Aparan (film)

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Promotional Poster
Directed byP. Padmarajan
Produced byAjitha
Screenplay byP. Padmarajan
Story byP. Padmarajan
M. K. Chandrasekharan
Music byJohnson
Edited byB. Lenin
Supriya International
Distributed byThomson Films
Release date
  • 12 May 1988 (1988-05-12)
Running time
115 minutes

Aparan (English: The Impostor) is a 1988 Malayalam mystery film written and directed by P. Padmarajan, starring Jayaram, Mukesh, Shobana, Parvathy and Madhu. Loosely based on the short story Aparan by Padmarajan, the film is about mistaken identity and the problems that a young, innocent man has to undergo in his life.

The film was the debut of Jayaram and it was a critical as well as commercial success.


Vishwanathan (Jayaram) is an innocent young man in Kochi, who lives with his parents and his younger sister. When he takes a recess before a job interview, he gets mistaken by many for a hardcore criminal and is arrested by the police. Luckily, George Kutty (Mukesh), the police inspector, happens to be the classmate of Vishwanathan, and gets him released. George Kutty explains to Vishwanathan about the crimes done by the doppelganger criminal, whose real name and background is a mystery even for the police. With several criminal cases pending against him while still on the run, Vishwanathan is warned to be cautious. However, things become sour when the mistaken identity costs a marriage proposal for his sister, causing a rift between a lethargic Vishwanathan and his father. Eventually, Vishwanathan gets a job in the city and falls in love with his co-worker Ambili (Shobhana). Soon enough, she accidentally runs into the criminal who planned to assault her, which makes her to hate Vishwanathan. Vishwanathan manages to convince her about the existence of his doppelganger, thus breaking the ice. Mohandas, his boss in the company, has a visitor in his office, who also mistakes Vishwanathan for the criminal, which ends in losing his job. With a better marriage proposal now lined up for his sister and the subsequent pressure from his mother, Vishwanathan is now desperate for a face to face confrontation with the criminal, while still in the dark about the criminal's whereabouts. Trying to attract some leads, Vishwanathan poses as the criminal and inadvertently receives a payment originally intended for the criminal, thereby inviting the ire of the latter. Vishwanthan, who takes the money with him for his sister's marriage, is chased by the criminal and his goons. In a bitter fight, the criminal is accidentally stabbed to death by one of his goons. But his body is later mistaken to be of Vishwanathan's, as the latter's bag containing his certificates and bank passbook was found near the body. On reaching home, Vishwanathan witnesses his family performing the last rites for him. That night, Vishwanathan appears in front of his father, hands over the bag of money and explains him the fact. His father consoles Vishwanathan and tries to bring him back. Vishwanathan refuses to go with him and decides to live as the criminal for the rest of his life, as a revenge for ruining his otherwise peaceful life. However, towards the very end of the film, the self-proclaimed impostor glances at the dying pyre, leaving the viewers wondering whether the man who was killed was the criminal or Vishwanathan.



On release, Aparan was a big hit in Kerala.[citation needed]This film launched Jayaram and is still considered as one of his best performances. The DVDs are still in hot demand among young film buffs. Over the time, Aparan is considered as a classic film. The background score adds charm to the film.


Aparan had no songs and had just a handful of characters. The highlight of this film is that the other person, whom Vishwanathan is mistaken to be, is never shown. It is only from the dialogues of other characters that we come to know about him. He even doesn't carry a name and is addressed as 'he'. But in the last few scenes, we happen to hear his voice, while threatening Vishwanathan over phone.

Parvathy Jayaram, who acted as the sister of Jayaram, later got married to him in 1992. P. Padmarajan, who launched Jayaram, is also considered as his mentor in cinema. In the later years Jayaram acted in two more films by P. Padmarajan.

The basic idea of the film is based on the short story "Aparan" by P. Padmarajan . The credit for story has been given to Padmarajan and M. K. Chandrasekharan.

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