Mathilukal (1990)

 ●  Malayalam ● Running Time: TBA

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Based on an autobiographical novelette by the well-known Kerala writer Basheer, this is a love story, set in a prison cell the 40s, between the imprisoned Basheer (Mammootty) and a woman from the neighbouring prison compound. They are separated by a high wall so that they never see each other and have to devise ingenious ways of communicating.

Cast: Mammootty

Crew: Adoor Gopalakrishnan (Director), Ravi Varman (Director of Photography)

Genres: Drama, Romance

Release Dates: 18 May 1990 (India)

Malayalam Name: മതിലുകൾ

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Did you know? This movie is based on the autobiographical novel of the same name by Vaikom Muhammad Basheer. Read More
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as Vaikom Muhammad Basheer
Supporting Actor
as Narayani
as Basheer's friend
as Jail Warder




Screenplay Writer

Camera and Electrical

Director of Photography


Film Type:
Colour Info:
Frame Rate:
24 fps
Aspect Ratio:
About casting Mammootty as Basheer, Adoor says: "To play someone when he is living is no mean challenge, and the Malayalam star rose up to it".

At the National Film Awards in 1990 this movie won awards for Best Director - Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Best Actor - Mammootty also for 'Oru Vadakkan Veeragatha', Best Audiography - N. Harikumar and Best Regional Film (Malayalam).

This extraordinary tale was well received upon screening at the Venice Film Festival, winning several awards and accolades internationally, including the FIPRESCI Prize and the UNICEF Award.

This movie focuses on the prison life of Vaikom Muhammad Basheer and the love between him and Narayani, a female inmate of the prison, who remains unseen throughout the film.

This movie is based on the autobiographical novel of the same name by Vaikom Muhammad Basheer.

On the centenary of Indian cinema in April 2013, Forbes included Mammootty's performance in the film on its list, "25 Greatest Acting Performances of Indian Cinema".

This movie was essentially produced for television audiences, the story is played out in confined spaces with a sense of claustrophobia and suppressed violence which enhances the emotional impact of the moving love story.