as CI Siyad Muhammad
  • Pooja Mohanraj as Neela Maruthan IPS, Probationary officer
  • Suchitra Pillai as Zara Zacchai, a blind occult researcher
  • Athmiya Rajan as Eva Maria
  • Lakshmi Priyaa Chandramouli as Advocate Haritha Moncy Manakkal, Medha's friend
  • Rajesh Hebbar as Dr Mahesh, a forensic surgeon
  • Anand as Dr Aadhavan Padmanabhan
  • Dr Divya as Dr Sana Navas
  • Nitha Promy as DCP Dr. Malini Aravind IPS
  • Shibu Laban as SI Satheesh
  • Bilas Nair as CI Rajprakash
  • Gibin Gopinath as SI Ajithkumar
  • Parvathy T as Padmaja, Medha's mother
  • Baby Eithal Evana Sherin as Chinmayi / Chinnu
  • Vijayakumari as Vasudha
  • Azeez Nedumangadu as Broker Kunjeria
  • Srikanth K Vijayan as Darshan Dev
  • Ravikrishnan as Thimothy Zacchai
  • Kannan Nair as Asif
  • Alencier Ley Lopez as Chandrabhanu
  • Sanuja Somanath as Roshni
  • Usha Karunagappilly as Lissie Philip
  • Shabhari as Jio
  • Anusree Pothen as Jini
  • Surya Mohan as Rafeeqa
  • Ravinder Pal J as Philip Karachal
  • Bensi Mathews as Commissioner Venkitesh IPS
  • Amboori Jayan as Dhandapandi
  • Shailaja P. Ambu as Chandrika
  • Sanju Ramapuran as Achayan
  • Satheesh as teastall owner
  • Biju as Paili
  • Rafi Kannadipparamba as Fridge shop helper
  • Ramu Mangalapalla as Fridge shop owner
  • Viju as House owner
  • Ramadevi Ramamurthi as House owner's wife
  • Maya Suresh as hostel warden
  • Sunil Vikram as Construction site supervisor
  • N. Venunath as Home Minister
  • Aleena Mary as Malini's daughter
  • Sreenath V Nath as News reporter 1
  • Jiji as News reporter 2
  • Sathya as Amrith Raj
  • Robert Aaluva as Aloshi Joseph IPS
  • Ashwini as Muslim woman
  • Krishnan Nair as Muslim priest
  • Sreerag Shine as Muslim boy
  • Alphy Panjikaran as Medha's sister (photo presence)



In September 2020, Prithviraj Sukumaran was reported to play the lead in an investigative thriller film produced by Anto Joseph, and cinematographer Tanu Balak was assigned to helm the project, making his directorial debut.[5] Sreenath V. Nath scripted the film's story and screenplay, which is based on real-life incidents, although being stated by the makers as a fictional project and the team added that the film does not have action sequences.[6] Cinematographer Jomon T. John, was the first crew member to be announced as part of the technical department, as the rest of the cast and crew were yet to be revealed.[7] Aditi Balan was assigned as the female protagonist, whose character was based on journalism.[8] Another cinematographer, Girish Gangadharan, joined the team, as did music composer, Prakash Alex, and editor, Shameer Muhammed.[9]


Balak added that, Prithviraj's portions were set mostly indoors and the film has mostly few scenes with crowds, which is set in Trivandrum.[6] The film was launched on 31 October 2020,[10] without Prithviraj as the actor was quarantined for a week,[9] after being recovered from COVID-19.[11] He later joined the shoot on 13 November.[12] Stills from the film featuring Prithviraj in a khaki uniform was positively received by fans and the character name was further revealed as ACP M. Sathyajith.[13][14] The first schedule of the film completed on 24 November 2020 and second schedule started subsequently.[15] The second schedule was completed on 7 December 2020, by which production has been wrapped within a duration of 36 days.[16]


The film's soundtrack and score is composed by Prakash Alex and lyrics written by Sreenath V Nath. The music album features one song "Eeran Mukil" sung by K. S. Harisankar, which was released on 25 June 2021.[citation needed]

Track listing
1."Eeran Mukil"Sreenath V. NathK. S. Harisankar04:41


The film was initially planned for a direct-to-digital release in December 2020, was later delayed due to post-production difficulties.[16] In the process, the producers later planned for a theatrical release, since theatres were allowed to operate with 50% occupancy, and fixed the date as 4 March 2021.[17] But the film was postponed indefinitely, and producers reinstated the decision to release on over-the-top media service as the functioning of theatres were affected due to the second wave of COVID-19.[18] Anto Joseph officially announced the plans of digital release, with the streaming rights of Cold Case and the Fahadh Faasil-starrer Malik, were sold to Amazon Prime Video.[19]

On 16 June 2021, the makers announced the release date as 30 June 2021,[20][21] with the teaser of the film being unveiled on the same day.[22][23] The trailer was later unveiled on 18 June 2021.[24][25] Cold Case released worldwide on Amazon Prime Video on the midnight 29 June, ahead of the original release, and was made available from streaming in 240 countries.[26]


