Pranchiyettan & the Saint

Pranchiyettan & the Saint is a 2010 Indian Malayalam-language satirical comedy film written, directed, and produced by Ranjith.[1] The film centres on the fictitious conversation between the Thrissur based rice merchant C. E. Francis a.k.a. Pranchiyettan (Mammootty) and St. Francis of Assisi (Jesse Fox Allen). Priyamani, Innocent, Siddique, Khushbu Sundar, Jagathy Sreekumar, Ganapathy, Sasi Kalinga, Tini Tom and Biju Menon play the other important roles.

Pranchiyettan & the Saint
Pranchiyettan & the Saint.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRanjith
Produced byRanjith
Written byRanjith
Music byOuseppachan
Edited byVijay Shankar
Capitol Theater
Distributed byPlay House Release
Release date
  • 10 September 2010 (2010-09-10)
Running time
140 minutes


Chirammal Enashu Francis, a.k.a. Pranchiyettan (Mammootty), is a successful businessman based in Thrissur. He is a devotee of Saint Francis of Assisi and often has imaginary conversations with the saint. His ancestors were rice traders, but he has grown beyond the small rice shop to expand his business into jewellery, real estate, finance, shopping complexes and lot more. Even though he is successful and wealthy, he is not well-educated. (He has not cleared the SSLC exams), He is unhappy with his name and also wants to become a celebrity. He is called Ari ("rice") Pranchi by everybody, citing his ancestors' business as a colloquial taunt. He wants to change his image from Ari Pranchi to something great and is ready to spend a fortune for it. The film deals with how Pranchi tries to get a good name and what changes that brings to his life.

The story starts with Francis talking to Saint Francis of Assisi about his own life. It starts with a short flashback about a quarrel between Francis and Jose (Siddique) over their lady love Omana (Khushbu Sundar) when they were in school. Francis had a romance going with Omana but he had to give her up because of Jose's tricks. Now Jose and Omana are apparently happily married and are leading doctors in the city.

The story progresses with several anecdotes about Francis' attempts to get a good name for himself. These attempts are always told to him by his friend Vasu Menon (Innocent), who always takes him to problems. He fights a local club election for the place of the club's President but is defeated by Jose. He then arranges a felicitation for the Oscar award-winner Gafoor Chekutty (a spoof of Resul Pookutty), but has to be satisfied with only a back row seat as he had to give up his seat on the dais for a Padmashree recipient. Inspired by the recognition and respect given to a Padmashree recipient, he decides to somehow grab such an award as that may help in changing his name from Ari Pranchi to Padmashree Pranchi. He bribes a politician named Ajay Nambiar (Balachandran Chullikkadu) with 15 million to get the award, but the corrupt politician dupes him.

Dejected, he withdraws into his house when a young woman named Padmashree (Priyamani) comes from Mumbai to invite him for an inauguration ceremony. Following an initial altercation with her due to his misunderstanding of her intention, both become good friends and eventually, Francis falls in love with her. He also helps to prevent her tharavadu (ancestral home) from being sold off. However, he is unable to express his love for her and she returns to Mumbai.

During an interaction with his friend Antony (Sivaji Guruvayoor), who is the principal of the local school, he narrates his woe to Francis. He fears that he might not be able to retire with the satisfaction of having presided over a school that got a pass rate of 100% in the SSLC exams. Moved, Francis resolves to help him. He quickly learns that the problem lies with a sole student named Pauly K. J.(Ganapathy), who always fails in the exams. Pauly's dad (Sreejith Ravi) says they are not financially sound and hence cannot help him enough with his studies. So, he brings the boy to his home and arranges for a special tutor, Pandit Deenadayal (Jagathy Sreekumar), to teach him. Deenadayal discovers that the boy is smart and immensely intelligent, but something is holding him back. He tries to teach Pauly to the best of his ability but, the boy's wit proves too much for him.

Pauly fails the exam again. Furious, Francis throws him out of his house. Upon learning that Pauly's parents were just his foster parents, he and Pauly go to see Pauly's biological father, Joppan (Biju Menon), who is in prison serving a life sentence. Francis comes to know that Joppan, under the influence of alcohol and drugs, hacked his wife (Pauly's mother) and Pauly's teacher to death in front of Pauly. Francis concludes that this incident psychologically scarred the boy, which caused his academic performance to tank. The jail warden (Chaali Pala) discloses to Francis that Joppan is suffering from terminal liver cancer, and he deliberately hides it from the boy so as to not cause him further distress.

