Newspaper advertisement announcing the 100 days of running in the cinemas
|Directed by||I. V. Sasi|
|Produced by||V. B. K. Menon|
V. K. Sreeraman
Manian Pillai Raju
M. G. Radhakrishnan
S. P. Venkatesh
|Edited by||K. Narayanan|
Anugraha Cine Arts
|Distributed by||Anugraha Release|
Devasuram (English: The God Demon) is a 1993 Indian Malayalam-language drama film directed by I. V. Sasi and written by Ranjith. It stars Mohanlal, Revathi, Nedumudi Venu, Innocent, Napoleon, V. K. Sreeraman, Manian Pillai Raju, and Augustine. The songs featured in the film are composed by M. G. Radhakrishnan, while S. P. Venkatesh composed the background score.
Rivalry between Mangalassery Neelakantan (Mohanlal) and Mundakkal Shekaran (Napoleon) forms the main theme of the film. The character Neelakandan was created by Ranjith based on a real-life person named Mullasserry Rajagopal who died in 2002.
Devasuram was one of the hit films of 1990s. It is generally considered as one of the best films of Mohanlal's and I. V. Sasi's careers. The film ran for more than 150 days in the cinemas. It was followed by a sequel Ravanaprabhu (2001), which was writer Ranjith's directorial debut. The film was remade in Telugu the same year as Kunti Putrudu with Mohan Babu and Vijayashanti playing the lead roles.
Neelakantan (Mohanlal) is the heir to the well-known Mangalassery family. He squanders away his father's largess and good name, but is loved by the people who know him well. He has been the arch-rival of Shekaran of the Mundakkal family since childhood. During a minor ruckus, one of Neelakantan's aides accidentally kills Shekaran's uncle (Janardanan). This incites Shekaran to plan to avenge the death of his uncle.
Meanwhile, Neelakantan offends Bhanumathi (Revathi), a talented Bharata Natyam dance graduate, by forcing her to dance in front of him in his house. In retaliation, Bhanumathi quits dancing and curses Neelakantan for desecrating the art so dear to her. Later he feels regretful and helps her family in many ways and tries to persuade Bhanumathi to take up dancing again, but she doesn't budge.
Meantime, Neelakantan visits his widowed mother intending to bring her back home, but she passes away after revealing a terrible secret; that he was born of another man, out of wedlock. This fact crushes him, and only Bhanumathi finds out this secret when he curses drunkenly (at the car of his deceased "father") that the ancestral heritage which he is proud of, is actually not his. She is surprised by the vulnerable side of Neelakantan.
He visits Banumathi at her home to persuade her to take up dancing again, only to be refused like before, telling him that she will resume dancing only after his death. That night while returning home from the visit, Shekaran and his aides ambush (by hitting him with a car from behind) and injure him seriously after also inflicting several wounds with swords and wooden sticks.
Neelakantan survives the attack, but his left hand and right leg are badly injured and as a cure he undergoes Ayurvedic treatment to rejuvenate his legs. It is during this time that Bhanumathi falls in love with him (she is also regretful for having cursed him, feeling a bit guilty that the attack was somehow related to her curse). Neelakantan convinces Bhanumathi to dance and he arranges for a dance event for her at Delhi. He refuses to marry Bhanumathi considering her future, but in the end she and Warrier (his elderly right hand man) persuade him to do so.
Neelakantan tries to forget all the past events and his rivalry with Shekaran, but Shekaran is not satisfied and wants to defeat Neelakantan in front of the whole village. For this he kidnaps Bhanumathi and forces Neelakantan to take blows in front of the public during a village festival organized by the Mundakkal family. Meanwhile Neelakantan's friends rescue Bhanumathi and after this Neelakantan mauls Shekaran badly and cuts off Shekaran's right hand, claiming "Shekeran, I want to live peacefully..." so that he will not again come up with revenge later. However while severing shekharan's right hand neelakandan uses the backside of the sword which shows the agony and power he had
- Mohanlal as Mangalassery Neelakantan
- Revathi as Bhanumathi
- Innocent as Warrier
- Napoleon as Mundakkal Shekaran
- Nedumudi Venu as Appu master (Bhanumati's father)
- V. K. Sreeraman as Kuruppu
- Ramu as Kunjananthan
- Manian Pillai Raju as Bharathan
- Augustine as Hydhrose
- Chithra as Subhadramma
- Seetha as Sarada
- Bharathi Vishnuvardhan as Neelakandan's mother
- Cochin Haneefa as Achuthan
- Delhi Ganesh as Panickar
- Janardhanan as Mundakkal Kunjikrishnan Nambiar
- Sankaradi as Kuttikrishnan Nair
- Oduvil Unnikrishnan as Peringodu Sankara Marar
- Bheeman Raghu as Kallan Chacko
- Kozhikode Narayanan Nair as Vaidyar
- Sreenath as C. S.
