Manju Warrier

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Manju Warrier
Manju Warrier in KLF 2018.jpg
Warrier in 2018
Born (1978-09-10) 10 September 1978 (age 43)
Alma materS. N. College, Kannur, Kannur University
  • Actress
  • classical dancer
  • singer
Years active1995–1999, 2014 - present
(m. 1998; div. 2015)
RelativesMadhu Warrier (brother)
AwardsFull list

Manju Warrier (pronounced: Manju Vāryar; born 10 September 1978) is an Indian actress, producer, classical dancer and playback singer who primarily appears in Malayalam language films. She has received several awards. She is regarded as one of the most prolific actresses in Malayalam cinema.[1][2][3]

She made her acting debut in Sakshyam (1995) at the age of 17. Her most well-known films are: Thooval Kottaram (1996), Sallapam (1996), Ee Puzhayum Kadannu (1996), Aaraam Thampuran (1997), Krishnagudiyil Oru Pranayakalathu (1997), Pranayavarnangal (1998), Kanmadam (1998), Summer in Bethlehem (1998), Pathram (1999), Kannezhuthi Pottum Thottu (1999), How Old Are You? (2014), Lucifer (2019) and Prathi Poovankozhi (2019).[4]

Warrier married actor Dileep in 1998 and stopped acting. Since their divorce in 2014, she returned to cinema with the critically and commercially successful film How Old Are You?.

Early life[edit]

Manju Warrier was born on 10 September 1978 in Nagercoil city of Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu in a Malayali family.[5][6][7] Her family is originally from Pullu village in Thrissur district of Kerala.[8] Her father, T. V. Madhavan, worked as an accountant at Shakthi Finance's Nagercoil regional office and her mother was a house wife. She has an elder brother, Madhu Warrier, who is also an actor and producer.[9]

Warrier did her primary schooling from CSI Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Nagercoil.[7] After her father was promoted, they returned to Kerala and settled in Kannur. She studied at Chinmaya Vidyalaya, Kannur and later at Chovva Higher Secondary School.[10] She graduated from Sree Narayana College, Kannur.


Early films (1995–1999)[edit]

Warrier was a trained dancer since her school days. She was conferred with the Kalathilakam in the Kerala Youth Festival for two years. She first appeared in a television serial Moharavam which was telecast on Doordarshan.[11]

In the first half of her on-screen career, Manju featured in 20 films over a three-year period with prominent directors producing a number of performances that earned her equal billing with some of the male leading actors in Malayalam.[12]

At the age of 17, she debuted in the film Sakshyam (1995).[13] Later at the age of 18, she acted in the movie Sallapam (1996), co-starring Dileep, whom she later married.[14][15]

Her performance in the movie Kannezhuthi Pottum Thottu won a special mention from the jury for the National Film Awards.[16] Her other films include: Kanmadam and Aaraam Thampuran with Mohanlal,[17]
[16] Ee Puzhayum Kadannu and Kudamattam with her now ex-husband Dileep, Summer in Bethlahem, Pranayavarnangal, Pathram and Kaliyattam with Suresh Gopi, and Irattakuttikalude Achan,Dilliwala Rajakumaran, Kaliveedu, Thooval Kottaram and Krishnagudiyil Oru Pranayakalathu with Jayaram.[18][3][19]

She won the Kerala State Film Award for Best Actress for her performance in the movie Ee Puzhayum Kadannu.[20] In Kanmadam, she portrayed the role of a high-tempered blacksmith named Bhanu, which also starred Mohanlal.[21] In her film Daya, Warrier's character is disguised as a man. Her role as the strong-willed Devika in Pathram was popular with audiences.[22] It was the highest-grossing film of 1999 and played for over 250 days in theatres. Her last film before she took a sabbatical was Kannezhuthi Pottum Thottu. Her portrayal of Bhadra, who takes revenge against Natesan who killed her parents, is considered her best acting performance to date.[23][3] She was awarded the Special Mention (acting) for her performance.[16]

Professional return and comeback to the movies (2012-2014)[edit]

