Thazhvaram (transl. The valley) is a 1990 Indian Malayalam-language drama thriller film directed by Bharathan and written by M. T. Vasudevan Nair. It stars Mohanlal, Salim Ghouse, Sumalatha, Anju and Sankaradi. It tells the story of Balan (Mohanlal), who's on the lookout for Raju (Salim Ghouse) for taking revenge for murdering his wife Raji (Anju). Bharathan also composed the only song featured in the film, the background score was provided by Johnson.

Directed byBharathan
Produced byV. B. K. Menon
Written byM. T. Vasudevan Nair
Salim Ghouse
Music bySongs:
Edited byB. Lenin
V. T. Vijayan
Anughraha Cini Arts
Distributed byAnughraha Cini Arts (Kerala)
Release date
  • 13 April 1990 (1990-04-13)
Running time
130 minutes

Set in the backdrop of a remote village across a valley in Palakkad, the film is made in the style of a spaghetti western film, and has achieved a cult status in Kerala since its release.[1][2]


Balan is in search of Raju and the search takes him to a remote village in a valley. Balan reaches a house in the hills, where he is welcomed wholeheartedly by both Nanu, the house owner, and Kochutty, his daughter. Balan realizes that Raju stays with them as Raghavan. Balan comes to know that Nanu has helped Raju to start farming and that Nanu intends to get his daughter married to Raju. Balan decides to wait for Raghavan / Raju.

Raju, on his arrival, smells his enemy. The film progresses in with the two having to pretend before Nanu and Kochutty that they are good friends. The film cuts to a flashback, where Raju and Balan are close friends. He, in greed for money, killed Balan's wife, Raji on their wedding night and ran away with Balan's hard earned money.

Balan is now back in search of Raju to avenge the death of his wife. Raju attacks Balan in one of the numerous encounters the duo had and almost kills Balan. Balan survives the attack to save Nanu and his daughter from Raghavan.



This is Bharathan's second film with M. T. Vasudevan Nair after Vaishali in 1988. This is the second collaboration of Mohanlal and Bharathan after Kattathe Killikudu. Bharathan and Sasi Menon and Gayathri Ashokan did the poster designs.


The soundtrack of this film had only one song composed by Bharathan himself to the lines written by Kaithapram and rendered by K. J. Yesudas.

# Song Title Singer Note(s)
1 "Kannetha Doore Marutheeram" K. J. Yesudas Ragam: Sudha Saveri


Upon release, the film, initially a slow starter, garnered widespread positive reviews and became a success both critically and commercially. The camera work of Venu is considered as the highlight of the film. Thazhvaram had just a handful of characters and the plot was so well developed that it was a visual treat for the viewers. The fighting in the climax amidst violent vultures is considered as one of the best climax scenes in Malayalam cinema. The film is considered as a cult classic in Malayalam and the performance of Mohanlal is considered as one of his best in his acting career by the critics.


  1. ^ Shrijith, Sajin (7 September 2018). "The quiet rawness of Bharathan's Thazhvaram". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 15 December 2019.
  2. ^ "Screenplays for ever". The Hindu. 26 September 2014.

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