Virus (2019 film)

Virus is a 2019 Indian Malayalam-language medical thriller film co-produced and directed by Aashiq Abu set against the backdrop of the 2018 Nipah virus outbreak in Kerala. The film was written by Muhsin Parari, Sharfu, and Suhas. It stars an ensemble cast that includes Kunchacko Boban, Tovino Thomas, Asif Ali, Parvathy Thiruvothu, Rahman, Indrajith Sukumaran, Indrans, Jinu Joseph, Sreenath Bhasi, Dileesh Pothan, Rima Kallingal, Madonna Sebastian, Ramya Nambeeshan, Joju George, Soubin Shahir and Revathi.[2][3]

Virus Malayalam Movie.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAashiq Abu
Written byMuhsin Parari
Produced byAashiq Abu
Rima Kallingal
CinematographyRajeev Ravi
Additional Cinematography:
Shyju Khalid[1]
Edited bySaiju Sreedharan
Music bySushin Shyam
OPM Cinemas
Distributed byOPM Cinemas
Release date
  • 7 June 2019 (2019-06-07)
Running time
152 minutes
Budget₹6.5 crore
Box office₹27.5 crore

Principal photography took place from January to February 2019 in a single schedule shot extensively in Government Medical College, Kozhikode and Government Homoeopathic Medical College, Kozhikode . The film was released worldwide on 7 June 2019, receiving critical acclaim and was a box office success. It was included in The Hindu's top 25 Malayalam films of the decade.[4]


A man named Zakariya Mohammed is infected and brought to the Government Medical College, Kozhikode, where he suffers from the symptoms of an unknown virus and, after a few hours, dies. Geetha, who was taking Zakariya's CT scan, got infected by the virus. As nurses and doctors checked her blood pressure, the scale was going up and down which left the doctors there worried and confused. A nurse Akhila who treated Zakariya gets affected too. Slowly more cases are identified in the surrounding areas. Dr. Salim (a neurologist) while checking on Zakariya's father, Razak, notices symptoms related to poisoning and Japanese encephalitis and other such infections on Razak. Dr. Salim also asked Dr. Suresh Rajan to conduct a sample test for Nipah virus. The samples were collected from Suhana, sister of Zakariya.

As the death toll begins to rise, Dr. Suresh Babu confirms the unknown virus to be Nipah. Nipah spreads across Kozhikode and the neighbouring districts. Sister Akhila (the nurse who treated Zakariya), dies after a long battle with the virus and before she died, she wrote a letter to her husband. The film progresses with real life experiences of people who we are aware of when it has happened and also creates a backstory for each affected patient and generates an interest in the narration.

In an emergency situation, a team of medical practitioners and healthcare professionals, led by the Health Minister of Kerala C. K. Prameela and District Collector Paul V. Abraham IAS, camp in Kozhikode to tackle the crisis. There is an attempt made to justify that this is not a bio-weapon used by any country or organisation. While the film is ending, the film pays tribute to scientists, medical professionals, hospital staff, volunteers and the people who came forward to support the team to solve the virus attack. Health minister, C. K. Prameela announces Kozhikode Nipah virus free. In the end, it is shown that Zakariya saw a flying fox (a breed of bats) that was on the ground. He went there and before coming in contact with the bat, he took a picture of the bat for his Instagram story.



The film is based on the 2018 Nipah virus outbreak in Kerala.[5][6] Principal photography began in Kozhikode on 6 January 2019, Kalidas Jayaram was supposed to appear in the film in a supporting but pivotal role, but was replaced by Sreenath Bhasi after the former did not ultimately accept it. Virus was shot extensively in and around Government Medical College, Kozhikode. Filming wrapped on 26 February 2019 after 52 days shoot in a single schedule.


