Manal Naharam

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Manal Naharam
Promotional poster of Tamil version
Directed byShankar Panikkar
Produced byM.I. Vasanthkumar
Written byM.I. Vasanthkumar
Story byMuraliraman
R. Velumani (Dialogues)
Tejaswini Prakash
Varuna Shetty
Vinod Kumar (VK)
Jaise Jose
Dubai kannan
'Caravan' Arun
Jijesh Menon
Music byRinil Gowtham
Release date
  • 27 February 2015 (2015-02-27)
Running time
127 minutes

Manal Naharam is a 2015 Indian Tamil language-language feature film written and produced by M.I.Vasanthkumar and directed by Shankar Panikkar starring Prajin Padmanabhan, Gautham, Tejaswini Prakash, Varuna Shetty, Vinod Kumar (VK), Jaise Jose, Jijesh Menon and Shankar himself.

The film, a bi-lingual, was made in Malayalam as Sand City[1] and released on 2 January 2015.[2] Manal Naharam was released on 27 February 2015.[3]

Summary and Plot[edit]

Manal Naharam explores the stories of young Indians who travel to Dubai for better jobs and futures, leaving behind their families. The movie deals with friendship and romance.[4]

Mansur (Prajin), a sales commission agent in Dubai is in love with Poornima (Tanishka), a waitress at a restaurant. Anand (Gautham), in search of a job, is loved by Nisha (Varuna Shetty), the daughter of business tycoon Ibrahim Rabbani (Shankar). James (Jaise Jose), the third person in the group, gets into trouble that complicates things for everyone.


  • Prajin - Manzoor
  • Gautham - Aanand
  • Tejaswini Prakash[5][6] - Thanishka
  • Varuna Shetty - Nisha
  • Vinod Kumar (VK) - Mohan Raj
  • Jaise Jose - James
  • Jijesh Menon - Noushad
  • Sakshi Sharma - Fathima
  • Rex George
  • "Engal Aasan" Raamki - Gopalakrishnan
  • Dubai Kannan
  • "Caravan" Arunachalam
  • "Kaadhal" Saravanan
  • Muraliraman
  • Rajesh B
  • Master Ashwanth
  • Shankar Panikkar - Ibrahim Rabbani



Shankar was impressed by the story line given by his friend Muraliraman from Dubai. M.I.Vasanthkumar wrote the screenplay and produced the film.[4] A talent hunt was organized for the audition[7] and the actors were selected.


Gautham Krishin, who played the lead in Malayalam language film Yakshiyum Njanum directed by Vinayan and Prajin Padmanabhan, was offered the lead role. Tejaswini Prakash, an actress from Kannada language films Savi Savi Nenapu and the unreleased Asokavana was signed up as leading lady. Newcomer Varuna Shetty and Narayana Kannan from Dubai are supported by actors Jaise Jose and Jijesh Menon.

Renil Gowtham, the music director of Shankar' s directorial debut Virus was signed for music department, while J.Sreedhar, who has worked on Challenge 2 was assigned the cinematography.


The preliminary schedule of the film took place in Chennai in March 2013, before the crew left for the remainder of the shooting in Dubai. "The 50-day shooting was very tough and challenging", said Shankar.[4]


Manal Naharam 's audio was launched on 14 July 2014 at RKV Studios, Chennai attended by the cast of both Manal Naharam and the team of the directors first Tamil feature Oru Thalai Ragam as they celebrated the 34 year reunion of that film's release. Roopa, Shankar, Thyagu, Kailash, cameraman Rajasekhar (Rajasekhar-Robert) and T. Rajendar spoke on the occasion.[8] The film's first look was released in the Tamil portal[9] Sand City 's audio was launched on 15 October at The Oberoi, Dubai attended by the entire cast and crew of Sand City. Apart from the team, actor Rizabawa also spoke on the occasion.[10]

