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Poster designed by Santhosh
Directed by P. Padmarajan
Produced byP. Stanley
Screenplay byP. Padmarajan
Based onUdakappola, by P. Padmarajan
Starring Mohanlal
Babu Namboothiri
Music by Perumbavoor G. Raveendranath
Johnson (Background Score)
Sreekumaran Thampi (Lyrics)
Cinematography Ajayan Vincent
Jayanan Vincent
Edited by B Lenin [1]
V. T. Vijayan (Assistant)
Sitara Pictures
Distributed byGandhimathi Films
Release date
  • 31 July 1987 (1987-07-31)
Running time
151 minutes
Language Malayalam

Thoovanathumbikal (English: Dragonflies in the Spraying Rain) is a 1987 Indian Malayalam romantic drama film, written and directed by P. Padmarajan, based partly on his own novel Udakappola. It revolves around Jayakrishnan (Mohanlal), who falls in love with two women; Radha (Parvathy), a distant relative of his, and Clara (Sumalatha), an escort in town.

Malayalam language spoken in Kerala and Lakshadweep of India

Malayalam is a Dravidian language spoken in the Indian state of Kerala and the union territories of Lakshadweep and Puducherry (Mahé) by the Malayali people, and it is one of 22 scheduled languages of India. Malayalam has official language status in the state of Kerala and in the union territories of Lakshadweep and Puducherry (Mahé) and is spoken by 38 million people worldwide. Malayalam is also spoken by linguistic minorities in the neighbouring states; with significant number of speakers in the Nilgiris, Kanyakumari, and Coimbatore districts of Tamil Nadu, and Kodagu and Dakshina Kannada districts of Karnataka. Due to Malayali expatriates in the Persian Gulf, the language is also widely spoken in Gulf countries.

Mohanlal Indian film actor

Mohanlal Viswanathan, better known as Mohanlal, is a veteran Indian actor, producer and singer best known for his work in Malayalam cinema. Mohanlal made his acting debut in Thiranottam (1978), however, Manjil Virinja Pookkal (1980) released earlier at the box office. In 1991, Mohanlal produced and starred in Bharatham which is interpreted as a modern-day adaptation of the Ramayana from Bharath's perspective. The film was a critical and commercial success, and got Mohanlal the National Film Award for Best Actor for that year. His role in Bharatham was listed among the 25 best acting performances of Indian cinema by Forbes India on the occasion of celebrating 100 years of Indian Cinema.

Ashwathy Kurup, better known by her stage name Parvathy, is an Indian film actress and classical dancer, who appeared in Malayalam films.


The film was a super hit at the box office and over the years it has turned into a cult film with a large following. [2] [3] The film was ranked #8 by IBN Live in its list of greatest Indian films of all time. The film is widely noted for its rich film score and songs, dialogues and characters, detailed screenplay and Mohanlal's and Sumalatha's performance. Rain is a recurring theme and is portrayed almost as a character in the film. [4] The BGM used in the intimate scenes of Mohanlal and Sumalatha is so popular and is used as mobile ring tone by a lot of people. The characterisation of Clara changed the concept about desirable women for a lot of Malayali bachelors. Even now Clara remains as an evergreen dream of Malayalis, which no other female character could achieve, in Malayalam movie history.

Cult film Film that has acquired a cult following

A cult film or cult movie, also commonly referred to as a cult classic, is a film that has acquired a cult following. Cult films are known for their dedicated, passionate fanbase, an elaborate subculture that engage in repeated viewings, quoting dialogue, and audience participation. Inclusive definitions allow for major studio productions, especially box office bombs, while exclusive definitions focus more on obscure, transgressive films shunned by the mainstream. The difficulty in defining the term and subjectivity of what qualifies as a cult film mirror classificatory disputes about art. The term cult film itself was first used in the 1970s to describe the culture that surrounded underground films and midnight movies, though cult was in common use in film analysis for decades prior to that.

