22 Female Kottayam

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22 Female Kottayam
Promotional poster
Directed by Aashiq Abu
Produced by O. G. Sunil
Written by Abhilash S Kumar
Syam Pushkaran
Starring Rima Kallingal
Fahadh Faasil
Music by Bijibal
Rex Vijayan (BGM)
Cinematography Shyju Khalid
Edited by Vivek Harshan
Film Brewery
Distributed by PJ Entertainments Europe
Release date
  • 13 April 2012 (2012-04-13)
Running time
122 minutes
Country India
Language Malayalam
Budget 2.5 crore (US$390,000)[2][3]
Box office 5.2 crore (US$810,000)[2][4]

22 Female Kottayam, also known as 22FK, is a 2012 Malayalam-language Indian thriller film directed by Aashiq Abu and starring Rima Kallingal and Fahadh Faasil in the lead roles. It was set and filmed in Bangalore.[5] The story concerns the travails of 22-year-old nurse Tessa (Rima Kallingal) from Kottayam who was raped and who takes revenge on her tormentors. The movie was inspired from many national and international movies.

It released on 13 April 2012, and received positive reviews from critics. It was also well received at the box-office.[6] Rima Kallingal won the Kerala State Film Award for Best Actress for the film.[7]


Tessa (Rima Kallingal) is a nursing student in Bangalore with plans of traveling to Canada for a career. She meets Cyril (Fahadh Faasil) from the travel consultancy agency working towards setting up her visa. They soon fall in love and start living together. Tessa loves him with all her heart and takes their relationship and living together seriously.

One day while at a pub, a guy misbehaves with Tessa and Cyril beats him up badly. The guy tries to take revenge on Cyril and searches for him. Cyril goes into hiding with the help of his boss Hegde (Prathap Pothen). Hegde arrives at Cyril's home to inform Tessa about the situation. Then he asks her plainly "Can I have sex with you?" A shocked Tessa is then brutally attacked and raped. When Cyril finds out what happened, he becomes violent and wants to kill Hegde. Tessa calms him down saying that she does not want to make the incident worse than it is; she instead wants to get to Canada at the earliest. Once Tessa recovers from her injuries, Hegde visits her again to ask for forgiveness. He comes while Cyril is not around and rapes her for a second time. Tessa decides not to travel abroad and plans to murder Hegde.

Cyril discusses the situation with his boss who suggests killing Tessa and appoints Cyril to do it. Cyril traps her by putting some drugs in her bag. The police arrest Tessa and she is imprisoned. While Tessa calls out for help, she finds Cyril simply walking away from her, which is when she realises Cyril set her up. Cyril relocates to Cochin and runs a modeling agency. While in prison Tessa meets Zubeida (Rashmi Sathish) who is sentenced for murder. Through Zubeida's criminal world connections Tessa realizes that Cyril, is a known pimp and was cheating her along with the support of his boss Hegde. Zubeida and Tessa bond well with each other, and Zubeida moulds a criminal mindset within her for the strength and courage needed to strike back at Cyril and Hegde.

When the court sets her free, Tessa with the help of DK (Sathaar) kills Hegde by poisoning him with a cobra. Next, she arrives in Cochin as a femme fatale in search of Cyril while pretending to be a model. Later one night Tessa hooks up with Cyril in his studio. Cyril who had recognized her earlier reveals it angrily berates her. He beats her and abuses her by calling her a "slut who does any 'adjustment' to flourish her career" for stopping her further being a menace to him. But his frustration dissolves slowly as he wants to enjoy her company. She reminds him she is a mere woman.

But at night Tessa executes her revenge plan and sedates Cyril and sadistically penectomises him. When he regains consciousness she tells him that she has removed his male organ through a medical surgery. While Cyril finds himself in intense pain and bound to his bed, she taunts him to make him realize his faults and the gross wrongs he committed to her and rationalizes her crime. But he doesn't yield to her taunts and reveals a back-story concerning his mother and that his life as a pimp is not entirely his fault.

Tessa tells Cyril that she knows that she is still somewhere in his heart. She reminds him that she has only lost someone who cheated on her, whereas he lost someone who genuinely loved him. Now Cyril is stunned that he is not even able to face Tessa. Cyril recollects that her love was true and his love was overshadowed by his male supremacy concept and greed for wealth. Over the days he admits his actions that caused her pain. Then Tessa leaves him but not before inviting him to settle the score with her, if any remains there. Cyril accepts the challenge of a true criminal as he is and taunts her that he will confront her when he is ready, most probably knowing that he has to settle the score with her in terms of true love with roots in violence. Tessa leaves for Canada, dismantles her cell phone, and cuts further contact with DK.



22 Female Kottayam
Soundtrack album by Rex Vijayan
Genre Film soundtrack
Language Malayalam
Label Manorama Music
Producer Rex Vijayan
Rex Vijayan chronology
Chaappa Kurishu
22 Female Kottayam English

The score and background music is composed by Bijibal and Rex Vijayan.[8]

No. Title Singer(s) Length
1. "Chillaane" Tony, Neha Nair  
2. "Melle Kollum" Job Kurian, Neha Nair  
3. "Neeyo" Bijibal, Neha Nair  


Ashik says that the concept of the film was there in his mind since many years. "This concept was there in my mind when I was working on my maiden venture, Daddy Cool. It stayed in my mind and I wanted to take it up at some point. I got the confidence to go ahead with the subject after the success of Salt N' Pepper. This one is not the usual kind of storyline that will appeal to all producers. There is a certain amount of risk in it."[9] After the success of Salt N' Pepper, Ashik announced his next film Idukki Gold. During the pre-production, Abu put the project on hold and started the work of 22 Female Kottayam.[10] The film was scripted by debutant writer Abhilash Kumar (who is the husband of actress Lena Abhilash) along with Shyam Pushkaran of Salt N' Pepper fame. Kumar had worked with Ashik in Daddy Cool and Salt 'N Pepper as an assistant director. Kumar says the story is loosely based on real-life stories about young women who move out of Kerala to Hyderabad, Orissa and Bangalore in search of nursing jobs to eventually go abroad.[11] The production controller of 22 Female Kottayam is Shibu G Suseelan.