On 24 October 2012, she performed Kuchipudi in the Guruvayur Sree Krishna Temple.[24][25][26] Later in July 2013, she acted in a commercial with Amitabh Bachchan. Her comeback announcement was greeted with much fanfare by fans and the media.[27][28] She later appeared in many advertisements for Kalyan Jewellers alongside Amitabh Bacchan, Aishwarya Rai, Nagarjuna, Prabhu and Shiva Rajkumar. She recently published a book titled Sallapam.[29]

She made her return to cinema with Rosshan Andrrews's How Old Are You in 2014. Warrier played the character of Nirupama Rajeev, a UD clerk in the Revenue Department. The film received positive reviews from critics and was well received by audiences and it became a blockbuster hit in the Kerala box office.[30] She received numerous accolades and became the goodwill ambassador for many ventures related to organic farming, inspired by her film.

2015- present[edit]

Her next film was Sathyan Anthikad's Ennum Eppozhum which reunites her with Mohanlal after a gap of 17 years.[31] Her next project was Rani Padmini by Aashiq Abu along with Rima Kallingal, released in October 2015. The film did not fare well at the box office as it faced strong competition from other movies like Ennu Ninte Moideen and Amar Akbar Anthony. She acted in Jo and the Boy, her last release of 2015, as an animator. Her first full-length role in 2016 was Rajesh Pillai's Vettah, a mind-game thriller, in which she appeared in the role of a police officer. This film was a success, and she received numerous awards for the role.[32]

She acted in a Sanskrit stage drama based on Abhijñānaśākuntalam. The play was presented by the Sopanam Institute of Performing Arts & Research, founded by the late Kavalam Narayana Panicker, and was hosted by Swaralaya. Warrier debuted as a producer as well and the play was produced under her banner, Manju Warrier Productions.[33] Her next film was Karinkunnam 6S, in which she played the character of Vandana, a volleyball coach which was also a hit movie. She also sang a song for cancer patients for the show she hosted Kerala Can (Manorama News), written by Ratheesh Vega.

Her first release in 2017 was C/O Saira Banu where she played a post woman. The film also marked the comeback of Amala Akkineni in Malayalam after more than two decades. Her performance won great critical acclaim and the movie was a moderate grosser.[34] On 28 September, her next film Udaharanam Sujatha released in Kerala. It received positive reviews from critics and a warm response audiences.[35] She received great praise for her portrayal of Sujatha, mother of a tenth class student and a person who does multiple jobs to ensure a good life for her daughter and it was superhit in boxoffice .[citation needed] Her next release in 2017 was Villain, an emotional thriller where she appears as Dr. Neelima, an independent, idealistic woman and wife of Mathew Manjooran played by Mohanlal. The film went on to set the record for the highest first day collections for a Malayalam film. It received mixed response from critics and a positive feedback from the audience.[citation needed] Directors N. Lingusamy, Mysskin, Pandiraj, Thiru, and Suseenthiran were all positive about the film, particularly praising the actors' performances and the production. Soumya Rajendran wrote in her review for The News Minute - "It's lovely to see Manju Warrier and Mohanlal romancing on screen. The couple shares a palpable chemistry and the best scenes in the film undoubtedly belong to their shared moments. Although a brief role, Manju lights up the screen and the relationship between them comes across as genuine even though neither character is defined beyond a few broad strokes."[36]

In 2018, Manju appeared in the lead role in the Kamala Surayya biopic Aami. Manjusha Radhakrishnan of Gulf News wrote in her review - "Warrier enters the frame much later, but seamlessly takes on the role of a woman on the cusp of a quarter-life crisis. The actress is in total command here. Surayya isn't an easy woman to play, but Warrier make her eccentricities alluring and charming."[37] Manoj Kumar R of The Indian Express complimented Manju delivered a 'knockout performance' - "It is, indeed, impressive to watch Manju Warrier play the role of a conflicted woman. Her conviction in the performance is what keeps our attention even when narration loses steam."[38] Her next film for release was the musical-romantic-comedy drama Mohanlal in which she played a die-hard fan of Mohanlal. Jan Varghese wrote in her review for BookMyShow - "Manju Warrier gives one of her better performances to date as Meenukutty. She carries the movie firmly on her shoulders with her almost flawless performance."[39] Her next release was the much-hyped fantasy drama Odiyan, in which she appeared alongside Mohanlal and Prakash Raj sporting different looks throughout the movie. In her review for Firstpost, Anna M. M. Vetticad said, "Warrier is uniformly good as the lonesome, long-suffering Prabha who has always known that her fate was written the moment she was born into a particular social class and often summons up the spirit to defy that written word."[40] Odiyan earned the highest opening-day collection for a film at Kerala box office and for a Malayalam film at worldwide box office. Odiyan also registered the highest opening weekend (14–16 December) collection for a Malayalam film at domestic and worldwide box office.