The Times of India-based critic Anna Mathews gave a rating of 3 out of 5 saying "the film has an innovative story track, with the investigative thriller running on two very different propositions, but in a parallel narrative".[27] Sowmya Rajendran of The News Minute wrote that the screenplay in the first half is "intriguing", but criticised the writing as it had "failed to live up to the ambition of the script" with "the plot becomes less convincing as the film progresses". She rated 3 out of 5 in her review.[28] S. R. Praveen of The Hindu called the film as an "underwhelming horror-thriller that squanders the promising premise that it had". He further called "The script is rather weak not just in using the thriller elements, but in the dialogue department too. Quite a few of the sequences have the characters, especially the police officers, stating the obvious to each other. This is compounded by the not so great dubbing for some characters."[29]

Haricharan Pudipeddi of Hindustan Times called that the film "did take the road less taken with the identity of the murderer", but "the experiment needed a bit more work for the role was poorly written".[30] Manoj Kumar R of The Indian Express gave 1-star rating out of 5 and pointed that the film has "a very conventional premise of a dead person seeking justice from beyond the grave or, in this case, out of a rickety fridge".[31] Giving 2.5 out of 5 stars, Anna M. M. Vetticad of Firstpost called that the film is "wisely controlled when it dips into paranormal horror clichés such as sudden loud sounds, ominous music and abrupt movement" and called the film as a "reasonably engaging thriller, but it had the potential to be so much more".[32] Critic Ramya Palisetty of India Today gave 3 out of 5 saying "the film has the right ingredients to keep you on the edge of the seat, but the lazily-written second half tests your patience".[33]

Roktim Rajpal of Deccan Herald rated 1.5 out of 5 and called "the film fails to make an impact due to the lousy execution".[34] Gauthaman Bhaskaran of News18 called the film as an "extremely amateurish attempt" with a "shoddily-written script that completely wastes Prithviraj's potential, which transformed him into a robotic-run-of the mill man".[35] Meera Jacob, for the news magazine The Week, gave 3 out of 5 rating and called "the movie does hold the attention of the viewer, particularly during the first half. However, moving toward the climax, it seemed to have been a bit of a let-down [sic]... he mixing of genre holds an optimistic future when executed properly."[36] Sajin Srijith of Cinema Express gave 2 out of 5 rating, and said "The film's eagerness to get to the final twist comes at the cost of not-so engaging storytelling".[37] Sangita Nambiar of The Quint, gave 2.5 out of 5 stars rating, calling it as "a paranormal thriller meets police procedural, is a better-than-many watch but definitely not the best or one of the best, it is a watchable thriller, just have reasonably low expectations from it".[38] Nirmal Narayanan of International Business Times wrote "Cold Case is not an impeccable crime thriller. It is just that average film that can be watched when you get some free time for Prithviraj Sukumaran and Aditi Balan".[39]

Arjun Menon of Pinkvilla gave 3 stars out of 5 calling the film as "an old fashioned crime thriller that is designed to evoke the feel of a horror flick and murder mystery simultaneously which does offer a fairly neat premise with little fuzz and great precision in storytelling".[40] Giving 3 out of 5, Sify called the film as an "okayish thriller", with "an almost predictable track and cliched moments".[41] Behindwoods rated 2.5 out of 5 saying "Cold Case is technically lekker, a watchable thriller".[42] A critic from 123Telugu rated 2.5 out of 5 stars and stated "the film is a poorly articulated whodunnit mystery that fails to hold the attention of the viewers all the way through, despite its interesting set-up".[43] Moviecrow rated 2.75 out of 5 and called that "the film remains engaging with some good moments and thrills but that's about it. It never really has you play the guessing game nor is there a payoff."[44]