22FK started production in December 2011 and was mostly filmed from Bangalore.[10] Shyju Khalid wielded the camera. He says that the film, which was shot on a multi-camera, was a big challenge for him. "It is a thriller-cum-romance movie. In the first half, there is romance and suddenly a rape scene, so I had to add a lot of grays to give that effect. And, the climax was the most challenging part, as it’s very dramatic and I had to add the proper effect to retain the mood. Here, the subject was a little dark so I could experiment, but in normal movies you can’t do much of an experiment. Also, you have to keep in mind the taste of Malayalis," says Khalid.[12]


This movie is inspired from the novel If Tomorrow Comes by Sidney Sheldon.

  1. The jail scenes (including the character of her cell-mate)
  2. The planned killings of all those people who cheated her
  3. Revenge of her lover in the climax

The basic idea is based on Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill, Sriram Raghavan’s Ek Hasina Thi, Double Jeopardy, Mahesh Bhatt's Gumrah, Australian miniseries Bangkok Hilton and N. Sankaran Nair’s Cabaret Dancer (credited as filmography).[13] The castration and interrogation scenes were inspired from the films Antichrist, Hard Candy and Hostel: Part II.[14]

22FK was also reportedly inspired from the 1978 film I Spit on Your Grave, which was remade in 2010.

Critical reception[edit]

22 Female Kottayam received positive critical response upon its release.

The Times of India rated it 3 out of 5 stars, concluding that "The film has a theme as old as the Kannaki myth but comes nowhere near in terms of inspiration."[15] One India commented that "22 Female Kottayam is like a fresh whiff of breeze" and concluded the review by adding, "Cheers for director Ashik for experimenting with such a novel and path breaking plot."[16] Rediff also rated the film 3 out of 5 star praising the direction of Ashik by saying "Ashik adds a distinct style to his direction with 22 Female Kottayam."[17] Sify rated it as good and said that "22 Female Kottayam may be far from perfect, but it is a movie in the right direction. Such efforts should be well appreciated, as it is a step that leads to better cinema."[18] NowRunning rated the film 3/5 and said "Big hugs, Mr. Abu for gifting us with this fighter female, 22 years old, from Kottayam. And an extra big hug for not parading her as a virgin."[19] Metro Matinee rated film as "Excellent" and said "Ashik's 22FK is a refreshing theme with superb execution."[20]

Box office[edit]

22 FK is one of the low budget hits of 2012. The film made at a budget of 2.5 crore grossed 5.2 crore at the box office.[2][21]


Asiavision Movie Awards (2012)[22]
  • Best Actress - Rima Kallingal
  • Performer of the Year - Fahadh Faasil
Filmfare Awards South (2013)[23]
Mohan Raghavan Awards (2012)[24]
  • Best Director - Aashiq Abu
South Indian International Movie Awards (2013)


The film was remade into Tamil and Telugu simultaneously as Malini 22 Palayamkottai and Malini 22 Vijayawada, with Nithya Menen and Krish J. Sathaar playing the lead roles.


  1. ^ 22 Female Kottayam - popcorn.oneindia.in
  2. ^ a b c IANS (25 December 2012). "Year of small films at southern box-office". Zee News. 
  3. ^ "Mollywood's small-budget films that did big wonders at the box office". TheTimes of India. 2 July 2016. 
  4. ^ "Mollywood's small-budget films that did big wonders at the box office". TheTimes of India. 2 July 2016. 
  5. ^ "'22 FK' opens to positive responses". Indiaglitz. 
  6. ^ "'22 Female Kottayam' is a hit". 21 April 2012. Retrieved 23 April 2012. 
  7. ^ "Celluloid clinches top honours at Kerala State Film Awards". The Times Of India. 22 February 2013. 
  8. ^ "22 Female Kottayam on April 13". 10 April 2012. Retrieved 14 April 2012. 
  9. ^ "22 Female Kottayam is a commercial thriller"
  10. ^ a b "Ashik next will be '22 Female Kottayam'"
  11. ^ "Ashik to thrill audience"
  12. ^ "Malayalam directors usher in a new cinematic language"
  13. ^ "22 Female Kottayam". Retrieved 18 April 2012. 
  14. ^ "Director uses Facebook as virtual town hall"
  15. ^ "22 Female Kottayam movie review". The Times Of India. 15 April 2012. Retrieved 23 April 2012. 
  16. ^ 22 Female Kottayam – Movie Review
  17. ^ "Review: 22 Female Kottayam is interesting". 16 April 2012. Retrieved 23 April 2012. 
  18. ^ Movie Review:22 Female Kottayam
  19. ^ 22 Female Kottayam Review - Malayalam Movie Review by Veeyen
  20. ^ 22 Female Kottayam Malayalam-Metromatinee
  21. ^ "Mollywood's small-budget films that did big wonders at the box office". The Times of India. 2 July 2016. 
  22. ^ "South Indian movie stars honoured in run-up to awards ceremony ". The Gulf Today. 23 October 2012. Retrieved 11 November 2012.
  23. ^ "60th Idea Filmfare Awards 2013 (South) Malayalam Nominations". Filmfare. Retrieved 5 July 2013. 
  24. ^ "Mohan Raghavan film awards". Kaumudi Global. Kochi, India. 12 October 2012. Retrieved 30 October 2012. 

External links[edit]