Kilukkam (transl. Jingle) is a 1991 Indian Malayalam-language musical romantic comedy film directed by Priyadarshan and written by Venu Nagavalli. The story set in Ooty revolves around tourist guide Joji (Mohanlal) and photographer Nishchal (Jagathy Sreekumar). They happen to meet a lavish tourist Nandini (Revathi), whom they bet their fortunes on. It also stars Thilakan, Innocent, K. B. Ganesh Kumar, Sukumari, and Sharat Saxena, with Murali and Jagadish making cameo appearances. The music was composed by S. P. Venkatesh.

Theatrical Poster
Directed byPriyadarshan
Screenplay byVenu Nagavalli
Story byPriyadarshan
Produced byR. Mohan
CinematographyS. Kumar
Edited byN. Gopalakrishnan
Music byS. P. Venkatesh
Distributed byManorajyam Release
Release date
  • 15 August 1991 (1991-08-15)
Running time
156 minutes

Kilukkam was released on 15 August 1991. The film was the highest-grossing Malayalam film at that time and ran for more than 365-days at the theaters. Kilukkam won five Kerala State Film Awards, including Best Actor for Mohanlal, Second Best Actor for Jagathy Sreekumar, Best Editor for N. Gopalakrishnan, and Best Cinematographer for S. Kumar. The film is regarded as one of the best comedy films of Malayalam cinema.

Kilukkam was reported to be inspired the 1953 movie Roman Holiday.[1][2] It was remade in Telugu as Allari Pilla and in Hindi as Muskurahat by Priyadarshan himself.[3] The film spawned a sequel, Kilukkam Kilukilukkam, released in 2006.


Joji (Mohanlal) is a tourist guide in Ootacamund, down on his luck. Nandini (Revathy), a tourist, who is mentally challenged, and a series of events make her presence intertwined with the lives of Joji and his friend Nischal (Jagathy Sreekumar). In the early part of the movie, hilarity ensues in their misguided attempts in getting rid of Nandini. However, they find out that she is an escaped mental patient who has a bounty on her safe return. When they find that the bounty has been increasing for a while, they decide to hide her for a while and claim the bounty when it gets big enough. They change her appearance by cutting her long tresses short. In time, they realize that things are not as they seem, and more complications are unraveled.




The initial plan for the film was set when Priyadarshan met "Goodknight" Mohan in an airport. The story was developed by Priyadarshan from a thought which came to his mind, about a mentally-ill mischievous girl who is saved by a poor guy. Priyadarshan employed Venu Nagavally for screenwriting the film.[4] The film's title was chosen as Kilukkam, since the character of Nandini is introduced in the film with the clink of her anglets when she jump off a train and she is all perky like a kilukkampetti (a toy box that makes clinking sound).[5] The story of a girl who has to face some miseries in her life—it was the idea Priyadarshan initially intended for the film. While working on the story he met director Fazil and discussed the idea. Fazil at the time was directing Ente Sooryaputhrikku (1991). He told Priyadarshan to "reverse think" the story of Ente Sooryaputhrikku, which was about a girl trying to find her mother. And in Kilukkam it became, a girl trying to find her father.[6]

Mohanlal, who is the usual choice of Priyadarshan was the protagonist in mind from the initial stage itself. Amala who was acting in Priyadarshan's Telugu film Nirnayam at the time, was signed for the role of Nandini. She gave dates from 3 March 1991 to 4 April.[7] Priyadarshan's initial chose for Nischal was Sreenivasan, but he was unavailable during his scheduled date due to another commitment. Hence, Priyadarshan opted for Jagathy Sreekumar, to whom he asked 30 days continuous dates. Sreekumar, at the time, busy acting in multiple films at a time, gave his continuous dates for a long period for the first time. The film's pooja function was held at Kothandapani Studio in Madras (now Chennai). The recording of songs started at the same day in the studio by S. P. Venkatesh.[4] By the time of commencement of filming, Amala got married and had to opt out from the film as her father-in-law Akkineni Nageswara Rao announced her retirement soon after that.[7] She was replaced by Revathi. Jagadish played a pivotal character in the film as a still photographer, the professional rivalry of Nischal, but in the final cut of the film, his portions were cut short to a minor role for reducing the running time.[4]


The Fernhills Palace in Ooty was a major location. It was shot as Justice Pillai's bungalow.

Principal photography began in March 1991 in Ooty, which was the main location where the film is set. In Ooty, The Fernhills Palace was the central location, which was shot as the bungalow of Justice Pillai, played by Thilakan.[4] The mist is utilised in the film to the maximum. The major part of the filming took place early in the morning because the mist lasted for a couple of hours only and the makers wanted to capitalise the mist-covered location. One of the initial scenes in the film, where Mohanlal and Thilakan takes morning walks, are shot in a secluded location in Ooty that was accidentally discovered by the team. They wanted the place to look classy and so the lamp post, a couple of chairs and all those fallen leaves. They painted leaves were brought to the location in a lorry and were scattered to resemble natural foliage.[8]

While filming the song "Ootyppattanam", Mohanlal escaped from what would have been a fatal injury. A sequence in the song was shot over the top of a moving train, where Mohanlal was standing opposite Jagathi and Revathy. There was a leaning electric line over the train passage, which the production team did not notice. While performing, all of a sudden, Sreekumar instructed Mohanlal to lie low, which he immediately obeyed without questioning. The line just touched his hair.[9] In a later interview, Priyadarshan said that, he never laughed while filming Kilukkam, he believed that if they laugh in the sets, the audience will not get that laugh in theatres. Several unscripted dialogues were used by Mohanlal and Revathi in their combination scenes.[6]