A film score is original music written specifically to accompany a film for the actors. The score forms part of the film's soundtrack, which also usually includes pre-existing music, dialogue and sound effects, and comprises a number of orchestral, instrumental, or choral pieces called cues, which are timed to begin and end at specific points during the film in order to enhance the dramatic narrative and the emotional impact of the scene in question. Scores are written by one or more composers, under the guidance of, or in collaboration with, the film's director or producer and are then usually performed by an ensemble of musicians – most often comprising an orchestra or band, instrumental soloists, and choir or vocalists – known as playback singers and recorded by a sound engineer.


Jayakrishnan (Mohanlal) is a well-to-do bachelor who lives a contrasting dual life: one among his friends in the town, and the other with his mother and sister at their village. While he is an audacious guy celebrating life with his friends in town, he is a frugal family man at home. The film is about his dual life, and how he falls in love with two women, namely Clara (Sumalatha) and Radha (Parvathy), and his difficulty in deciding on a partner among the two.

Sumalatha Indian actress

Sumalatha is an Indian film actress, politician who was the current Member of Parliament in the Lok Sabha from Mandya, Karnataka. She has acted in more than 220 films in Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Tamil and Hindi. Her most recognised role was as Clara from the 1987 film Thoovanathumbikal along with Mohanlal, directed by P. Padmarajan. The film was ranked #8 by IBN Live in its list of greatest Indian films of all time. She gained popularity in Malayalam cinema and later married Kannada actor-politician Ambareesh and has a son Abhishek Gowda.

Jayakrishnan is a typical Malayali guy belonging to an aristocratic family from Thrissur. He has his own vision of life, especially when it comes to marriage. He is hardworking and works on his own farm. At the same time he enjoys a very modern lifestyle with his friends in town, unknown to most people in his village.

While working on his farm one day, Jayakrishnan becomes reacquainted with Radha, a distant relative he hasn’t seen since childhood. Radha’s no-nonsense attitude immediately attracts him and he soon falls for her. Jayakrishnan decides to confesse his feelings to her so he heads to Radha’s college campus. In the midst of a group of about 20 students, he requests a moment of privacy and then expresses his desire to marry her. Radha, unfortunately, refuses his proposal and proceeds to humiliate him by citing his flirtatious/promiscuous reputation.

One day, Jayakrishnan is persuaded to write a letter on behalf of his friend Thangal, a pimp, to a girl named Clara. The letter is intended to fool Clara's father, and thereby introduce Clara to the sex industry under Thangal's supervision. As Jayakrishnan writes the letter, it begins to rain. It turns out that Clara is a poor girl who belongs to the coastal fishing community. She has been mistreated by her stepmother, and is trying to escape from her home. She agrees to become a sex worker and meets Jayakrishnan in Thangal's supervision. Their meeting is graced by the rain.

Jayakrishnan, saddened by Radha's rejection, and urged on by his friend Thangal, agrees to be Clara's first customer. This is Jayakrishnan's first time being physical with a woman. Later he realizes that Clara was a virgin, a fact that disturbs him. He had made a promise to himself that he would not sleep with a virgin unless she was his wife, and if he couldn't keep his pledge, then that girl would at least become his wife. On breaking the one promise he was determined to keep in life, he is deeply disturbed and proposes marriage to Clara. She admires his sincerity and scruples, but does not want to cause Jayakrishnan any hurt socially or personally (as she considers herself a sex worker), hence she decides to disappear from his life.

During this time, Radha hears more about Jayakrishnan from her brother (Madhavan), who was a junior in college to Jayakrishnan. She hears more about the dual life of Jayakrishnan, his small games of fooling people around him, and his ready-to-do-anything-for-friends attitude. She also learns that he had never fooled around with girls, despite his free-spirited lifestyle. Her brother tells her that it would be the first time that Jayakrishnan had proposed to a woman. For the first time, Radha sees Jayakrishnan for the sincere person that he is. She begins to love him, and agrees to his marriage proposal. She meets Jayakrishan to express her feelings towards him, and apologizes for her brusque behavior in the past. However, Jayakrishnan has now begun to feel differently. He tells Radha that he does not regard himself as being the right person for her. When questioned by Radha about the reason behind his change of heart, he discloses everything that transpired between him and Clara. Radha is not offended by his behavior at all. She admires his sincerity and depth of feeling. She tells Jayakrishnan that she is not bothered by his past with Clara.

