p padmarajan



Padmarajan worked as an announcer at AIR and had already authored 15 novels before he entered cinema by writing script for Bharathan's Pranamam. Considered as one among the second generation modernist writers, his works as a novelist dealt with anarchist ideologies, about marginalised people and sexual jealousy.

Padmarajan played a key role in bringing back Malayalam popular cinema back to common man, by telling stories of ordinary people and ordinary events. He established his position as a leading advocate of the middle path cinema with his very first film, Peruvazhiyambalam (1979). His second film Oridathoru Phayalvan (1981) won several awards including international awards. He maintained consistency in quality of films and remained popular among the mass during his film career.



Selected Filmography:


Peruvazhiyambalam - 1979
(Wayside Inn)

Padmarajan's first film as a director, Peruvazhiyambalam was a milestone in Malayalam cinema history.

Raman a simple boy lives with his sister in a village. Prabhakaran Pillai, the villainous rapist coverts the sister and persecutes Raman, who alone stands up to the bully and kills him in a fight. A teashop owner and a prostitute help him to hide form the police. Raman replaces the villain as the idol for hero worship, for his macho qualities. He is struck with remorse when faced by the children of the man he killed.


Direction & Screenplay: Padmarajan
Cast: Ashokan, Gopi, Aziz, Jose Prakash, Lalitha
Cinematography: A Kannan Narayanan
Music: M G Radhakrishnan



Oridathoru Phayalwan - 1981
(There Lived a Wrestler)

Oridathoru Phayalwan is folk parable about the success and failure in the life of a wrestler.

Patronised by a village tailor, the wrestler becomes a local hero when he overcomes all his opponents and claims the prettiest woman as his wife. However, his muscular prowess is offset by sexual impotency and he has to leave the village.

Oridathoru Phayalwan won Padmarajan the Gold Medal at the Asian Film Festival.


Direction & Screenplay: Padmarajan
Cast: Rashid, Jayanthi, Nedumudi Venu
Cinematography: Vipin Das
Music: Johnson



Kallan Pavithran - 1981
(Pavithran the thief)

The profession Pavithran is involved in earned him the title ‘Pavitran the Thief’, even if the thefts he gets involved were of petty nature. It was as the result of Pavithran’s effort to get rid of the title he had with his name that he visited Mamachan the mill owner. Pavithran’s request for a job in the mill was turned down by Mamachan. But a theft that occurs in Mamachan’s house changes the fate of Pavithran’s life forever.

Direction & Screenplay: Padmarajan
Cast: Nedumudi Venu, Adoor Bhasi, Gopi, Beea, Subhashini
Editing: Madhu Kainakari



Koodevide? - 1983
(In Search of a Nest)

Alice, who lives with her brother, is a teacher at a convent school in Ooty. A neglected and unruly son of a MP, Xavier Puthooran joins the school in Alice's class. Alice manages to turn him into a prize student. Her boy friend Capt. Thomas feels intensely jealous of the attention Alice bestows upon Ravi. He kills the boy apparently by accident but later surrenders to the police, leaving Alice frustrated in all aspects of her life.

Koodevide? won several State awards and also was selected to Indian Panorama.


Direction & Screenplay: Padmarajan
Cast: Mammootty, Sushasini, Rehman, Jose Prakash, Sukumari
Cinematography: Shaji N Karun
Music: Johnson



Thinkalazcha Nalla Divasam - 1985
(Monday, the Good Day)

A family in its spacious ancestral house to celebrate their lonely mother's 60th Birthday. Jalousies and rivalries erupt focusing on who will inherit the house. The mother is placed in an old age home and latter she dies there, leaving the next generation guilty ridden, but their children nevertheless appreciate living in the big house.


Direction & Screenplay: Padmarajan
Cast: Mammootty, Kaviyoor Ponnamma, Karamana Jhanardhanan Nair
Cinematography: Vasant Kumar
Music: Shyam



Namukku Parkan Munthiri Thoppukal - 1986
(Vineyards to Live)

A tragic love story, Namukku Parkan Munthiri Thoppukal is set in the Malayalee settling areas near Mysore in Karnataka. Solomon falls in love with Sofia, the illegitimate daughter of a nurse now married to a railway mechanic, an alcoholic. Sofia's stepfather sets a marriage with his junior and drinking partner for her. When Sofia's mother accepts the proposal from Solomon, the stepfather rapes Sofia. At the end of the film, he is seen dragging her, still wearing her white bridal dress, towards his vineyard.




