Kireedam (1989 film)

Kireedam (transl. Crown) is a 1989 Indian Malayalam-language action-drama film directed by Sibi Malayil and written by A. K. Lohithadas. The film stars Mohanlal, Thilakan, and Parvathy Jayaram, along with Kaviyoor Ponnamma, Mohan Raj, Murali, Sreenath, Kundara Johny, Cochin Haneefa, Jagathy Sreekumar, Philomina, Usha, Jagadish, Maniyanpilla Raju, Mamukkoya, Oduvil Unnikrishnan, and Kanakalatha in supporting roles. The music for the film was composed by Johnson.

Kireedam 1989.jpg
Theatrical poster
Directed bySibi Malayil
Produced byN. Krishnakumar
Dinesh Panicker
Written byA. K. Lohithadas
Parvathy Jayaram
Mohan Raj
Music byJohnson
CinematographyS. Kumar
Edited byL. Bhoominathan
Kripa Films
Distributed bySeven Arts Release
Release date
  • 7 July 1989 (1989-07-07) (Kerala)
Running time
140 minutes
Budget23.5 lakh[1]
Box office₹ 3.15 crore

The film is about a Malayali youth, Sethumadhavan (Mohanlal), whose hopes and aspirations are shattered by a combination of fate and human falling. It explores how society type-casts individuals and forces them to act that part whether they like it or not. It is one of the greatest movie released in Indian film industry.Mohanlal won the National Film Award – Special Mention "for portraying young man's agony and pain marvelously and in unique style". Lohithadas won the Kerala Film Critics Award for Best Screenplay.

Kireedam was released on 7 July 1989, it received widespread critical acclaim and was a major commercial success at the box office. A sequel to the film titled Chenkol was released in 1993. Kireedam was remade into six other languages — in Telugu as Rowdyism Nasinchali (1990), in Kannada as Modada Mareyalli (1991), in Hindi as Gardish (1993), in Bengali Bangladesh as Babar Adesh (1995), in Bengali as Nayak-The Real Hero (2005) and in Tamil as Kireedam (2007) - becoming Mohanlal's first movie to be remade in six other languages. In 2007, it became the second Indian movie to be remade in six other languages after Anuraga Aralithu.


Achuthan Nair, an honest and sincere police constable, has a loving family consisting of his wife Ammu, two sons and two daughters. Achuthan Nair wants his elder son Sethumadhavan to become a police inspector. He has a cordial and amiable relationship with his son. Sethu is engaged to Devi, the daughter of Krishnan Nair, his maternal uncle. One day, for charging a petty case against the son of a Member of Legislative Assembly, Achuthan Nair is transferred to Ramapuram police station and his family moves with him.

Keerikadan Jose, a hardcore criminal, rules the market of Ramapuram by running an extortion racket. One day, Achuthan Nair tries to intervene in a scuffle involving him and is beaten quite brutally by Jose. Sethu, who was in the market at the time, witnesses this and saves his father by attacking Keerikadan Jose and his goons. Keerikadan gets severely wounded and is admitted in the hospital. The entire market celebrates the fall of Keerikadan and finds a new savior in Sethu. His friends take advantage of this notoriety, and eventually start a brawl in the local pub. Achuthan Nair is deeply disturbed by this series of events and accuses Sethu of slowly turning into a criminal. Though he tries to stay out of trouble, Sethu is gradually dragged into one mess after another.

Haidrose, a local thug, claims to be a henchman of Sethu and starts collecting extortion money from the local traders. Ramanan, Sethu's brother-in-law, joins Haidrose. Sethu, upon learning of this, beats both of them up at the market. However, at home Ramanan gives a false account of what happened; convinced that his son was in the wrong, Achuthan Nair asks Sethu to leave the house and Sethu walks out. The local police inspector arrests Sethu on a petty case and warns him not to cause more trouble. Keshu, his childhood friend, tries to pacify him; Sethu breaks down completely.

In the meantime, Devi's parents fix her marriage to a different man, which Devi isn't prepared to accept. Sethu meets Devi, explains his helplessness and asks her to follow her parents wishes. She gets married; Sethu ends up feeling lonelier than ever. After getting discharged from the hospital, Keerikadan Jose decides to take his revenge on Sethu. He also decides to severely punish anyone who celebrated his "death". He ransacks Sethu's home and manhandles his mother and sisters. Sethu is attacked by Parameshwaran, the lieutenant of Keerikadan. In a bid to defend himself, Sethu grabs an iron rod and proceeds to assault him with it. Parameshwaran gets seriously injured and is admitted in the hospital.

