Munnariyippu (English: Warning) is a 2014 Malayalam language Indian mystery thriller film directed by cinematographer Venu and produced by Ranjith, based on a screenplay by Unni R. The film stars Mammootty and Aparna Gopinath in the lead roles, along with Nedumudi Venu, Joy Mathew, Prathap Pothan, Sreeraman, Renji Panicker, Saiju Kurup, Joshy Mathew, and Sudheesh in pivotal roles.
The film follows Anjali Arakkal (Aparna Gopinath), a junior journalist, who has set out to write an autobiography on convict C.K. Raghavan (Mammootty) who professes that he never committed the crimes he is in prison for. It released on 22 August 2014 to positive reviews. The movie was a critical success.
Anjali Arakkal, a freelance journalist, while interacting with a retiring jail superintendent (Nedumudi Venu) for ghost writing his autobiography, meets C R Raghavan (Mammootty), a prisoner committed for double homicide serving 20 years even after his official term in jail. His preference and oddball comfortability piques Anjali's interest in Raghavan. Though, Raghavan was tried for killing his wife (Ramani) and the daughter of his employer (Pooja Patel). Yet he claims of his innocence every now and then.
With Moorthy's information the young journalist comes to know Raghavan writes. She gets access to his writings in which Raghavan interprets world around him in his own way. Sentences like "Does the reflected image in a mirror looks back at him or does it accepts him and comes along with him"; "A Prison should be a place for people to understand their mistakes and correct them rather than a place for punishment"; "Life as a struggle before death". All this makes her attracted to the mystery Raghavan has built. Further Raghavan's outlook on freedom and responsibility with his own brand of philosophy impresses Anjali and she decides to write a feature about him.
The featured article gains much attention and proposals come for publishing Raghavan's Biography with his philosophies. Anjali decides use this opportunity to make a name for herself with cooperation from Raghavan's side. Raghavan is much happy about the newly gained attention he is receiving. Anjali decides to visit Raghavan in jail and process release for him from jail. After release she finds accommodation for him and compels him to write-up events and interpretation of them for making it a book. Though Raghavan hesitates. Later while Raghavan lollygagging he meets up with his aspirants and they invite him for a drink. Under influence there he reveals his ideology about Freedom as "Removing elements that obstructs the person is known as freedom. If it happens in home, it is called as domestic abuse. If it happens in society it is revolution. Irrespective of where it happens where there is revolution, blood will spill". Anjali reaches the limit with Raghavan's lollygagging and reacts badly in presence of her colleague Mohan. Mohan advices Anjali to not pressurize a person who was reluctant to come out from Jail. Anjali faces problem when the deadline to submit the material for the Book is nearing and Raghavan has not even started writing, above that there are other journalists who try to get full picture of Raghavan's Story. She decides its best to move Raghavan to an undisclosed place.
Anjali is pressurized by the publishers. The new accommodation and lack of facilities irks Raghavan. Anjali's marriage seems almost fixed with an Chackochan (Prithviraj) and she decides to leave the book publishing project and settle the deal in court. Anjali meets with Raghavan and gives his diary and money received from jail for his rehabilitation and lashes out at him. Raghavan smirks at her. Raghavan gives her the full script of the story. Skipping through it she comes in grip with the reality of Raghavan's true nature. Fear creeps under her skin. Raghavan murders her with one blow to the head. Finally, Raghavan is shown peacefully sleeping at Jail. Photo of Anjali along with his other victims is seen pasted near to Jail Wall as trophies of his victory to his own psychotic idealization of freedom.
Nidheesh M K of The New Indian Express described Munnariyippu as "a film that demands from us more than few bucks at the pay counter." He also wrote, "For the classic that it is, Munnariyippu is bound to remain in the hearts of those who care for the art of visual storytelling for long time to come." Akhila Menon of Filmibeat.com gave the film 4 stars out of 5 and concluded her review, "A must watch movie recommended for the movie lovers." She also wrote, "Mammootty delivers his best performance in recent times and excels as C K Raghavan. Aparna Gopinath proves her mettle as an actress with the meaty role."
Raj Vikram of Metromatinee.com wrote, "Munnariyippu is a many layered movie; seeps deep into the inner layers of sensibility. Mammootty takes the film to a different level with his expressive acting and subdued mannerisms." Padmakumar K of Malayala Manorama gave the film 3.5/5 and wrote, "Offering an experience which Malayali audience has so far been alien to, Munnariyippu gives an artistic mix of what is captivating as well as outlandish in terms of narrative, thanks to the brilliant work by script writer Unni R." He also said that the film "can be viewed as a movie with a different approach. Or the story of a person with a strange aptitude. Mammootty's character that stands out, stunningly. He is every inch the Raghavan of the film, in looks and in conduct." Aswin J Kumar of The Times of India gave a rating of 3.5/5 and wrote, "It feels good to watch Mammootty in Munnariyippu. It's as though the waxy glow on his face has melted away revealing a face that looks so human and so earthy." He concluded that the film "might not go well with a section of viewers, but this is a smart way of making a film and reinventing an actor." S.R. Praveen of The Hindu wrote in his review, "Munnariyippu, with its skeletal approach, delivers a thumping jolt to the viewer and reclaims the actor who was lost in the jungle of superstardom. One ends up wishing for a little more detail in places but at the same time it looks like holding everything back worked in the end."
Indiaglitz.com gave the film 7/10 and concluded, "A movie with no masala events, but one that is sure to be applauded in desi and international level, Munnariyippu is a must see for connoisseurs of all good cinema." Veeyen of Nowrunning.com wrote, "There is a deconstruction of sorts that occurs in Venu's Munnariyippu, as conventionalities are discarded without a second thought." He gave the film 3 stars out of 5 and wrote about the film as, "a revelatory drama that throws together an emphatic, no-nonsense narrative with a couple of out-of-the-world performances." He also lauded the performance of Mammootty as he wrote that the film "marks the reinvention of an actor [Mammootty] whom we simply adore, and lays forth a hundred reasons as to why we have been in awe of him for so long." Sify.com gave the film a verdict of "Above Average" and wrote, "Munnariyippu is aimed at those sections of viewers, who would like to be part of the narration, creating a visual of their own while watching the movie on screen. But even then, the film leaves you wanting for more."2014 Kerala State Film Awards - Best Dubbing Artist : Vimmy Mariam George
Moscow International Film Festival - Official Category and Asian Category
Indian Panorama of International Film Festival of India of 2014 - Selected
Chicago International Film Festival - Selected