Nirmalyam (Malayalam: നിര്‍മ്മാല്യം, transl."Remains" or "Yesterday's Offerings") is a 1973 Indian Malayalam-language film written and directed by M. T. Vasudevan Nair,[1][2] and starring P. J. Antony and Shanta Devi.[3][4] Malayalam actor P. J. Antony won the National Film Award for Best Actor in 1974 for his performance as a velichappadu (an oracle or a medium between the Goddess and the worshipper in a Hindu temple) in this movie.[5] The film received the National Film Award for Best Feature Film and Kerala State Film Award for Best Film in 1974. It is one of the classics in Malayalam cinema.[6]

Directed byM. T. Vasudevan Nair[1]
Produced byNovel Films
Written byM. T. Vasudevan Nair
Based onPallivalum Kalchilambum
by M. T. Vasudevan Nair
StarringP. J. Antony
Shanta Devi
Kaviyoor Ponnamma
Music byOriginal Songs:
K. Raghavan
Original Score:
M. B. Sreenivasan
CinematographyRamachandra Babu
Edited byRavi
Release date
Running time
134 minutes

It is the debut of M. T. Vasudevan Nair as director and also the debut of Sukumaran and Sumithra as actors. It is the second movie of Ravi Menon, who acted earlier in a Hindi movie. This movie was a breakthrough in Ravi Menon's acting career.

The movie is an adaptation of the short story "Pallivalum Kalchilambum" by M. T. Vasudevan Nair.


The movie revolves around a neglected temple and the people dependent on the temple. P. J. Antony (Velichappadu or oracle) is the caretaker of the temple. The Velichapadu's wife Narayani (Kaviyoor Ponnamma) runs the household with the meager income from temple. His son Appu (Sukumaran) is educated but is unemployed as a result he loses faith in the temple and goddess. Velcihapadu's daughter Ammini helps him in temple rituals. The temple priest quits and starts a tea shop. A new priest from neighboring village Brahmadattan Nambothiri (Ravi Menon) now takes care of the temple. He is eager to get a government job as his situation at home is not good and younger sisters not yet married. He seduces Ammini, daughter of Velichapdu and leaves the village. Because of extreme poverty Velichapdu starts to beg. One day his son Appu tries to sell the holy sword to a pawn seller and Velichapadu finds it. He asks his son Appu to leave the house immediately.

Meanwhile, there is a smallpox outbreak in the village, first affected is Variyar's wife. Due to the outbreak of smallpox people become serious about the temple and its ritual. The villagers decide to conduct the festival in temple for the Goddess and started collecting money from all. On the day of festival Velichapadu found that his wife was selling her body to a local moneylender for a living. The Velichapadu was totally devastated. The film ends with a devastating scene. The oracle dances before the goddess, spits at her face with his blood, strikes his forehead with the sacred sword, till he falls down dead.



The film's major shooting location was a small village near Edappal called Mukkola (Mukuthala).The film is produced by M. T. Vasudevan Nair under the banner of Novel Films.[7] Cinematographer Ramachandra Babu says, "There was full co-operation from the villagers and they always were there to help us with properties for the scenes and also acting in minor and crowd scenes. In fact they got so attached to the unit, many children were in tears when it was time for us to depart after the shooting was over. Except for the Sreekovil portion all other scenes were completed in one schedule. We had erected a set in Calicut where the Sreekovil with the idol where close up shots were taken. It was because in the temple which was used for our shooting there were no regular Poojas taking place and more over it was such a cramped place and customs prevent you from entering it too for placing lights etc. For other outdoor locations, we used the steps on the riverside at Thirumittakode temple for the parting song and a cave nearby for the rain sequence which was done with the help of fire engines." Post production was done in Madras.[8]

Veteran actor Sankaradi was originally cast for the role of Velichapad. But he rejected the offer saying that his physique wouldn't suit the role. He himself suggested P. J. Antony, whose performance is still regarded as one of the finest onscreen performances ever.[9]


Song Playback singers Lyrics Duration
"Panimathimukhi Bal.." K. P. Brahmanandan, Sukumari Narendra Menon Swathi Thirunal
"Thinthanam Tharo.." Sukumari Narendra Menon, Padmini Edasseri
"Samayamay.." K. P. Brahmanandan, L. R. Anjali Edasseri
"Sreemahadevan Thante.." K. P. Brahmanandan, Padmini Edasseri



  1. ^ a b "List of Malayalam films released during the year 1973". PRD, Government of Kerala. Retrieved 20 October 2009.
  2. ^ Brian Whitener. "Nirmalyam (1973)". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Baseline & All Movie Guide. Archived from the original on 11 July 2012. Retrieved 20 October 2009.
  3. ^ "Nirmalyam (1973)". IMDb. Retrieved 20 October 2009.
  4. ^ "Nirmalyam [1973]". Retrieved 20 October 2009.
  5. ^ "P.J. Antony remembered". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 15 March 2005. Archived from the original on 5 November 2012. Retrieved 23 September 2009.
  6. ^ "Screenplays for ever". The Hindu. 26 September 2014.
  7. ^ Vijayakumar, B. (25 September 2011). "Nirmalyam 1973". The Hindu. Chennai, India.
  8. ^ Ramachandra Babu. Nirmalyam. Nostalgia. Retrieved 13 January 2012.
  9. ^ "ശങ്കരാടി,നാട്യങ്ങളില്ലാത്ത നടന്‍". Janayugom. Retrieved 2012-01-04.

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