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150 days Theatrical Poster
Directed by Bharathan
Produced by Babu Thiruvalla
Written by A. K. Lohithadas
Starring Mammootty
KPAC Lalitha
Music by Raveendran (Songs)
Johnson (Score)
Cinematography Madhu Ambat
Edited by V. T. Vijayan
B. Lenin
Mak Productions
Symphony Creations
Release dates
  • 1 February 1991 (1991-02-01)
Running time
137 minutes
Country India
Language Malayalam

Amaram (Malayalam: അമരം, English: Stern) is a 1991 Malayalam film directed by Bharathan and written by A. K. Lohithadas. It stars Mammootty, Murali, Maathu, K. P. A. C. Lalitha, Ashokan, Chitra, and Kuthiravattam Pappu in the main roles. The film's score is composed by Johnson while the songs are by Raveendran.

The film is considered one of the best works of Bharathan. The performances by Mammootty, K. P. A. C. Lalitha, and Murali won great appreciations. The film, which has since attained cult status, was also one of the highest grossing films of 1991. K. P. A. C. Lalitha won the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Bhargavi. And Mammotty won the Filmfare Awards South Best Actor Award for his role as Achootty.


Amaram is the story of Achootty (Mammootty), a fisherman and his daughter, Radha (Maathu). The uneducated Achootty wants his daughter to be educated and also wants her to become a doctor. His dreams get shattered when she falls in love with her childhood friend. One fine day Achootys's daughter and her lover elope and get married. Achootty does not like his son-in-law initially and in disappointment does not talk to his daughter either. But slowly the young chap shows that he is an able and hard-working fisherman and gains Achootty's silent admiration. Achooty does not acknowledge this publicly, but keeps heckling his son-in-law in public, taunting him to catch a shark and prove himself before he dares talk to Achooty. One day, the son-in-law decides he's had enough of the taunting and goes to the deep sea to capture a shark. But he is inexperienced, and in a fit of daring goes out alone in his catamaran. When he does not return, people think that Achootty killed him at sea since Achootty had also been to the sea that day.

It is a stormy night and everyone is afraid of going to the sea to search for him. At this point, Achootty's daughter also feels that her father has killed her husband. Having nothing to lose, Achootty goes to the sea and he sees his son-in-law lying unconscious on the remains of his boat which is wrecked. Achootty rescues him and brings him back to the shore. Everyone understands Achootty's innocence but he feels let down by them. In the end they show him taking his boat and venturing into the sea which Achootty says that is the only thing which has loved him unconditionally.


The film with its engaging way of telling a story of the people of sea and their ways of life is presented both as a beautiful cinematic experience and as a reminder of cultural invasion and its aftermaths. The life of the people of the sea is shown very much depended on the sea. Their cultural exchanges, rituals, beliefs, and ultimately their survival are depended on the sea. The bitter experience that the main characters find themselves trapped are results of Achootty's decision to raise his daughter Radha to become a doctor which is something that the fishermen of his type could not dream of. When a foreign element of this sort try to enter their life either in the form of modernity or education, it becomes something that destroys the functioning of their lives however beneficial that might appear in the beginning. The film can also be read in a way that a possible upliftment among the subaltern or marginalized people is not easily possible.



The film's soundtrack contains 4 songs, all composed by Raveendran and Johnson. Lyrics by Kaithapram Damodaran Namboothiri.

# Title Singer(s)
1 "Azhake Ninmizhi" K. J. Yesudas, K. S. Chitra
2 "Hridaya Raga Thanthri" Lathika
3 "Pulare Poonthoniyil" K. J. Yesudas, Lathika
4 "Vikara Naukayumai" K. J. Yesudas


Amaram met with critical acclaim. The critics said that it is one of the best classics in the Malayalam film industry. Mammootty's acting was praised as well as Murali's and KPAC Lalitha's. The film was the 3rd highest grosser of the year 1991 behind Godfather, Inspector Balram and Kilukkam. Amaram ran for more than 200 days in Kerala.[citation needed]


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