Her first release in 2019 was Lucifer directed by Prithviraj Sukumaran in his directorial debut, written by Murali Gopy and featuring Mohanlal in the lead role as Stephen Nedumpally, alongside a supporting cast including Prithviraj Sukumaran himself, Vivek Oberoi, Tovino Thomas and Indrajith Sukumaran. Her performance in the film was considered to be the strongest in recent times with both critics and audiences showering praises. Complimenting her, Soumya Rajendran wrote in her review, "Manju Warrier is blessed with an extremely expressive face, and when she's upset, you can actually see her nostrils quiver. There's one scene when her face collapses as she hears Bobby's (Vivek Oberoi's) response to a question she poses, and you can see just what an actor can bring to the table when she knows her job."[41] Manjusha Radhakrishnan said in her review for Gulf News - "To watch top Malayali talent Manju Warrier as a grieving daughter of a political leader, who dies suddenly, leaving a political vacuum in her family and her political outfit, is pure gold. Warrier as a troubled mother and wife Priyadarshani – who unearths a string of dark secrets within her family circles – is heartbreaking. In limited screen-time, she comes across as a paragon of vulnerability and strength – an indication to the strength of her acting prowess."[42] For her performance in Lucifer, she was awarded the best actress trophy in 9th South Indian International Movie Awards held in 2021.[43]

She is one of the founding members of Women in Cinema Collective, the organisation for the welfare of women workers in the Malayalam movie industry and she was the only female actor in Kerala having fans association and wellwishers in International level known as Manju Warrier Fans and Welfare Association International.[44]

In 2019, she made her Tamil debut with Vetrimaaran's Asuran opposite Dhanush. For her role in the film as Pachaiyamal, the protagonist' s wife, she received the best actress trophy in 9th South Indian International Movie Awards held in 2021.[43]

In March 2021, Warrier began filming for Amriki Pandit, her Hindi debut opposite R. Madhavan.[45]

In 2022, Manju reunited with Biju Menon through Lalitham Sundaram after a gap of 20 years.[46]

Personal life[edit]

Manju with Dileep attending a function.

On 20 October 1998, Manju married actor Dileep at the Aluva Sri Krishna Temple. The couple have a daughter, Meenakshi. They filed for divorce in 2014 and it was granted in January 2015.[47][48][49][50] Her autobiography Sallapam (Memories) was released in November 2014.[51] Manju lives in Thrissur, Kerala.[52]


In the media[edit]

Manju Warrier.jpg

In a question put up in the official Facebook page of Women in Cinema Collective, 'Who is the most influential female artist in cinema?', Manju Warrier led the poll.[53] She was featured on a list of women superstars in South Indian cinema by The News Minute[54] and top South Indian actresses by InUth.[55] Her characters appear on many lists featuring strong women characters in Indian Cinema.[56][57][58][59][60]

Manju Warrier is also a professional Kuchipudi dancer, having learnt the art from Geetha Padmakumar.[61] She actively performs in many classical dance programs and plays. Her return to stage at Guruvayoor as part of the Navaratri dance festival was received with much fanfare. Directors Ranjith and Sathyan Anthikkad graced the occasion. "I was expecting a few people, if at all; only those who would be at Guruvayoor that day. God made me very happy that day. I am grateful to him," she said to The Hindu.[62]

