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Chidambaram’s Manjummel Boys: A Survival Thriller with a blend of Friendship Genre.

Manjummel Boys transcends the typical friendship film genre by seamlessly blending elements of a survival thriller. This movie stands out as a visual marvel with exceptional writing, well-crafted characterizations, precise editing, top-notch acting, and a thrilling narrative. Chidambaram, the writer and director, deserves praise for skillfully establishing the historical setting, and authentically portraying characters and their responses to challenging situations. The film’s seamless storytelling is a testament to Chidambaram’s phenomenal work.

Manjummel Boys is currently playing theatres.

The trailer of Manjummel Boys echoes the iconic dialogue from Santhana Bharathi’s Gunaa (1991), where Kamal Haasan’s character passionately declares, “Manithar unarndhukolla ithu manitha kaadhal alla! Athaiyum thaandi punithamanathu…” (This is no mortal love for humans to understand! This is beyond that, pure…). This deliberate choice initially piqued curiosity. However, after watching director Chidambaram’s survival thriller, it becomes clear that no other dialogue could encapsulate the essence of Manjummel Boys as effectively.

Manjummel Boys kicks off in a laid-back manner, with the group enjoying themselves as uninvited guests at a wedding party and engaging in conflicts with a rival gang. The relaxed atmosphere persists until a pivotal moment when one of them falls into a ravine. However, due to the distinctive traits written for each of the eleven friends, a significant number of them become memorable to the audience by this point. This connection becomes crucial in the latter part of the film, where the emotional strength of the bond they share becomes the focal point.

In an ensemble cast, characters often risk getting overshadowed, but the writing and editing of this film ensure that every character remains visible and their emotions are prominently portrayed. Even without extensive dialogues, everyone’s presence and feelings are effectively conveyed to the audience.

A still from Manjummel Boys starring ‘THE MANJUMMEL BOYS’

Plot of Manjummel Boys

The film’s only minor flaw lies in the brevity of the rescue sequence and a slightly off start in the initial minutes. However, the narrative truly gains momentum when the characters embark on their journey to Kodaikanal. Despite the potential for the rescue sequence to become monotonous or induce fear, Chidambaram and cinematographer Shyju Khalid skillfully prevent suffocation or boredom, ensuring viewers experience the thrill without over-dramatization. The depiction of narrow spaces, the level of danger, and the challenges of a successful rescue are effectively communicated.

The film boasts exceptional acting and script moments. An unexpected turning point during the incident catches both characters and the audience off guard, particularly with outstanding performances from Deepak Parambol and Soubin. Chandu Salimkumar convincingly portrays his reaction, showcasing a uniformly strong cast where each member excels in their respective roles. Notably, the seemingly inconspicuous scene involving Sreenath lifting his leg and inspecting the cave later gains significance as a thought-provoking parallel. Moments such as the fall, awakening, and Sreenath’s initial reaction to Soubin touching him are poignant highlights of excellence.

Beauty of the Plot.

The second half introduces a metaphorical transition, cleverly executed in a location like Guna Caves using child artists. This addition enhances the audience’s connection to the characters and their mental state, seamlessly woven into the narrative. The film maintains a grounded tone throughout, avoiding over-the-top moments. The rescue sequence, the reactions of those around them, the subsequent return, and the revelation of the incident’s truth in Manjummel are all portrayed with authenticity. Vivek Harshan’s editing work during the rescue sequences deserves commendation, and the background score complements scenes without excessive drama. With its repeat watch value, the film stands as a noteworthy addition to the survival films genre in the Malayalam industry.

A still from ' Manjummel Boys "
A still from Manjummel Boys.

Production of ‘ Manjummel Boys

Ajayan Chalissery’s precise production design in the bat-filled ravine and Shyju Khalid’s visually captivating rescue depiction contribute to a vivid sense of the moment. Sushin Shyam’s immersive background score, though subtle, further enhances the experience. At a crucial juncture, Sushin steps back, letting Ilayaraja’s timeless ‘Kanmani Anbodu Kathalan’ from Gunaa take center stage. This tribute sequence is executed so gracefully that it nearly redefines the memory of the original scene with Kamal Haasan.

The inclusion of references to the actual event in the epilogue, featuring snapshots of the real individuals involved, enhances the impact of the film. The casting also contributed significantly to the film’s success, with most actors delivering exactly what was needed. With Manjummel Boys, Chidambaram skillfully crafts a flawless survival thriller, solidifying his presence in the industry.

While reminiscent of Bharathan’s Malootty in its survival thriller aspect, Manjummel Boys uniquely intertwines events with the dynamics of friendship. A friend’s precarious situation on a rock prompts a childhood flashback with hide-and-seek and river swimming, enriching the story. These memories aren’t arbitrary; the actions of their younger selves inform present events, adding depth to the story in their crisis.

A poster representing a scene from ‘Manjummel Boys


For fans of intricately woven survival thrillers blending tension, emotion, and friendship, Manjummel Boys is a must-watch. The film fulfills its promise of a gripping narrative and excels in portraying well-defined characters navigating challenging situations. The clever storytelling, coupled with outstanding performances, creates a cinematic experience that is both engaging and emotionally resonant. Don’t miss the profound exploration of human connections in Manjummel Boys’ gripping survival story. Manjummel Boys is a cinematic gem, leaving a lasting impact in the viewers with its nuanced storytelling and compelling performances.

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