Soundtrack album by
Released12 June 2019
GenreFeature film soundtrack
LabelOPM Records
ProducerSushin Shyam
Sushin Shyam chronology
Kumbalangi Nights
Anjaam Pathiraa
External audio
  Audio Jukebox on YouTube

The original soundtrack is composed, programmed, and arranged by Sushin Shyam. The film features a promotional song titled "Spread Love" sung by Shelton Pinheiro, Madonna Sebastian, Muhsin Parari and Sushin Shyam, which was not included in the film, but was listed in the original soundtrack album, which features 17 instrumental numbers, which released on 17 May 2019.[7]

Virus (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)[8]
1."Spread Love"Shelton Pinheiro,
Madonna Sebastian,
Muhsin Parari, Sushin Shyam
2."Heal" 05:56
3."Orbit" 02:02
4."Virus" 02:48
5."Vision" 01:29
6."Outbreak" 02:12
7."Heroes" 03:33
8."Dharmam" 01:52
9."Humanity" 02:34
10."Roots" 05:09
11."Quest" 04:16
12."Spreading Rapidly" 04:37
13."Love for mother nature" 02:05
14."A departure without amends" 02:13
15."Consumed by fear" 01:28
16."Festering within" 01:14
17."The truth unfolding" 02:36
18."Rise" 06:21


The film was released worldwide on 7 June 2019.[9] The film dubbed in Tamil and Telugu as Virus and Nipah Virus released on Zee5 and Aha[10]


Box officeEdit

The film grossed ₹3.9 crore in the opening weekend (7 – 9 June) from Kerala box office.[11] It collected a worldwide total of over ₹15 crore in 12 days, with ₹11.74 crore from Kerala alone. By collecting $65,000 in 10 days from the United States, Virus became the fourth highest-grossing Malayalam film of 2019 in the US, behind Lucifer, Kumbalangi Nights, and Uyare. And as of 21 June, it is also the fourth highest-grossing Malayalam film of 2019 in the rest-of-India territories, behind Lucifer, Kumbalangi Nights, and Uyare.[12] It earned ₹2,60,058 in Chennai from 18 shows in the opening weekend,[13] and ₹4,82,715 in two weeks.[14][15]

In the opening weekend, the film grossed $342,527 from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and $9,098 from Australia. It grossed €2,749 (₹2.16 lakh) in Germany in two weeks. The film was released a week later (on 14 June) in the United Kingdom and New Zealand where it collected £14,991 (₹13.2 lakh) and NZ$12,409 (₹5.65 lakh) in the opening weekend,[16] and £28,809 (₹25.56 lakh) and NZ$16,099 (₹7.4 lakh) in two weeks. In three weeks, it collected A$23,868 (₹11.56 lakh) in Australia and $587,960 in the UAE.[17] In the US, it made $68,244 (47.13 lakh) in four weeks.[18]

Critical receptionEdit

Sowmya Rajendran of The News Minute called the movie, "A compassionate, gripping medical thriller" and rated it 4/5 stars.[19]

Meera Manu of News18 rated the movie 4/5 stars and said, "For its 152-minute duration, Virus will take you through many emotional roller-coasters. This one is contagious enough to make you skip a heartbeat or evoking tears. It's more than just a film, it's humans joining hands to beat a deadly disease. No reason to not watch this one."[20] Manu of the Filmibeat rated the movie 4/5 stars and reviewed, "Virus is a mind-blowing movie and as its tagline says it rightly conveys the fear, fight and the survival during the Nipah outbreak. A well-crafted movie, which could be ranked as one among the best movies of all-time. Kudos to the team."[21]

Anjana George of The Times of India rated the movie 3.5/5 stars and reviewed, "On the whole, the film can be called as a well-crafted multi-starrer, fictional documentation of news reports on the Nipah virus attack that shocked Kerala and still looms over us."[22] Behindwoods rated the movie 3.25/5 stars and wrote, "With Virus, Aashiq Abu cements his top form as a filmmaker. Overall, Virus is a straightforward, detailed and uncompromising retelling of an unbelievable story of humanity."[23] Film Companion called the movie, "A Screenwriting Miracle" and praised the performances of the actors.[24]


Award Category Recipient Notes
CPC Cine Awards[25] Best Director Aashiq Abu
Best Background Score Sushin Shyam
Best Editor Saiju Sreedharan
Best Production Designer Jothish Shankar
Vanitha Film Awards[26] Best Film on Social Issues
Best Supporting Actor Soubin Shahir
Social Responsible Actor Kunchacko Boban
Social Responsible Actress Rima Kallingal
Asianet Film Awards[27] Best Actress Parvathy Thiruvothu