Manju Warrier is also known for her initiatives towards various social causes. She gave the inaugural speech at the National Women's Talk Festival organised by Soorya in Thiruvananthapuram on 1 January 2018. "I don't see any reason to glorify my involvement in social issues. There are a lot of people who do a lot more for society outside the limelight. Since I am known to the public, even the smallest of my deeds are projected in a big way," she said.[63] Apart from films, she also acts in television commercials and is a brand ambassador of Lasagu Coaching App, Kalyan Jewellers, Sony India,[64][65] Meriiboy Ice Cream, Dhathri, Kitchen Treasures, ALIFF Brand Ambassador - Cinema for Women, Samsung, Ujala, Zee Keralam and myG. She has also worked as a goodwill ambassador for public awareness projects for government and private organisations, such as She - Taxi, Kudumbasree's Organic Farming, Naipunnya development program, the Kerala State Electricity Board, Pink Patrolling, Horticorp (Kerala State Horticultural Products and Development Corporation), Malayala Manorama - Kerala Can-Cancer awareness mission.

Awards and nominations[edit]

Manju is the recipient of several awards including one National Film Award, one Kerala State Film Award and seven Filmfare Awards South. She is the only Malayalam actress to win the Filmfare Awards South consecutively four times in a row (1996–99) and a record seven times overall.