Sethumadhavan is targeted, once again, by Keerikkadan Jose. They engage in a fight, and Sethumadhavan goes into a hysterical rage. With blood dripping from his face, he threatens to murder anybody who comes near him. Keerikkadan is seriously injured and tries to get up, but Sethu takes up a dagger and stabs him to death.

Achuthan Nair enters the scene and commands Sethu to drop his dagger, which he complies with after several tense moments. Both of them become highly emotional and Sethu falls to his knees, utterly spent, after tossing the dagger aside. The film ends with Sethumadhavan being disqualified from entering the police force. Head Constable Achuthan Nair reads the Police Verification Report which cites Sethu as a "notorious criminal".



A. K. Lohithadas got the plot idea from a story that circulated in his locality about an incident that happened in Chalakudy that narrates how a carpenter knocked down a notorious criminal named Keshavan with a single hit.[2] Lohithadas, who was unable to attend the wedding of Sibi Malayil, wrote the screenplay of Kireedam as a compensation gift for Malayil. He completed the screenplay in just six days. Filming was completed in 25 days in Thiruvananthapuram. The film cost ₹23.5 lakh to make, produced by Dinesh Panicker and N. Krishnakumar under the company Kripa Films. Mohanlal, who used to receive ₹4.5 lakh as remuneration at that time took only ₹4 lakh for his friendship with Krishnakumar. Kireedam (crown) was originally the title given by Lohithadas for his previous screenplay, directed by I. V. Sasi. But Sasi did not liked the name and had a dispute with Lohithadas. Malayil on hearing this incident from Lohithadas said he would like to adopt the title for his film. Sasi's film was released under the title Mukthi (1988).[1]

Initially, Thilakan declined the role of Achuthan Nair due to scheduling conflicts with the films Chanakyan and Varnam. The film, originally planned to shoot at Nemmara and Chittur in Palakkad district was changed to Thiruvananthapuram to accommodate Thilakan who was filming for Varnam at Thiruvananthapuram. Thilakan joined the shoot of Kireedam during the intervals of Varnam. The climax scene featuring Mohanlal and Thilakan was shot in Aryanadu. Instead of the melancholic song "Kanneer Poovinte", a romantic song was originally shot to feature the romance between Sethumadhavan and Devi. But after realizing it would not align in the story-line, it was scrapped. Since there was not enough time to complete the shoot of "Kanneer Poovinte", some of the scenes shot for the romantic song was used in it. The shot where Mohanlal is walking alone through a long lane in the song was filmed in Chennai. The song's composition was a modified version of the romantic song.[3] S. Kumar was the cinematographer.[4]

The makers initially chose Pradeep Shakthi for the role of Keerikkadan Jose, who had acted in Chamaram (1980) and was then an established actor in Telugu films. Shakthi also agreed to do the film and was given advance payment. Shakthi, who was supposed to arrive on the day of filming, did not came due to reasons best known for him, they were compelled to make an immediate replacement. It was an associate director who suggested the name of beginner Mohan Raj, who had acted in a minor role in Moonnam Mura. Upon seeing Raj, he was immediately fixed.[5] His character name Keerikkadan Jose later became his stage name. Dubbing artist Nirmal Prakash gave voice for the character.[6]


Soundtrack album by
Released7 July 1989
GenreFeature film soundtrack
LabelJohny Sagariga
Millennium Audios[8]
Johnson chronology

The film features original soundtrack composed by Johnson, which consists of two songs written by Kaithapram Damodaran.[9] The song "Kaneer Poovinte" won M. G. Sreekumar his first Kerala State Film Awards.

Kireedam (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
1."Kanneer Poovinte"M. G. Sreekumar4:14
2."Medapponnodam"Balagopalan Thampi4:26


National Film Awards
Kerala State Film Awards
Kerala Film Critics Association Awards


A sequel to the film titled Chenkol was released in 1993. Mohanlal reprises his role in the film.


