Superhit Malayalam film ‘Manichitrathazhu’ to re-release in July

The film was directed by Fazil and produced by Swargachitra Appachan. It earned over ₹7 crore in 1983 and bagged two National Awards.

BySouth First Desk

Published Jun 15, 2024 | 12:31 PM Updated Jun 15, 2024 | 12:31 PM

Manichitrathazhu will be re-released in July (1)

After 31 years, the superhit Malayalam movie Manichitrathazhu is gearing up for a grand re-release.

The makers recently launched a new poster of the film and announced that it would be re-released in July. “Manichitrathazhu will be re-released with 4K quality and Dolby Atmos sound technology,” said its producer Swargachitra Appachan.

The producer also revealed that the makers had difficulty in restoring the film as the original print was lost. But Matinee Now, a company that deals with remastering old films, converted the flick to 4K quality.

It is learnt that Matinee Now managed to get a copy of the flick from the archives in Mumbai and remastered it.

Swargachitra Appachan stated that Mohanlal, who played the lead in the film, was initially sceptical of the restoration process. “But now, everyone is eagerly waiting for the re-release of Manichitrathazhu.”

While the remastered version of Manichitrathazhu will hit the screens in July this year, the makers are yet to finalise the re-release date.

In 2023, Mohanlal’s Spadikam (1995) was re-released and it became a mega-hit. The movie, one of the best from director Bhadran, was a phenomenal hit upon its release.

Re-releases are gaining momentum in Malayalam, too. The success of Spadikam prompted the filmmakers in Mollywood to re-release their old ventures.

Meanwhile, director Sibi Malayil has confirmed that Mohanlal’s Devadoothan (2000) will also be re-released soon.

Also Read: Mohanlal’s ‘Devadoothan’ to re-release soon 

Manichitrathazhu, a cult classic

Manichitrathazhu was directed by Fazil and written by Madhu Muttam.

A cult movie, the psychological horror featured an ensemble cast of Mohanlal, Suresh Gopi, Shobana, Nedumdi Venu, Thilakan, Innocent, KPAC Lalitha, and Vinaya Prasad.

Shobana as Ganga and Nagavalli in Manichitrathazhu

Shobana as Nagavalli and Ganga in ‘Manichitrathazhu’. (X)

Mohanlal appeared as Dr Sunny and Suresh Gopi as Nakulan. Shobana played both Ganga (Nakulan’s wife) and Nagavalli.

Major portions of the film were shot at Hill Palace, Tripunithra, and Padmanabhapuram Palace. The haunting Thekkini was created inside the Vasan House in Chennai. Vasan House was the residence of SS Vasan, the founder of Gemini Studios.

Artist R Madhavan created the painting of Nagavalli.

The saree featuring Shobana in a song from the movie was launched in the market as the Nagavalli saree and it was sold like hotcakes.

The nine songs, scored by MG Radhakrishnan, topped the chartbusters for several years.

Manichitrathazhu was a blockbuster upon its release. It did tremendous business at the box office by raking in over ₹7 crore. It also ran for over a year in some centres.

It also topped the TRP list and got the maximum rating every time it was screened on the Asianet TV channel.

The film bagged the National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment.

Shobana bagged the National Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Ganga and Nagavalli.

It was remade into many languages—in Kannada as Apthamithra (2004) by director P Vasu, in Bengali as Rajmohol (2005) by Swapan Saha, in Tamil as Chandramukhi (2005) by P Vasu, and in Hindi as Bhool Bhulaiyaa (2007) under the direction of Priyadarshan.

Interestingly, all the remake versions did extremely well at the box office. Indeed, the Tamil version became a blockbuster as it had Rajinikanth playing Mohanlal’s role.

In 2013, Manichitrathazhu was voted second among India’s Greatest Films in an online poll conducted by IBN Live as part of the 100 years of Indian cinema celebrations.

Also Read: Samantha replaces Nayanthara in Gautham Menon’s Malayalam directorial debut?