Francis then goes to the church in his car. While Pauly sleeps in the car, he talks to Saint Francis. He asks for the Saint's permission for him to adopt Pauly. Fearing failure, he asks the Saint to permit him only if he will succeed. The Saint then shows Francis 3 visuals. The first shows his lost love Omana and Jose cheating on each other. In the second, Ajay Nambiar, the man who cheated him by offering the Padmashree for a bribe is arrested by the police. In the third, Padmashree openly admits her love for Francis to her friend in Mumbai, and further discloses that she is going to propose to him. The Saint then tells him that what one sees as a success is not always a success and what one has lost can always come back to him in the future. Happy, Francis asks the Saint to bless Pauly. But when he returns with the boy, they find the place empty. An incredulous Pauly dismisses Francis' encounter with the Saint as make believe, but when Francis avers that he asked for and got the Saint's permission to adopt Pauly, he says that he too has seen the saint in human form, as Francis. The film concludes with father and son vowing to clear the SSLC exams together the coming year.[2]



The film was announced on June 2010. The film is produced by Renjith, under the banner of his Capitol Theatres.[3] Shooting began on 1 July 2010.[4]

The cast includes Mammootty, he plays the role of Chirammal Enashu Francis, a rice merchant in Thrissur. Hafis Firosh plays Mammootty's childhood counterpart. Innocent plays the role of Vasu Menon, friend of Pranchiyettan. Australian theatre artist Jesse Fox Allen played the role of the Saint. Apart from cine-artistes, this film also features many faces from the professional drama world, as in Renjith's Paleri Manikyam.[5] Jagathy Sreekumar plays Deena Dayal. "My character is there only in a few scenes but he makes a definite impact, which is quite exciting for an actor. He is an idealistic teacher, who lives as per Gandhian principles and leads a simple life," says Jagathy Sreekumar.[3] Master Ganapathy, who plays Pauly, says, "It is indeed great to be doing such a nice role with some of the big names in the industry. My character is a live wire."[3]


The score and the only song of the film were composed by Ouseppachan; the lyrics were penned by Shibu Chakravarthy. The music by Ouseppachan was "among the highlights of the film", according to one reviewer.[6] However, the only song featured in the film, "Kinavile", generated mixed responses. It was sung by Gayatri, with male backing vocals provided by Ouseppachan himself. The soundtrack also features a male version of the song "Kinavile", which was sung by Franco. This version was not picturised and was not featured in the film. The soundtrack was released on Mathrubhumi Music.


Box officeEdit

It ran for 200 days in a theatre in Kerala.[7][8][9] The film grossed close to 4 crore (US$560,000) from 19 days.[10] The film collected US$957 from UK box office.[11] Made on a budget of 1.50 crore, it grossed a distributor's share of 2 crore in its final run.[12]

Critical responseEdit

Rediff's reviewer rated the film 5 out of 5 and said, "Pranchiyettan and the Saint is impressive... the success of [the film] rests on the shoulders of writer director Ranjith who gives a meaty story to actors to dig their teeth into."[13] The performance by Mammootty as well as the supporting cast also earned appreciation from critics. The review on Rediff said, "The film depends heavily on Mammootty's histrionic skills to be convincing and it works. It is this effortless and natural performance that gives Pranchiyettan [its] lifeblood."[13] Nowrunning comments: "Very few films are complex and comic at the same time, but Pranchiyettan achieves this almost impossible feat by employing clever plot devices, a fresh narrative structure and a string of metaphoric scenarios." The review praises Ranjith's work, saying, "There shouldn't be any trouble enthroning Ranjith as the harbinger of change in Malayalam cinema".[14] Sify called the film "Very Good" and rated it 4 out of 5. Their review focused mainly on the apt usage of Thrissur slang by Mammootty.[6]