  1. ^ Shrijith, Sajin (11 June 2019). "Doing Virus felt like doing a medical crash course: Aashiq Abu". Cinema Express. Retrieved 18 October 2019.
  2. ^ "Virus first look: Is Aashiq Abu's next based on Nipah outbreak?".
  3. ^ "Aashiq Abu announces Virus, featuring Revathy, Asif Ali, Parvathy; film to tentatively release in 2019".
  4. ^ "The 25 best Malayalam films of the decade". The Hindu. 19 December 2019. Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  5. ^ "Virus is about how Kerala tackled Nipah outbreak unitedly".
  6. ^ "Nippa 'Vaiṟas' Veḷḷittirayil; Tārappaṭayumāyi Āṣikh Abu" നിപ്പ 'വൈറസ്' വെള്ളിത്തിരയിൽ; താരപ്പടയുമായി ആഷിഖ് അബു [Nippa 'virus' on silver screen; Aashiq Abu with Tarapada].
  7. ^ "Virus (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) by Sushin Shyam". Apple Music.
  8. ^ "Virus (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) by Sushin Shyam". Apple Music.
  9. ^ "'Virus' to hit the screens on June 7 - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 16 June 2019.
  10. ^ Kulfibuzz. "Nipah Virus Telugu movie cast". Kulfi Buzz. Retrieved 6 December 2020. respectively
  11. ^ Surendhar M. K. (16 June 2019). "Kolaigaran pulls in Rs 6.8 cr from opening weekend in Tamil Nadu; Virus earns Rs 6 cr worldwide". Firstpost. Retrieved 25 June 2019.
  12. ^ Surendhar M. K. (21 June 2019). "Unda earns Rs 11.9 cr in Kerala in 6 days; Kolaigaran tops Tamil Nadu box office for second consecutive weekend". Firstpost. Retrieved 25 June 2019.
  13. ^ "Virus box office collection". Behindwoods. 9 June 2019. Retrieved 25 June 2019.
  14. ^ "Virus box office collection". Behindwoods. 17 June 2019. Retrieved 25 June 2019.
  15. ^ Upadhyaya, Prakash (18 June 2019). "Box office collection: Kolaigaran overpowers Game Over in Chennai". International Business Times. Retrieved 25 June 2019.
  16. ^ "Bharat slows down in second weekend; collects approx. 9.13 mil. USD [Rs. 63.82 cr.] in overseas". Bollywood Hungama. 17 June 2019. Retrieved 4 July 2019.
  17. ^ "Virus (2019)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 25 June 2019.
  18. ^ "Article 15 collects approx. 1 mil. USD [Rs. 6.89 cr] in overseas". Bollywood Hungama. 1 July 2019. Retrieved 7 July 2019.
  19. ^ Rajendran, Sowmya (7 June 2019). "'Virus' review: A compassionate, gripping medical thriller". Retrieved 8 June 2019.
  20. ^ "Virus Movie Review: This Film About Nipah Outbreak Slowly Grows on You". News18. Retrieved 16 June 2019.
  21. ^ Manu (7 June 2019). "Virus Movie Review: A Brilliantly Crafted Film That Is Mighty Impressive On All Counts!". Retrieved 16 June 2019.
  22. ^ "Virus Movie Review {3.5/5}: A well-crafted multi-starrer, fictional documentation on the Nipah virus attack". Retrieved 16 June 2019 – via
  23. ^ "Virus (aka) Virues review". Behindwoods. 7 June 2019. Retrieved 16 June 2019.
  24. ^ Menon, Vishal (7 June 2019). "Virus with several great performances is a screenwriting miracle". Film Companion. Retrieved 16 June 2019.
  25. ^ "CPC Cine Awards 2019: Virus And Kumabalangi Nights Bag Top Honours!". 30 January 2020.
  26. ^ "Vanitha Film Awards 2020: Mohanlal, Prithviraj Sukumaran, Parvathy Thiruvothu Win Top Honours!". 11 February 2020.
  27. ^ "Asianet Film Awards 2020: Here Is The Complete Winners List!". 8 February 2020.

External linksEdit