Manal Naharam / Sand City
Film score by
Rinil Gowtham
GenreFeature film soundtrack
Tamil Soundtrack
No. Song Singers Lyrics
1 Nadhi Pokum Dishai... Hari Hara Sudhan Tamil Amudhan
2 Usharaiah Usharu... Anitha Tamil Amudhan
3 Theeyaga Theeyaga... Sulfiq.L Tamil Amudhan
4 Vaan Mazhai... V.V.Prasanna Raaj Kannan
5 Kanava Nijama... V.V.Prasanna & Reshma Mani Bharathy
Malayalam Soundtrack
No. Song Singers Lyrics
1 Oru Yatra Mozhi... Anwar Sadath Neha Gayal
2 Usharaiah Usharu... Anitha Tamil Amudhan
3 Theechoodi Theechoodi... Sulfiq.L Rinil Gowtham
4 Njan Oru Minnal Kodi.. Sulfiq.L Chitoor Gopi
5 Manasil Mazhaiyai... Anoop Shankar & Sitara Sibi Padiyera

Film reviews[edit]

Maalai Malar gave 71 marks out of 100 for Manal Naharam appreciating the film as attractive. They lauded director Shankar's effort in presenting the film in a touching manner. The technical side of the film, especially songs, cinematography, background score and dialogues were also appreciated. Thanishka and Varuna Shetty along with villain actor Vinod Kumar (VK) and Prajin' s performances were commended.[11] Malini Mannath of Indian Express praised the screenplay, acting and the direction in Shankar's Tamil directorial debut.[3]

Movietoday appreciated Sand City as an example of a film which has been dedicated to the Gulf Malayalees. The technical aspect of the film like cinematography, songs and stunning visuals was aptly praised. They recommended the film for the realistic picturisation of Gulf and the life of Gulf Malayalees and rated 3.25/5 stars.[12] Onlookersmedia too appreciated the film summing it as "Sand city is a one time watchable small film for film lovers".[13] praised director Shankar Panicker mentioning that "he needs a good applause as he created a good film with good theme and a group of talented youths. Sand City will mark Shankar Panicker’s name in the list of good directors" and summed up as "Overall the film stands as a watchable one with a good story and presentation; consisting lots of positive factors in it".[14] Times of India rated the movie as average and appreciated the photography of the film, summing up as "the film could have been much better if treated well".[15]


  1. ^ "Oruthalai Ragam fame Sankar is directing his first Tamil Movie Manal Nagaram". tamilomovie. 13 December 2013. Retrieved 15 January 2014.
  2. ^ "Sand City Movie Review". movietoday. 2 January 2015. Archived from the original on 3 January 2015. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Shankar's Impressive Tamil Debut-Manal Naharam". newindianexpress. 28 January 2015. Retrieved 1 March 2015.
  4. ^ a b c "Shankar directs Tamil film". deccanchronicle. 16 December 2013. Retrieved 2 January 2014.
  5. ^ Prathibha Joy (9 July 2013). "Tejaswini to debut in three industries". timesofindia. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
  6. ^ Prathibha Joy (10 July 2013). "Tejaswini to debut in Kollywood". timesofindia. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
  7. ^ "Calling all aspiring Film Artistes". djmassociates. 2012. Archived from the original on 16 January 2015. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  8. ^ "34 வருடங்களுக்குப்பின் 'ஒருதலை ராகம்' நடித்த நடிகர்-நடிகை -படக்குழுவினர் சந்திப்பு". Dina Thanthi. 15 July 2014. Retrieved 14 April 2017.
  9. ^ "TAMIL MOVIE PHOTOS & STILLS MANAL NAGARAM - IMAGES (1 of 1)". behindwoods. 10 July 2014. Retrieved 1 July 2014.
  10. ^ "Actor Shankar's directorial Sand City to release". Mathrubhumi. 17 October 2014. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
  11. ^ "மணல் நகரம் (2015)- விமர்சனம்". Maalai Malar. 27 January 2015. Retrieved 1 March 2015.
  12. ^ "Sand City Movie Review". movietoday. 2 January 2015. Archived from the original on 3 January 2015. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  13. ^ "Sand City Movie Review". onlookersmedia. 2 January 2015. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  14. ^ "Sand City Film Review". 3 January 2015. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  15. ^ "Sand City Movie Review". timesofindia. 6 January 2015. Retrieved 7 January 2015.

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