Kilukkam was released on 15 August 1991, in 32 centres in Kerala. Within 50 days run, it grossed 1.59 crore from the releasing stations.[4] It was the first Malayalam film to gross over 2.25 crore from theatrical revenue. Kilukkam was the highest-grossing Malayalam film history of the year 1991.[10][11][12] The film is often regarded as a classic, it is considered as one of the best comedy films ever made in Malayalam cinema.[11][13][14]

In a later interview, Priyadarshan has said that he exploited the Mohanlal – Sreekumar chemistry to the maximum and incorporated certain elements of emotions in the film unlike his earlier comedy films Aram + Aram = Kinnaram (1985) and Boeing Boeing (1985), which made the film one of the all-time hits in Malayalam.[6]


Soundtrack album by
Released15 March 1991 (1991-03-15)
RecordedMarch 1991
StudioKothandapani Studio, Madras
LabelMillennium Audios
ProducerR. Mohan
S. P. Venkatesh chronology

All lyrics are written by Bichu Thirumala; all music is composed by S. P. Venkatesh.

Kilukkam (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) [15]
1."Kilukil Pamparam"M. G. Sreekumar04:41
2."Ootypattanam"S. P. Balasubrahmaniam, M. G. Sreekumar, K. S. Chithra04:46
3."Meena Venalil"M. G. Sreekumar, K. S. Chithra04:28
4."Panineer Chandrike"M. G. Sreekumar05:02
Total length:18:17


Kerala State Film Awards[16]
Kerala Film Critics Award[17]
  • Best Art Director - Krishnankutty
  • Special Award - Jagathy Sreekumar

Plan for 3D conversionEdit

In 2012, the executives of Ultra Rays 3D Technologies Private Ltd in Kochi approached Priyadarshan and Ram Mohan for talks for the 3D conversion of Kilukkam.[18] In that case, Kilukkam would become the first Malayalam film to be converted into 3D.[19] Priyadarshan confirmed the news that the company approached him but the final call should be made by the producer Ram Mohan. In the Times of India report in late 2012, Mohan said that nothing has been finalised, discussions are going on.[20]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b c d e Online Desk (16 August 2016). "25th Anniversary of Malayalam movie Kilukkam". Vellinakshatram (in Malayalam). Archived from the original on 5 November 2016. Retrieved 5 November 2016.
  5. ^ Cris (25 August 2016). "The many tales behind titles". Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
  6. ^ a b c മാധവൻ, അനുശ്രീ (13 August 2016). "ഇനി കിലുക്കമെടുക്കാനുള്ള ധൈര്യമില്ല: പ്രിയദർശൻ" [No Courage To Take Kilukkam Again: Priyadarshan]. Mathrubhumi (in Malayalam). Archived from the original on 20 November 2016. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
  7. ^ a b Mangalam (2 February 2017). "Amala loses 'Kilukkam' after saying yes to marriage". Mangalam. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  8. ^ Onmanorama Staff (19 August 2016). "#ThrowbackThursday: Here's how 'Kilukkam' magic happened". Malayala Manorama. Archived from the original on 22 November 2016. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
  9. ^ സ്വന്തം ലേഖകൻ (17 August 2016). "കിലുക്കത്തിലെ സെറ്റിൽ മരണത്തിൽ നിന്ന് രക്ഷപ്പെട്ട മോഹൻലാൽ" [Mohanlal Who Escaped Death From The Sets Of Kilukkam]. Malayala Manorama (in Malayalam). Retrieved 18 August 2016.
  10. ^ Vasudevan, Aishwarya (3 November 2015). "Priyadarshan – Mohanlal: Best films of the duo". The Times of India. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
  11. ^ a b "25 years of 'Kilukkam' magic !". Mangalam Publications. 29 August 2016. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
  12. ^ Poojari, Smita (16 November 2015). "Mollywood movies that ran for more than 300 days". The Times of India. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
  13. ^ Moviebuzz. "Dileep is 50 percent of Mohanlal: Priyadarshan". Sify. Archived from the original on 11 September 2004. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
  14. ^ Entertainment Desk (30 January 2016). "Priyadarshan birthday special: Top 6 movies of the National Award-winning director!". Retrieved 18 August 2016.
  15. ^ Millennium Audios (15 August 1991). "Kilukkam (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) - EP by S. P. Venkitesh on Apple Music". iTunes. Retrieved 5 November 2016.
  16. ^ "State Film Awards (1991)". Department of Information and Public Relations. 1991. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 5 November 2016.
  17. ^ "Film Critics Award 1991" – via YouTube.
  18. ^ "3D conversions of foreign films being undertaken at Kochi". Zee News. Press Trust of India. 18 October 2013. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
  19. ^ DC (19 October 2013). "2D to 3D for a song! Anubha gets it done". Deccan Chronicle. Archived from the original on 5 February 2014. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
  20. ^ Zachariah, Ammu (30 November 2012). "Mohanlal hits are hot favourites to be made into 3D". The Times of India. Retrieved 18 August 2016.

External linksEdit