Chandralekha (1997 film)

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Chandralekha (1997 film).gif
Directed byPriyadarshan
Produced byFazil
Written byPriyadarshan
Pooja Batra
Nedumudi Venu
Music byBerny Ignatius
S. P. Venkatesh (Score)
K. V. Anand
Edited byN. Gopalakrishnan
Distributed bySwargachitra Release
Release date
  • 21 July 1997 (1997-07-21)
Running time
172 minutes

Chandralekha is a 1997 Indian Malayalam-language comedy film written and directed by Priyadarshan and produced by Fazil. It stars Mohanlal, Sreenivasan, Sukanya, Pooja Batra, Nedumudi Venu, and Innocent. The film's title is a portmanteau of the two female lead characters' names—Chandra and Lekha. Berny Ignatius composed the songs, while the film score was composed by S. P. Venkatesh. The film was the highest-grossing Malayalam film at the time of its release.


Appukuttan Nair or 'Appu' (Mohanlal) is a struggling unemployed youth who arrives in Mumbai to meet his sister and brother-in-law (Augustine). His father has been falsely implicated in a bank fraud and wants to sell his ancestral property to pay towards the litigation. For that he needs his sister's approval, but is abused and turned away by his brother-in-law.

Disappointed, Appu seeks out his old pal Nooruddin or 'Noor' (Sreenivasan), who is working in a fruit juice vending shop in Mumbai. Noor himself is a hapless uneducated youth working for his uncle Beeran (Mamukkoya), who is a treacherous money lender, with a hope to marry his daughter Maimoona. They plan to open a paint shop but need 1.25 lakh Rupees to rent a shop as prerequisite to get a bank loan. With no other way in sight, they swindle Beeran out of 1.25 lakh Rupees. Appukuttan then tries to get the loan sanctioned but he is rebuffed by a new Bank manager Varghese (Maniyanpilla Raju) who had taken charge by then.

In a turn of events Appukkuttan happens to rescue a woman called Chandrika Varma or 'Chandra' (Sukanya) after a car accident, hospitalizing her. Chandra is the daughter of a wealthy businessman Udhaya Varma (Nedumudi Venu). Appukkuttan is mistaken by the hospital staff to be her husband, Alfred Fernandes or 'Alfie'. Soon her relatives including her father arrive and they too mistake him for Chandra's husband, because Chandra had eloped with Alfie, and no one among them had ever seen or talked to Alfie. Also it happened to be that Chandra was a major client of Appukkuttan's Bank Manager Varghese, who too mistook Appukkuttan for Chandra's husband, and was now eager to oblige him with the loan. Appukkuttan decides to masquerade as Alfie till he gets loan approval from the Bank Manager. Chandra lay bedridden paralysed unable to react, but with her cognition intact was able to witness all the commotions around her.

Some of the relatives of Chandra were never convinced about Appukuttan from the outset. Beeran is also hot on Appukuttan's trail to retrieve his money. To make matters worse for Appukkuttan Chandra's close friend Lekha (Pooja Batra), a medical graduate comes to visit her father Iravi. She had talked to Alfie on the phone previously and is immediately suspicious about Appukkuttan. The relatives join with Lekha to find out the truth. Lekha and others play cat and mouse with Appukkuttan trying to uncover his veracity, with Appukkuttan staying ahead of the game for a while. Finally Lekha fortuitously comes to know the real story of Appukkuttan and she is moved by his plight and enamored by his openhearted nature.

In the meantime Chandra revives from her paralysis and she too forgives Appukkuttan for everything; she also developed a liking for him. One of the jealous relatives of Chandra (Cochin Haneefa) manages to expose Appukkuttan before everyone. Then Chandra admits all the truth to everyone. Hers was not in fact a car accident but was a suicide attempt after her fiancé, the real Alfie, had betrayed her, and their marriage had never commenced. Chandra recovers fully under the loving care of Appu and Lekha. Chandra falls in love with Appukkuttan and hopes to marry him. However, she discovers that Lekha was already in love with Appukkuttan, and had in fact given way for her as a favor to Chandra's father, to whom Lekha was like a second daughter. Chandra gracefully withdraws from her planned marriage with Appukkuttan, and Appukkuttan and Lekha are united together with everyone's hearty blessings.



This film brought back after a couple of years the successful comedy combo of Mohanlal and Sreenivasan, which was popular in the late-1980s and early-1990s. The name "Chandralekha" is a portmanteau of the names of the two female lead characters in the story—Chandra and Lekha. Bollywood actor Anil Kapoor plays a cameo role in the film. He appears as a lunatic, whom Appukuttan misunderstands as the original Alfie.


The blockbuster songs of this film were written by lyricist Gireesh Puthenchery. The songs are composed by the music director duo Berny Ignatius. The background score of the film was composed by S. P. Venkatesh.

Track Song Singers
1 "Appukutta Thoppikkara" M. G. Sreekumar, K. S. Chithra
2 "Ammoommakkili" K. S. Chithra
3 "Maanathe Chandiranothoru" M. G. Sreekumar, Malgudi Subha, Chorus
4 "Innale Mayangunna" Sujatha
5 "Thamarapoovil" M. G. Sreekumar
6 "Sa Pa Ma Pa" Chorus

Box office[edit]

Upon release, Chandralekha became the highest-grossing Malayalam film ever, breaking the previous record of Aniyathipraavu released in the same year. However, it was surpassed by Aaraam Thampuran in the same year. Chandralekha was the first Malayalam film to collect 10 crore from Kerala box office.[1]


Mohanlal won the Screen Awards South for Best Actor for his performance in the film.[2][3]


Chandralekha was remade into Telugu in the same name in 1998, with Akkineni Nagarjuna reprising the role of Mohanlal. In 2000, it was remade in Hindi as Har Dil Jo Pyar Karega starring Salman Khan, directed by Raj Kanwar. It was remade in Kannada as Hey Sarasu starring Ramesh Aravind.[4] The story has been adapted into Tamil as Summa Nachunu Irukku directed by A. Venkatesh.[5]


  1. ^ "Chandralekha - A Flashback". Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  2. ^ "Screen south awards".
  3. ^ "Mohanlal - Awards and Recognitions". Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  4. ^
  5. ^

External links[edit]