Oridathoru Phayalvaan (English: There Lived a Wrestler, aka Once There Was a Wrestler) is a 1981 Malayalam film written, edited and directed by P. Padmarajan. The film is a folk parable about the success and failure in the life of a wrestler. It was inspired by the unusual La Strada, and the transitional point views of the movie were critically acclaimed. It stars Rashid, Nedumudi Venu and Jayanthi in the lead roles.
It won the award for Best Script at the Kuala Lumpur International Film Festival, and a Gold Medal at the Asian Film Festival.
Patronized by a village tailor, a wrestler becomes a local hero when he defeats all his opponents and claims the prettiest woman as his wife. As a story within a story it also portrays how the tailor makes a profit from the illiterate wrestler. He marries a girl, only for it to be revealed later that he has another wife and isn't interested in her more than a trophy. He abandons his wife and the village when his wife falls for other men in his absence and she acknowledges that she doesn't love him anymore. He leaves her his signature drawing of a conch shell. A frog gigging neighbor youth is entrapped by the girl's mother to marry her conceived daughter.
Rashid as Phayalvaan (wrestler)
Nedumudi Venu as Mesthiri
Jayanthi as Chakkara, the woman courted by the wrestler