Year Film Language Ref.
1990 Rowdyism Nasinchali Telugu [10]
1991 Modada Mareyalli Kannada
1993 Gardish Hindi
1995 Babar Adesh Bangladeshi Bengali
2005 Nayak-The Real Hero Bengali
2007 Kireedam Tamil [10]


Kireedam is regarded as a classic in Malayalam cinema, particularly noted for its screenplay and acting.[11][10][12] Mohanlal won his first National Film Award for the film. The dialogue "Ninte achanaada parayunne, kathi thaazhe ideda" of Thilakan's Achuthan Nair in the climax of the film became a catchphrase. The impact of the film was such that one of its producers N. Krishnakumar went on to be known by the name "Kireedam Unni" thereafter, and for Mohan Raj, his character name, Keerikkadan Jose, became his stage name.[12] Kireedam gave a break for Cochin Haneefa who appeared in a comical role, Hydros, until then, Haneefa was known for portraying antagonistic roles. He began appearing in more comedic roles after Kireedam and would be best known for his comedic roles in the later half of his career.[13]

A bridge on Vellayani Lake featured in the film (including the song "Kanneer Poovinte") would go on to be known as "Kireedam Paalam" (Kireedam bridge).[14] Later many films were shot there, but it continues to be known by the name.[15] It is the only location in Thiruvanathapuram that is known by a film's name.[16] Kireedam is considered as one of the best screenplays written by Lohithadas.[17] Kireedam, the screenplay was released as a book by Mathrubhumi Books in 2009.[18]


  1. ^ a b "Kireedam 29 Years". Malayala Manorama. 1 August 2018. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  2. ^ Lohithadas (7 July 2019). "ആശാരിയുടെ കഥ മനസ്സില്‍ വിത്തായി വീണു; സേതുമാധവന്റെ പിറവി അങ്ങനെയായിരുന്നു". Mathrubhumi. Retrieved 9 July 2019.
  3. ^ "സേതുമാധവന്റെ മുള്‍ക്കിരീടത്തിന് മുപ്പതാണ്ട്, 6 ദിവസം കൊണ്ട് തിരക്കഥ 25 ദിവസത്തെ ഷൂട്ട്" (in Malayalam). The Cue. 7 July 2019. Retrieved 9 July 2019.
  4. ^ Mohan, Sajesh (5 November 2018). "Decoding a Scene | The emotional and action-packed 'Kireedam' climax". Malayala Manorama. Retrieved 18 November 2018.
  5. ^ Web desk (20 May 2017). "ഇദ്ദേഹമായിരുന്നു കിരീടത്തില്‍ കീരിക്കാടനാകേണ്ടിയിരുന്ന നടന്‍!". Asianet News (in Malayalam). Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  6. ^ "ചലച്ചിത്ര- സീരിയല്‍ നടന്‍ നിര്‍മല്‍ പ്രകാശ് അന്തരിച്ചു" Archived 18 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Kireedam Songs". Retrieved 14 September 2020.
  8. ^ "Kireedam (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)". Spotify. Retrieved 14 September 2020.
  9. ^ "Kireedam (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) – Single". iTunes. 7 July 1989. Retrieved 9 July 2019.
  10. ^ a b c Narayanan, Nirmal (27 July 2018). "Top 5 classic Mohanlal films to watch before you die". International Business Times. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
  11. ^ Krishnakumar, R. (19 July 2014). "Birth of a tragic hero". Deccan Herald. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
  12. ^ a b Maithutty, Fahir (9 July 2019). "30 years of 'Kireedam': Why Mohanlal and Thilakan are seared in our hearts". The News Minute. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
  13. ^ Web desk (2 February 2017). "ഓര്‍മ്മയില്‍ കൊച്ചിന്‍ ഹനീഫ". Asianet News (in Malayalam). Retrieved 10 July 2019.
  14. ^ "Kireedam bridge's tale is as tragic as the movie". The New Indian Express. 11 April 2017. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
  15. ^ TNM staff (30 September 2016). "Mohanlal to sponsor renovation of TVM bridge named after his hit film 'Kireedam'". The News Minute. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
  16. ^ V. N., Aswin (14 December 2017). "Popular film locations in Thiruvananthapuram". The Hindu. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
  17. ^ "Remembering Lohithadas". The New Indian Express. 4 July 2009. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
  18. ^ "Kireedam". Retrieved 12 July 2019.

External linksEdit