  1. ^ Reghunath, Leena Gita. "How Malayalam cinema's only female superstar got back to work". The Caravan. Archived from the original on 29 March 2019. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  2. ^ "Manju Warrier, Nayanthara, Jyothika: Female stars are marching to a different, but no less successful, beat". Firstpost. 9 September 2017. Archived from the original on 28 May 2018. Retrieved 27 May 2018.
  3. ^ a b c "From Sallapam to Rani Padmini, how Manju Warrier made a successful comeback to regain Malayalam superstar status". First Post. 17 March 2019. Retrieved 6 December 2021.
  4. ^ "Rahman bags 12th Filmfare award". Archived from the original on 20 October 2013. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
  5. ^ N. M., Lakshmi (2 July 2018). "Manju Warrier is not a Keralite by birth, 8 unknown facts about the actress". Asianet News. Archived from the original on 1 May 2018. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  6. ^ Moviebuzz. "Thank You. But it's not my birthday today:Manju Warrier". Sify. Archived from the original on 1 May 2018. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  7. ^ a b "Happy birthday Manju Warrier: We bet you didn't know these facts about your favourite star". Asianet. 10 September 2020. Retrieved 1 May 2022.
  8. ^ "Manju Warrier: Lesser known facts". The Times of India. Retrieved 17 July 2021.
  9. ^ "Manju embraces the pen, with élan". Malayala Manorama. 4 October 2013. Archived from the original on 6 October 2013.
  10. ^ "Manju Warrier reveals why she supported Dileep starrer Ramaleela". Asianet News Network Pvt Ltd. Asianet News. 15 October 2017. Archived from the original on 29 December 2017. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  11. ^ "പ്രവീണയും സിനിമയും പിന്നെ ബിസിനസ് ഉം". Archived from the original on 18 November 2015. Retrieved 17 November 2015.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  12. ^ "How Manju Warrier's career graph shows there is no expiry date on the actor's potential". 30 July 2016. Archived from the original on 8 August 2017.
  13. ^ "Manju Warrier opens up about her first movie 'Sakshyam'". The Times of India. 10 June 2020. Retrieved 25 May 2021.
  14. ^ "Manju Warrier had almost died while filming Sallapam". Asianet. Retrieved 6 December 2021.
  15. ^ George, Anjana (11 September 2020). "Lohitadas knew that Manju Warrier would be his ideal Radha in Sallapam: Sundar Das". The Times of India. Retrieved 25 May 2021.
  16. ^ a b c Soman, Deepa (10 September 2020). "Happy Birthday Manju Warrier! Here are five popular characters of the actress". The Times of India. Retrieved 6 December 2021.
  17. ^ "അന്ന് അമ്പലത്തില്‍ നിന്നും ഇറങ്ങി വരുന്ന സീനെടുക്കുന്ന ദിവസമാണ് എനിക്ക് 18 തികഞ്ഞത്". മാതൃഭൂമി (in Malayalam). 10 January 2020. Retrieved 25 May 2021.
  18. ^ "Happy Birthday, Manju Warrier: 6 Career Defining Moments Of The 'Lady Superstar'". The Times of India. 10 September 2019. Retrieved 25 May 2021.
  19. ^ "മഞ്ജുവിന് വേണ്ടി സ്‌ക്രിപ്റ്റ് എഴുതിയിരുന്ന ഒരു കാലം ഉണ്ടായിരുന്നു". മാതൃഭൂമി (in Malayalam). 8 February 2018. Retrieved 25 May 2021.
  20. ^ "State Film Awards (1991–99)". Kerala State Chalachitra Academy. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 26 September 2015.
  21. ^ "'കന്മദ'ത്തിലെ ഭാനുമതിയല്ലേ ഇത് എന്ന് ആരാധകര്‍, അല്ല ഇതാള് വേറെയെന്ന് മഞ്ജു". The Indian Express. Retrieved 6 December 2021.
  22. ^ "Forget the Dileep; Manju Warrior stands tall on her own". Asianet. 28 November 2016.
  23. ^ "Happy Birthday lady superstar, best movies of Manju Warrier". Mathrubhumi. 10 September 2021. Retrieved 6 December 2021.
  24. ^ "Manju Warrier back on stage after 14 years, The Hindu". The Hindu. 25 October 2012. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  25. ^ "Manju Warrier 'stages' a comeback, The New Indian Express". Archived from the original on 28 May 2013. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  26. ^ "Return of the star dancer, Manoramaonline". Archived from the original on 6 June 2013. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  27. ^ "മഞ്ജു വാര്യര് ക്യാമറക്കുമുന്നില് തിരിച്ചെത്തി". The Indian Reader. Archived from the original on 19 July 2013. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
  28. ^ "മലയാള സിനിമാ ആസ്വാദകര് ക്ക് ഇനി ആശ്വാസ നെടുവീര് പ്പിടാം, മഞ്ചു വാര്യരുടെ രണ്ടാമൂഴത്തിന് തുടക്കമായി". The Indian Reader. Retrieved 16 July 2013.[permanent dead link]
  29. ^ "Manju's 'Sallapam'". The New Indian Express. 5 October 2013. Archived from the original on 21 August 2016. Retrieved 21 August 2016.
  30. ^ C, Sharika (18 May 2014). "Return of the heroine". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 4 July 2014.
  31. ^ "Ennum Eppozhum (aka) Enum Epozhum review". Archived from the original on 11 July 2017. Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  32. ^ "'Vettah': Redefining crime drama". Archived from the original on 1 July 2017. Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  33. ^ Nampoothiri, Hareesh N. (21 July 2016). "The eternal charm of Shakuntalam". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 21 December 2016.