One day, Jayakrishnan receives a telegram from Clara. She informs him that she is coming to visit him again. Jayakrishnan cannot resist meeting her. It rains again around the time they meet. He tells her about Radha. Clara expresses her joy at his new relationship, but she also wonders if she is the reason Jayakrishnan is unable to commit to Radha. She decides to leave his life forever. Before leaving, she implores Jayakrishnan to not disappoint Radha.

Jayakrishan and Radha decide to get married. One day, Jayakrishnan receives a late night phone call that Clara is coming to see him, and this will be their last meeting, taking place at Ottapalam railway station. It rains heavily that day. Shocked, Jayakrishnan and Radha can't decide what to do. Radha asks Jayakrishnan not to meet Clara, but he cannot resist seeing her. He goes to meet Clara.

Ottapalam Town in Kerala, India

Ottapalam, also spelled Ottappalam, is a town in Ottapalam taluk, Palakkad district, Kerala, India. Chinakathoor Pooram, an event held every year at Chinakkathoor Temple in Palappuram near Ottapalam, is one of the famous festivals in Kerala.Varikkassey Mana, a prominent old styled house is situated at a few Kilometres from Ottapalamm town and is famous for movie shooting and is also a local tourist site. Ottapalam has also another tourist spot known as Ananganmala Eco tourism.

Toward the end of the movie, Jayakrishnan reaches the station to meet Clara. Radha too reaches the station without Jayakrishan's knowledge. At the station, both are surprised to see that Clara is married and is the mother of a child. She tells Jayakrishnan that she had decided to get married to save both their futures. Now she can have a family life and Jayakrishnan can get married to Radha, with whom he has fallen in love. Clara leaves Jayakrishnan's life forever, and Radha and Jayakrishnan unite. It does not rain at the final meeting between Clara and Jayakrishnan.


Anandavally Indian actress

Anandavally C. R. was a Malayalam film actress and dubbing artist. She was an active dubbing artist in the Malayalam film industry.

Ashokan (actor) Indian actor

Ashokan is an Indian actor known for his roles in Malayalam films. He made his film debut with Peruvazhiyambalam (1979). He's best known for his roles in Yavanika (1982), Thoovanathumbikal (1987), In Harihar Nagar (1990), Amaram (1990), and 2 Harihar Nagar (2009).

Babu Namboothiri Indian actor

Babu Namboothiri is an Indian film and TV actor who has starred in more than 100 Malayalam films and various serials. He is famous for his villain and character roles, best known for his portrayal of a very unconventional pimp, Thangal, in Thoovanathumbikal (1987) and as the primary antagonist, Ajith, in Nirakkoottu (1985).


The popular bar scene in the film was shot in Sharabi Bar of Casino Hotel, situated near the Shaktan Thampuran Private Bus Stand in Thrissur. Thoovanathumbikal was the first film to be shot there, the hotel and the bar has since appeared in many films. [5]

Shaktan Thampuran Private Bus Stand

The Sakthan Thampuran Private Bus Stand, Thrissur, is the third largest private bus station in Kerala, India and is located at the southern part of the Thrissur city. It is the origin point of buses proceeding towards Thripryar, Kanjani, Cherpu), Kozhikode, Kunnamkulam, Guruvayoor, Chavakkad, Kuttippuram, Kodungallore, Irinjalakuda, Ollur, Peechi, Palakkad, Manjeri, Perinthalmanna. Sakthan Thampuran bus stand is 1 kilometre away from Thrissur City.

