Nirakkoottu is a 1985 Indian Malayalam-language film directed by Joshiy, written by Dennis Joseph, starring Mammootty, Sumalatha, Urvashi, Lizy, Babu Namboothiri and Jose Prakash. The music was composed by Shyam.[1][2][3] The story follows journalist Sasikala Varghese's (Urvashi) investigation of millionaire Ravi Varma (Mammootty), who is sentenced to death for the murder of his wife Mercy (Sumalatha).

DVD cover
Directed byJoshiy
Written byDennis Joseph
Screenplay byDennis Joseph
Produced byJoy Thomas
Babu Namboothiri
Jose Prakash
P. K. Abraham
CinematographyJayanan Vincent
Vipin Das
Edited byK. Sankunni
Music byShyam
Distributed byJubilee Productions
Release date
  • 12 September 1985 (1985-09-12)
Running time
130 minutes

K. S. Chithra won the Kerala State Film Award for Best Singer for the song "Poomaname" (along with songs in other films that year) and Mammootty won a Special Jury Award for his role. The film won the Filmfare Award for Best Film - Malayalam. It was remade in Tamil as Manithanin Marupakkam (1986), starring Sivakumar and Radha, and in Kannada as Sathya Jyothi (1986), starring Vishnuvardhan and Sumalatha and in Hindi as Kanoon ki Zanjeer starring Dharmendra and Jayaprada. The film was inspired by the Hindi film "Ittefaq", (1969).


Sasikala Varghese joins as a news reporter in a Malayalam daily named "Keralarema", which is owned by M. K. Abraham. Sasikala stays with her friend, Dr. Suma. Sasikala is assigned to interview Ravi Varma, who is sentenced to death for the murder of his wife Mercy, who is also Sasikala's sister. Supreme court had sentenced Ravi to death and the president also rejected Ravi's appeal. Sasikala covers and publishes the story of Ravi Varma and is well acclaimed and appreciated by Abraham, her boss, during the official meeting. They were also surprised on a feedback letter that had reached Keralarema office regarding the published article.

The film then turns to flashback. Ravi Varma is a wealthy man and the owner of an advertising agency. Mercy was employed as a clerk in a firm, and is a classical dancer too. Ravi had met Mercy during a dance program hosted at the club. He had then proposed with an offer for Mercy join his advertising agency as a model, which Mercy rejects instantly. However, on losing her job as a clerk and her family (consisting of an ill father, a younger sister and brother) being dependent on her income, she is forced to join Ravi's advertising agency. The advertising agency flourishes well with the utilization of Mercy's modelling skills. A career oriented Ravi, in order to make Mercy stay with his firm always, proposes to Mercy and they get registry-married, as they belong to different religions. After a week-long honeymoon, Ravi forces his wife to pose for modelling with a half-dressed costume, which Mercy couldn't accept. This leads to indifference in their family life. Once Ravi learns that his wife is pregnant, an argument begins again regarding the fatherhood of the conceived child, and Ravi asks his wife to move out of his house. Mercy then takes shelter in her friend, Dr Suma's house. Divorce was filed by Ravi, and it was granted with the verdict that Ravi needs to compensate his wife and child on a monthly basis until the child becomes a youth. A drunken Ravi visits Mercy and tells her that instead of paying the compensation monthly, he would pay her all the money at once. Ravi then pulls a knife and murders Mercy.

A day before his scheduled execution, Ravi Varma escapes prison, and accidentally meets Sasikala. He learns that Sasikala and Mercy are sisters and informs the truth. Ravi loved Mercy and never pressured her for any modelling assignments. Ajith used to blackmail Mercy, by showing Mercy's nude photographs which he had clicked. Fearing social stigma, Mercy divorces Ravi unwillingly. Ajith later tries to molest Mercy, kills her and flees. Since Ravi was on the murder spot, he was taken into custody by the police. To avenge this, Ravi escapes from the prison and kills Ajith.



The film was released on 12 September 1985.

Box officeEdit

The film was both commercial and critical success.[4][5][6][7]


The music was composed by Shyam and the lyrics were written by Poovachal Khader. K. S. Chithra won her first Kerala State Film Award for Best Singer for the song Poomaname.

No. Song Singers Lyrics Length (m:ss)
1 "Poomaaname" K. S. Chithra Poovachal Khader
2 "Poomaaname" G. Venugopal Poovachal Khader
3 "Poomaaname" K. G. Markose Poovachal Khader
4 "Pranaya Sankalpame" Vani Jairam, Satheesh Babu Poovachal Khader


Mammootty won the Kerala State Film Award – Special Jury Award in 1985 Kerala State Film Awards for his role as Ravi Varma. K. S. Chithra won the Kerala State Film Awards in 1985 Best Play Back Singer for the song "Poomaname"


  1. ^ "Nirakkoottu". Retrieved 21 October 2014.
  2. ^ "Nirakkoottu". Retrieved 21 October 2014.
  3. ^ "Nirakkoottu". Retrieved 21 October 2014.
  4. ^ "Screenwriter Dennis Joseph passes away". The Hindu. 10 May 2021.
  5. ^ "Malayalam screenwriter-director Dennis Joseph passes away". The Indian Express. 10 May 2021.
  6. ^ "Dress Circle - Joshiy, hit machine of 3 decades, needs reboot". Malayala Manorama. 30 August 2019.
  7. ^ "Mammootty and Manju Warrier to Pair Up in Joshiy Movie?". International Business Times. 18 November 2014.
  8. ^ 33rd Filmfare Awards South

External linksEdit