- Jagannatha Varma as Adiyodi
- Jose Prakash as Ezhuthachan
- Jagannathan as Poduval
- Subair as SI
- Sathaar as Vasu
The protagonist Mangalaserry Neelakandan (Mohanlal) is a real-life character sketch of Mullasserry Rajagopal (died 2002). Supposedly, some notable scenes in Devasuram are real-life incidents. Varikassery Mana near Ottappalam was selected to portray the ancient Mangalaserry house. "It was only after Devasuram became a hit that producers and directors began to queue up for this location. Until then only one film was shot here," says Murali, one of the managers of the mana.
Mullasserry Rajagopal is known as an ardent music lover. "Music was the sole passion in his life. He was a good friend of mine, but we never discussed literature; we talked mainly about music and films," said renowned author MT Vasudevan Nair. MT was impressed by the way Rajagopal reacted to the setbacks in his life. "I was even more impressed by the way how his wife, Lakshmi, devoted her life to him; he would not have survived but for her." "I met him for the first time at K. J. Yesudas’ bungalow in Chennai, way back in 1985," recalls playback singer G Venugopal. "He was sitting on a wheelchair. I was told that his name was Raju. Yesudas, his close friend, had brought him to Chennai for a brain surgery." "I will never forget the evening director and script-writer Ranjith took me along to meet Raju," says director Jayaraj. "When I went there, a ghazal programme was going on; I could sense music everywhere in that house. I could also feel the extraordinary warmth of the man. I was surprised he could take life so lightly, despite being bed-ridden for about two decades. We became very good friends. Ranjith had told me that he was planning to make a film on Raju (Devasuram). I believe that is the best work by Ranjith till date. Raju used to joke that Ranjith had not managed to show even half of what he did in his life." 
The film includes songs written by lyricist Gireesh Puthenchery and composed by MG Radhakrishnan. Background music was composed by SP Venkatesh. The songs became chart-busters. Mohanlal has rendered his voice for some songs as its intro.
|Song Title||Singer(s)||Other notes|
|"Angopangan"||KS Chithra||Raga: Lalitha|
|"Ganga Tharanga" (Bit)||MG Sreekumar|
|"Maappu Nalku""||MG Sreekumar||Raga: Mukhari|
|"Maarimazhakal"||MG Sreekumar, Jaya|
|"Medaponnaniyum"||MG Sreekumar, B Arundhathi||Raga: Kadanakuthuhala|
|"Namasthesthu" (Bit)||B Arundhathi||Traditional Slokam by Sri Mahalakshmi Ashtakam|
|"Sarasijanaabha"||K Omanakutty||Traditional keerthanam by Muthuswami Dikshitar
|"Sooryakireedam"||MG Sreekumar||Raga: Chenchurutti|
|"Sree Paadam"||MG Sreekumar||Raga: Aarabhi, Anandabhairavi|
|"Sree Paadam||KS Chithra||Raga: Aarabhi, Anandabhairavi|
|"Vande Mukundahare"||MG Radhakrishnan||Raga: Anandabhairavi|
|"Yamuna Kinaare" (Bit)||MG Sreekumar|
The song "Vande Mukunda Hare" is picturised on Oduvil Unnikrishnan, and is considered the most dramatic scene in the film. Though Oduvil Unnikrishnan plays only a small role, it was his performance that got the most applause. He plays the role of a wandering Edakka musician who frequently visits Neelakandan. The Edakka featured in the background of the song is played by Tripunithura Krishnadas.
Sequels and impact
Devasuram followed up with a sequel, Ravanaprabhu, in 2001. Because of the success of this film, a number of movies of the same genre (called thampuran movies) were made, but only three of them, starring Mohanlal — Aaraam Thampuran (1997), Narasimham (2000) and Ravanaprabhu (2001) — were blockbusters.
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Ravana Prabhu is one of the biggest hits of Malayalam cinema