  34. ^ "C/O Saira Banu movie review: You won't regret watching this Manju Warrier film". 18 March 2017. Archived from the original on 12 June 2017.
  35. ^ "Udaharanam Sujatha review: conjuring up emotional intensity". Archived from the original on 3 January 2018. Retrieved 29 September 2017.
  36. ^ Rajendran, Sowmya (27 October 2017). "'Villain' Review: Mohanlal is all style but the film lacks substance". The News Minute. Retrieved 1 September 2019.
  37. ^ "'Aami' film review: Manju Warrier gives powerful performance". Gulf News.
  38. ^ "Aami movie review: Manju Warrier delivers a knockout performance in Kamala Das biopic". 9 February 2018.
  39. ^ Staff, B. M. S. (14 April 2018). "Mohanlal Is A Thorough Family Entertainer With Drama, Romance And Comedy in Good Measure".
  40. ^ "Odiyan movie review: Mohanlal's transformed physique, Manju Warrier are USPs of a reasonably watchable mytho-fantasy- Entertainment News, Firstpost". Firstpost. 14 December 2018.
  41. ^ Rajendran, Sowmya (28 March 2019). "'Lucifer' review: An unabashed fanboy tribute to Mohanlal". The News Minute. Archived from the original on 29 March 2019. Retrieved 1 September 2019.
  42. ^ "'Lucifer' review: Strictly for Mohanlal fans". Gulf News.
  43. ^ a b "മോഹന്‍ലാല്‍ നടന്‍, മഞ്ജു വാര്യര്‍ നടി, ലിജോ സംവിധായകന്‍; സൈമ അവാര്‍ഡ്‍സ് 2019 പ്രഖ്യാപിച്ചു" [Mohanlal actor, Manju Warrier actress, Lijo director; SIMA Awards 2019 announced]. Asianet News (in Malayalam). 19 September 2021. Retrieved 19 September 2021.
  44. ^ "Kerala's Women in Cinema Collective registers as society, to fight for gender parity". The News Minute. 2 November 2017. Archived from the original on 2 November 2017. Retrieved 14 January 2018.
  45. ^ "Manju Warrier to make Bollywood debut in 'Ameriki Pandit' with Madhavan". The News Minute. 10 March 2021. Retrieved 8 May 2022.
  46. ^ "Madhu Warrier's directorial debut titled Lalitham Sundaram". Manorama. 6 February 2020. Retrieved 8 May 2022.
  47. ^ "I am living for my daughter: says Dileep". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 8 September 2016. Retrieved 9 February 2016.
  48. ^ "Dileep, Manju Parting Ways? Couple Files Divorce Petition in Court". International Business Times, India Edition. 19 February 2014. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 9 February 2016.
  49. ^ "Manju to move court for custody of daughter Meenakshi". OnManorama. Manorama News Online. 11 July 2017. Archived from the original on 29 December 2017. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  50. ^ "Manju deposes in court, sticks to her statement about Dileep". The News Minute. 28 February 2020. Retrieved 20 February 2021. I divorced Dileep in 2015 and the extramarital relationship between him and Kavya was the reason behind it
  51. ^ "Manju Warrier releases her book Sallapam". the 21 November 2014. Archived from the original on 2 July 2018. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  52. ^ "Dileep and Meenakshi visit Manju Warrier's house in Thrissur". Asianet News Network Pvt Ltd. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
  53. ^ "Manju Warrier fav pick in online poll on female cine artistes". Archived from the original on 28 May 2018. Retrieved 27 May 2018.
  54. ^ "A league of their own: The women superstars we love down south". 4 August 2016. Archived from the original on 24 October 2017.
  55. ^ "Anushka Shetty, Nayanthara and more: Top 5 stunning South Indian actresses who can give their Bollywood peers a run for their money". 7 May 2017. Archived from the original on 13 May 2017.
  56. ^ Prince, Stacey (4 March 2019). "10 Times Actresses in South Cinema Bowled Us Over With Career Defining Roles".
  57. ^ "15 powerful female characters from Mollywood to Inspire You". Archived from the original on 2 July 2018. Retrieved 27 May 2018.
  58. ^ Jacob, Shalin (1 August 2017). "15 Powerful Female Characters in Malayalam Films That Are Slowly Breaking Stereotypes". ScoopWhoop. Archived from the original on 28 May 2018.
  59. ^ "5 Unconventional Female Characters in Malayalam Movies". 27 May 2017. Archived from the original on 6 June 2017. Retrieved 27 May 2018.
  60. ^ "Manju Warrier, Nayanthara, Jyothika: Female stars are marching to a different, but no less successful, beat- Entertainment News, Firstpost". 9 September 2017. Archived from the original on 28 May 2018. Retrieved 27 May 2018.
  61. ^ G. S. Paul (13 May 2016). "For the joy of dance". The Hindu. Thiruvananthapuram. Archived from the original on 7 April 2014. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  62. ^ Shilpa Nair Anand (18 January 2013). "Queen of HEARTS". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 2 September 2013. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  63. ^ "Ending speculations, actor Manju Warrier says she has no political ambitions". 2 January 2018. Archived from the original on 2 July 2018. Retrieved 27 May 2018.
  64. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 8 August 2017. Retrieved 8 August 2017.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  65. ^ "Celebrate this Onam with Sony • FWD Business". 31 July 2017. Archived from the original on 8 August 2017.

External links[edit]