  1. ^ "Prithviraj Sukumaran's Cold Case to premiere on Amazon Prime Video on 30 June-Entertainment News , Firstpost". Firstpost. 18 June 2021. Retrieved 19 June 2021.
  2. ^ "'Cold Case' trailer: Prithviraj, Aditi Balan star in intense murder-mystery". The Hindu. 21 June 2021. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 21 June 2021.
  3. ^ "Prithviraj's Cold Case to release on Amazon Prime Video on this date". The Indian Express. 19 June 2021. Retrieved 19 June 2021.
  4. ^ "Prithviraj's Cold Case OTT Rlease Date & Digital Rights". Saj Media Entertainment. 19 June 2021. Retrieved 19 June 2021.
  5. ^ "Prithviraj to play cop in an investigative thriller". The News Minute. 19 September 2020. Retrieved 5 July 2021.
  6. ^ a b "Prithviraj to don the khaki again for a suspense thriller". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 5 July 2021.
  7. ^ "Prithviraj to play a cop in Tanu Balak's investigative thriller - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 5 July 2021.
  8. ^ "Aditi Balan is an independent woman with a journalism background in Cold Case - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 5 July 2021.
  9. ^ a b "Prithviraj's Cold Case begins filming, actor to join next week - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 5 July 2021.
  10. ^ "Prithviraj-Aditi Balan thriller Cold Case launched". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 5 July 2021.
  11. ^ "Actor Prithviraj tests positive for coronavirus". The Indian Express. 21 October 2020. Retrieved 5 July 2021.
  12. ^ "Prithviraj to join Cold Case shoot in Thiruvananthapuram - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 5 July 2021.
  13. ^ "Prithviraj looks dashing as a police officer in Cold Case - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 5 July 2021.
  14. ^ "Prithviraj introduces ACP Sathyajith in latest still from Cold Case - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 5 July 2021.
  15. ^ "Prithviraj Sukumaran stuns in smart casuals on the sets of 'Cold Case' - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 5 July 2021.
  16. ^ a b "Prithviraj's Cold Case look would give you some workout motivation - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 5 July 2021.
  17. ^ "Nayanthara-Kunchacko film Nizhal and Prithviraj's Cold Case to release on March 4 - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 5 July 2021.
  18. ^ "Prithviraj's cop movie Cold Case may directly release on OTT". The Indian Express. 2 June 2021. Retrieved 5 July 2021.
  19. ^ "Fahadh Faasil's 'Malik', Prithviraj's 'Cold Case' skip theatres, opt for OTT premiere". The News Minute. 13 June 2021. Retrieved 5 July 2021.
  20. ^ "Prithviraj-Aditi Balan thriller Cold Case to premiere on June 30". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  21. ^ "Prithviraj Sukumaran's Cold Case to premiere on Amazon Prime Video on 30 June-Entertainment News , Firstpost". Firstpost. 16 June 2021. Archived from the original on 18 June 2021. Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  22. ^ "WATCH | Prithviraj Sukumaran releases teaser of his new Malayalam thriller 'Cold Case'". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  23. ^ K., Janani (16 June 2021). "Cold Case teaser out. Prithviraj and Aditi Balan's film is an eerie mystery thriller". India Today. Archived from the original on 19 June 2021. Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  24. ^ "Watch: Trailer of Prithviraj, Aditi Balan's 'Cold Case' shows a supernatural thriller". The News Minute. 18 June 2021. Archived from the original on 21 June 2021. Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  25. ^ "'Cold Case' trailer: Prithviraj, Aditi Balan star in intense murder-mystery". The Hindu. 21 June 2021. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  26. ^ "'Cold Case' doesn't give prominence to stardom: Director Tanu Balak interview". The News Minute. 29 June 2021. Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  27. ^ Cold Case Review: Cold Case: A thriller with a two-pronged approach, retrieved 30 June 2021
  28. ^ "'Cold Case' review: Prithviraj-Aditi Balan thriller has some chills but is lukewarm". The News Minute. 30 June 2021. Retrieved 30 June 2021.
  29. ^ Praveen, S. r (30 June 2021). "'Cold Case' movie review: Underwhelming horror-thriller that squanders a promising premise". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 5 July 2021.
  30. ^ "Cold Case movie review: Prithviraj's film is lukewarm Amazon Prime thriller, wastes an interesting plot". Hindustan Times. 30 June 2021. Retrieved 5 July 2021.
  31. ^ "Cold Case movie review: A lousy horror-thriller where Prithviraj and Aditi Balan are sleepwalking". The Indian Express. 30 June 2021. Retrieved 5 July 2021.
  32. ^ "Cold Case movie review: Reasonably suspenseful despite self-conscious handling of police work-Entertainment News , Firstpost". Firstpost. 30 June 2021. Retrieved 5 July 2021.
  33. ^ Palisetty, Ramya (30 June 2021). "Cold Case Review: Prithviraj Sukumaran's brilliance is lost in this supernatural thriller". India Today. Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  34. ^ "'Cold Case' movie review: Prithviraj-starrer is a major disappointment". Deccan Herald. 30 June 2021. Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  35. ^ "Cold Case Movie Review: A Hotchpotch of a Crime Thriller That Wastes Prithviraj Sukumaran". News18. 30 June 2021. Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  36. ^ "'Cold Case' review: Prithviraj shines in an overstretched thriller". The Week. Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  37. ^ "Cold Case Movie Review: Stiff performances, colourless storytelling". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  38. ^ Nambiar, Sangita (30 June 2021). "'Cold Case' Review: Prithviraj's Whodunit Is Full of Unconvincing Bits". TheQuint. Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  39. ^ Narayanan, Nirmal (30 June 2021). "Cold Case movie review: Prithviraj Sukumaran's horror-crime thriller is cold and amateurish". Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  40. ^ "Cold Case Review: Prithviraj Sukumaran's thriller is cleverly packaged in guise of a routine murder mystery". Pinkvilla. 30 June 2021. Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  41. ^ "Cold Case review: A decent template thriller!". Sify. Archived from the original on 30 June 2021. Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  42. ^ "Cold Case (aka) Cold Case (2021) review". Behindwoods. 30 June 2021. Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  43. ^ "OTT Review : Cold Case – Malayalam film on Amazon Prime". 1 July 2021. Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  44. ^ "Cold Case Review - A 'not bad' thriller that is content to do the bare minimum". Retrieved 6 July 2021.

External linksEdit