Thrissur Metropolis in Kerala, India

Thrissur is a city and capital of the Thrissur district in Kerala, India. It is the third largest urban agglomeration in Kerala after Kochi and Kozhikode urban areas and the 20th largest in India. Thrissur is also known as the "cultural capital of Kerala" because of its cultural, spiritual and religious leanings throughout history. The city is built around a 65-acre (26 ha) hillock called the Thekkinkadu Maidan which seats the Vadakkumnathan temple. Thrissur was once the capital of the Kingdom of Cochin. It is located 300 kilometres (186 mi) towards north-west of the state capital Thiruvananthapuram. One of the main cultural events in Thrissur is the Thrissur Pooram, which attracts quite a number of tourists and travellers.


The film is based on Padmarajan's novel Udakappola. Director Bharathan did illustration for this novel when it was serialised in Malayalanadu weekly.

Part of this film, especially Jayakrishnan's lifestyle in the town, is loosely based on one of Padmarajan's friends, Karakath Unni Menon. Padmarajan met Unni Menon when the former was working at All India Radio, Thrissur. The friends of Jayakrishan were loosely based on the other friends of Unni Menon: Kanjavu Varkey, Express George and Vijayan Karot. [6] The entire story is based on parts of his own novel "Udakappola".


The music was composed by Perumbavoor G. Raveendranath and the lyrics were by Sreekumaran Thampi.

No.SongSingersLength (m:ss)
1"Megham Poothu Thudangi" K. J. Yesudas 05:16
2"Onnam Raagam Paadi" G. Venugopal, K. S. Chithra & Chorus04:25


Thoovanathumbikal is considered to be one of the greatest and unforgettable Malayalam films of all time and enjoys a cult status even decades after its release. In a 2013 online poll, IBN Live listed it as the 8th greatest Indian film of all time. The poll was conducted as part of the celebrations of Indian cinema completing 100 years. The poll constituted a list of 100 films from different Indian languages. [7] [8]

The film's famous thematic background score was reused in the 2011 film Beautiful . [9] In the 2012 film Trivandrum Lodge , Babu Namboothiri reprised his role as Thangal, a professional pimp. [10]

Set in Thrissur, the film displays the typical Malayali bachelor lifestyle in many scenes. One such scene where Mohanlal invites Ashokan for a lemonade drink and straight away gets in to the city bar, has now become an iconic call sign for a drink offer between Malayalis.[ citation needed ]

Thoovanathumbikal is considered, by many, to be the most romantic movie ever made in Malayalam Cinema History. The film deals with the most intense human emotions of love and lust. Years after its release, the movie has turned into a cult classic, especially among the youth.[ citation needed ]

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Padmarajan Indian film director

Padmarajan was an Indian film director, screenwriter and author who was known for his landmark works in Malayalam literature and Malayalam cinema. Padmarajan was the founder of a new school of film making in Malayalam cinema, along with Bharathan and K. G. George, in the 1980s, which created groundbreaking films that were widely received while also being critically acclaimed.

<i>Poochakkoru Mookkuthi</i> 1984 film by Priyadarshan

Poochakkoru Mookkuthi is a 1984 Indian Malayalam-language screwball comedy film written and directed by Priyadarshan. The film features an ensemble cast that includes Mohanlal, Shankar, Menaka, M. G. Soman, Nedumudi Venu, C. I. Paul, Sukumari, Jagathy Sreekumar, Kuthiravattam Pappu, Sreenivasan and Baiju Santhosh.

<i>Chithram</i> 1988 film by Priyadarshan

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Johnson (composer) Indian composer

Johnson was an Indian film score composer and music director who has given music to some of the most important motion pictures of Malayalam cinema, including those for Koodevide, Namukku Parkkan Munthiri Thoppukal, Oru Minnaminunginte Nurunguvettam, Vadakkunokkiyantram, Perumthachan, Njan Gandharvan, Ponthan Mada, and Bhoothakkannadi. Regarded as one of the finest composers in the industry, he was noted for his lyrical and expressive melodies together with simple but rich tonal compositions of thematic music. Johnson is a recipient of National Film Awards twice and Kerala State Film Awards three times.

<i>Flash</i> (2007 film) 2007 film by Sibi Malayil

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This article aims to compile various depictions of Thrissur in popular culture.


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