Direction & Screenplay: Padmarajan
Cast: Mohanlal, Shari, Thilakan, Vineeth
Music: Johnson



Desadanakkili Karayarilla - 1986
(Migratory Bird Never Cries)

The film is about the inexplicable love between two girls, Sally and the meek and tradition-bound Nirmala. The two girls run away during a school trip in order to punish their teacher Devika who organised the trip. Their journey is soon interrupted by a man, Harisankar, who mysteriously befriends the girls and begins a romantic relationship with Nirmala. Sally strongly objects to this relationship and warns her friend against the suspicious nature of the man. Nirmala, who was almost convinced to leave everything behind to be with the man she loves, gets a shock when she finds out that the man was actually in love with the teacher whom she despised and ran away from. Unable to find a way out of the misery that befalls them, Sally and Nirmala cling on to each other and commit suicide.

Direction & Screenplay: P Padmarajan
Cast: Mohanlal, Karthika, Shari, Urvasi
Cinematography: Venu
Editing: B Lenin
Music: Raveendran



Arappatta Kettiya Gramathil - 1986
(In the village which wears a warrior's belt)

Three men, lead by Sakaria, visit a whorehouse in a remote village. The group seems to be having fun until another group of men try to whisk away the youngest and the most beautiful woman at the brothel. Things get even more complicated when the youngest of the three falls in love with the woman. His compatriots decide to stand by him and fight the enemies.

Direction & Screenplay: P Padmarajan
Cast: Mammooty, Ashokan, Nedumudi Venu, Sukumari, Unnimary



Thoovanathumpikal - 1987

Jayakrishnan, a well-to-do bachelor lives a dual life among friends in town, and at his village home, where he lives with his mother and sister. While he is a free bird celebrating life with his crowd of friends in town, he is a proper family-man at home. The film is about his dual life and his encounter with the sex-worker-to-be Clara, which takes him on a different journey and his love of Radha.


Direction & Screenplay: Padmarajan
Cast: Mohanlal, Sumalatha,Parvathi, Ashokan, Babu Namboothiri
Cinematography: Jayanan Vincent
Editing: B Lenin
Music: Perumpavoor G Raveendranath



Moonnampakkam - 1988
(The Third Day)

Thampi, a retired bureaucrat in his 80’s is leading a secluded life in a seaside village. His wife and son are no more, he has only very few close friends who share his solitude. The news of the arrival of his grandson Bhasi for vacation creates ripples in his life. Bhasi is a medical student whom he has not seen for many years. Bhasi arrives with three of his friends for a memorable vacation. As things brighten up and memories are aroused, a fateful incident occurs. Bhasi, while frolicking with his friends in the beach, disappears in the sea. The old man is shattered, and on the third day, the body is washed ashore…


Direction & Screenplay: Padmarajan
Cast: Thilakan, Jagathi Sreekumar, Jayaram, Keerthi, Ashokan, Rahman
Cinematography: Venu
Editing: B Lenin, Vijayan
Music: Ilyaraja



Aparan - 1988
(The Other)

A story of mistaken identity, Aparan is about an innocuous good guy mistaken for a gangster boss who may well have been his twin brother.


Direction & Screenplay: Padmarajan
Cast: Jayaram, Shobhana, Parvathi, Jalaja, Madhu, Soman
Cinematography: Venu
Music: Johnson



Innale - 1989
(The Past)

Gauri the sole survivor of a tragic bus accident loses her memory. Admitted to a private nursing home, where she is diagnosed as suffering from 'hysteric amnesia', she falls in love with the doctor's son. However, Narendran arrives from USA, claiming to be her husband. When Gauri still refuses to recognise Narendran, he retrns to the US wishing the young couple well.


Direction & Screenplay: Padmarajan
Cast: Shobhana, Jayaram, Suresh Gopi, Srividya
Cinematography: Venu
Music: P G Ravindranath



Njan Gandharvan - 1991
(The Celestial Lover)

Padmarajan's last film is a fantasy featuring the college-going Bhama and her passion for a celestial lover, who keeps appearing from a wooden statue that she found on a beach but is invisible to others. Eventually they are separated as he is punished by higher celestial powers.

Direction & Screenplay: Padmarajan
Cast: Nitish Bhardwaj, Aparna, Ganesh
Cinematography: Venu
Music: Johnson







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