Amrita-FEFKA Film Awards[15][16]
Asianet Film Awards[17]
Asiavision Awards[18]
  • Best Film – Pranchiyettan & the Saint
  • Best Actor – Mammootty
  • Best Supporting Actor – Siddique
  • Outstanding Performance – Innocent
Filmfare Awards[19]
Inspire Film Awards[20][21]
  • Best Film – Pranchiyettan & the Saint
  • Best Actor – Mammootty
  • Best Script – Ranjith
Kerala State Film Awards
Kerala Film Critics Awards[22]
Vanitha Film Awards[23]
  • Best Film – Pranchiyettan & the Saint
  • Best Actor – Mammootty
  • Best Director – Ranjith
  • Best Script – Ranjith
  • Best Cinematography – Venu
Vellinakshatram Film Awards[24]
  • Best Film – Pranchiyettan & the Saint
  • Best Actor – Mammootty
  • Best Director – Ranjith


  1. ^ Metromatinee (2010). "Pranchiyettan and The Saint". Metromatinee. Archived from the original on 5 October 2012. Retrieved 5 July 2010.
  2. ^ Reviewscreen (2010). "Pranjiyettan and the Saint Plot Review". Reviewscreen. Archived from the original on 6 November 2010. Retrieved 10 September 2010.
  3. ^ a b c The Hindu (6 August 2010). "Merchant of Thrissur". The Hindu. India. Retrieved 6 August 2010.
  4. ^ Nowrunning (2010). "Mammootty and Ranjith together for 'Pranchiyettan and the Saint". Nowrunning. Retrieved 3 June 2010.
  5. ^ Indiaglitz (2010). "Mammootty with Renjith in 'Pranchiyettan And The Saint'". Indiaglitz. Retrieved 3 June 2010.
  6. ^ a b Moviebuzz (2010). "Pranchiyettan & the Saint". Sify. Retrieved 10 September 2010.
  7. ^ "Pranchiyettan And The Saint still running strong". The Indian Express. 18 March 2011.
  8. ^ "Pranchiyettan to celebrate 50 days at home". Sify. Retrieved 27 October 2010.
  9. ^ P. Sangeetha. "Pranchiyettan 50". The Times of India. India. Retrieved 1 November 2010.
  10. ^ "Three-fold success for Malayalam cinema this season". The Hindu. 29 September 2010.
  11. ^ "Pranchiyettan and the Saint". Box Office Mojo. 30 October 2011.
  12. ^ "Top 10 Malayalam grossers of 2010". Sify. Retrieved 25 June 2019.
  13. ^ a b Paresh C Palicha (2010). "Pranchiyettan and the Saint is impressive". Rediff. Retrieved 10 September 2010.
  14. ^ VN (2010). "Pranchiyettan and the Saint is a must watch". Nowrunning. Retrieved 10 September 2010.
  15. ^ "Amrita FEFKA Film Awards Announced". Best Media Info. 2 June 2011. Retrieved 2 June 2011.
  16. ^ "Amritha awards for Mammootty, Kavya and T D Dasan". Indiaglitz. 2 June 2011. Retrieved 2 June 2011.
  17. ^ "Mammootty, Mohanlal bag Asianet film awards yet again". Indo-Asian News Service. NDTV. 1 January 2011. Archived from the original on 14 July 2011.
  18. ^ "Shaji, Ranjith, Mammootty, Meera Bag Asiavision Awards". Outlook. 20 October 2010. Archived from the original on 11 July 2012. Retrieved 22 July 2011.
  19. ^ "The glitter, the gloss, the razzmatazz". Times of India. India. 3 July 2011. Retrieved 3 July 2011.
  20. ^ "ഇന്‍സ്പയര്‍ ഫിലിം അവാര്‍ഡ് പ്രാഞ്ചിയേട്ടന്‍ മികച്ച ചിത്രം". 22 May 2011.
  21. ^ "ഇന്‍സ്‌പെയര്‍ ചലച്ചിത്ര പുരസ്‌കാരം പ്രാഞ്ചിയേട്ടന്‍ മികച്ച ചിത്രം". 22 May 2011. Archived from the original on 25 May 2011.
  22. ^ "Critics award: 'Gaddama' adjudged best film". The Indian Express. India. 26 February 2011. Retrieved 26 February 2011.
  23. ^ ""Mammootty, Mamtha win Vanitha Film award"". Manorama Online. 10 February 2011. Archived from the original on 16 July 2012.
  24. ^ ""പ്രാഞ്ചിയേട്ടന് മൂന്ന് അവാർഡ്"". Kaumudi Plus. 17 June 2011. Archived from the original on 19 June 2011.

External linksEdit