Ramji Rao Speaking

Ramji Rao Speaking is a 1989 Indian Malayalam-language comedy-drama film written and directed by the duo Siddique-Lal (in their directorial debut) and produced by Fazil, Swargachitra Appachan, and Ousepachan Vaalakuzhy. It stars Saikumar, Mukesh, Innocent and Rekha. The film deals with social factors affecting Kerala including unemployment during the 1980s, and went on to become a cult classic.[1]

Ramji Rao Speaking
Ramji Rao Speaking.jpg
Directed bySiddique-Lal
Produced byFazil
Swargachitra Appachan
Ousepachan Vaalakuzhy
Written bySiddique-Lal
Music byS. Balakrishnan
Edited byT. R. Shekar
Adithya Films
Distributed byCentury
Release date
  • 1989 (1989)
Running time
150 minutes

Ramji Rao Speaking marked the debut of director duo Siddique and Lal, actors Saikumar, Rekha, N. F. Varghese, Harishree Ashokan, and music director S. Balakrishnan. Mannar Mathai Speaking (1995) and Mannar Mathai Speaking 2 (2014) are the sequels to the film.

Fazil remade this film in Tamil as Arangetra Velai, with Mamukkoya and Vijayaraghavan reprising their role. Priyadarshan remade the film in Hindi, titled Hera Pheri. The movie, which was based on the 1971 TV movie See The Man Run [2] was also remade in Telugu as Dhanalakshmi I Love You, in Kannada as Trin Trin [3] and in Odia as Wrong Number.[4]


The story revolves around three unemployed people (the third is a middle age unsuccessful theater owner). The story opens with the arrival of Balakrishnan (Saikumar) in Cochin to dispute the denial of his company job which he was supposed to receive several years ago. Several candidates overtook his chance and the last one was Rani (Rekha) who pretends to be an influential figure in the town. Rani threatens Balakrishnan to continue to work despite his efforts to overthrow her. The company manager (Sankaradi) who knows her family situation (poor and pathetic) helps her to remain in the job. Balakrishnan determined to stay back in the town until he succeeds to get back his job back from Rani.

During his stay Balakrishnan finds a temporary lodging in 'Urvasi Theater' owned by Mannar Mathayi (Innocent), with another tenant Gopalakrishnan (Mukesh), both were unemployed and with insignificant earning. Initially Gopalakrishnan does not like the new tenant and tries to expel him from the house but all of his efforts are in vain. Gopalakrishnan is tricky and cunning. He lies to his mother that he works in a large company based in Calcutta and is building a new house in Cochin. Balakrishnan discovers the truth and misunderstands Gopalakrishnan as a fraud. But what shocks Balakrishnan most was the realization of Rani's family situation, which pours sympathy in his mind toward her and decided to sacrifice his job. That night Balakrishnan gets drunk and reveals the fraud play of Gopalakrishnan to Mannar Mathayi. Goplakrishnan confesses his play and justifies that projecting himself as rich and employed was the only way in front of him to comfort his mother. The truth melts the mind of both Balakrishnan and Mannar Mathayi and they all became friends and decided to enjoy the night despite their unending problems.

While asleep, Balakrishnan wakes in the night hearing the phone ring. A gang leader called Ramji Rao (Vijayaraghavan) and Charan Singh / Karan Singh (Dhritiman Chatterjee) has kidnapped the daughter of a rich businessman Urumees Thampan (Devan) and is asking a ransom of a lakh rupees. The three unemployed have no relation with Urummes Thampan; the phone was misdialed. Panicking, Balakrishan tries to find the number of Urumees Thampan from a phone directory, only to find out that the numbers of Urvasi Theaters and Urumees Thampan are interchanged in the directory. Gopalakrishnan develops a quick game play and asks Balakrishnan to act as a dealer between Ramji Rao and Charan Singh with Urumees Thampan, without letting them know each other, and demand a ransom of four lakh to Urumees Thampan, instead of a lakh, and get the girl from Ramji Rao and take the remaining three lakh for themselves. The plan was set properly, but the job wasn't easy to carry out by hiding from the police and keeping Ramji Rao and Urumees anonymous to each other. Finally after a struggle the three rescue the girl from the gang leader and hand her over to Urumees Thamapan. They confess the game to him upon a police encounter. Urumees forgives them and is thankful for returning his daughter, and offers them the three lakh rupees as a reward.



The movie is directed by Siddique-Lal duo, who were assistants of Fazil. The film is also produced by Fazil. Saikumar, son of late veteran actor Kottarakkara Sreedharan Nair made his acting debut with this film.[5]


The film's soundtrack contains 4 songs, all composed by S. Balakrishnan in his debut, with lyrics by Bichu Thirumala. This is the first movie where A. R. Rahman has programmed a song for movie; "Kalikalam".[6]

# Title Singer(s)
1 "Avanavan Kurukkunna" M. G. Sreekumar, C. O. Anto, Chorus
2 "Kalikkalam Ithu Kalikkalam" S. P. Balasubrahmanyam
3 "Kanneerkkaayaliletho" M. G. Sreekumar, K. S. Chitra
4 "Oraayiram Kinaakkalal" M. G. Sreekumar, Unni Menon, K. S. Chitra, C. O. Anto, Chorus

Box officeEdit

The film became a commercial success.[7][8][9][10]


Year Film Language Cast Director
1990 Arangetra Velai Tamil Prabhu, Revathi, V. K. Ramaswamy Fazil
2000 Hera Pheri Hindi Akshay Kumar, Sunil Shetty, Paresh Rawal Priyadarshan
2002 Dhanalakshmi I Love You Telugu Allari Naresh, Aditya, Naresh Shiva Nageswara Rao
2004 Trin Trin Kannada Dharma,Rakesh Krishna, Doddanna Adithya Chikkanna
Wrong Number Oriya


Mukesh's dialogue in the film "Kambilipothappu" became a catchphrase.[11]


  1. ^ ജ്യോതിഷ്, വി.ആര്‍. (21 October 2016). "ഫാസിൽ മനുഷ്യനെ പറ്റിക്കാൻ ഇറങ്ങിയിരിക്കുകയാണ്...റാംജിറാവുവിനൊപ്പം കഥകളും ഇറങ്ങി; സിദ്ദിഖ്–ലാൽ". Vanitha. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  2. ^ http://www.thenetwork.film/bollywood-comes-to-south-africa-to-film/
  3. ^ https://www.chitraloka.com/movie-reviews/2862-trin-trin-review.html
  4. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6mucsPbwu4
  5. ^ http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-fridayreview/second-innings/article3230370.ece
  6. ^ http://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/recalling-a-musical-legacy/article7328966.ece
  7. ^ "Malayalam films remade in Hindi". The Times of India. 29 July 2015.
  8. ^ "Popular Mollywood comedian Indrans gets to play villain in movie". The Indian Express. 6 November 2013.
  9. ^ Vijay George (2 January 2009). "Return to Harihar Nagar". The Hindu.
  10. ^ "Meleparambil Aanveedu Mannar Mathai Speaking sequels". The Times of India. 13 September 2011.
  11. ^ http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-kerala/malayalam-online-in-wonderful-calligraphy/article4546026.ece

External linksEdit