Mrugaya (1989 film)

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Poster designed by Gayathri Ashokan
Directed by I.V. Sasi
Produced by KRG
Screenplay by AK Lohithadas
Story by AK Lohithadas
Starring Mammootty
Jagathy Sreekumar
Music by Shankar Ganesh
Cinematography V Jayaram
Edited by K. Narayanan
KRG Enterprises
Distributed by KRG Release
Release date
  • 23 December 1989 (1989-12-23)
Country India
Language Malayalam

Mrugaya (Malayalam: മൃഗയ, meaning The Hunt) is a 1989 Malayalam action drama film written by AK Lohithadas and directed by IV Sasi. The film stars Mammootty, Sunitha in the lead role with Thilakan, Jagathy Sreekumar, Lalu Alex, Urvashi in supporting roles.

Mrugaya tells the story of Varunni (Mammootty), the uncultured and drunkard hunter arrived in the village to kill a man-eating leopard. The film was a success at the box-office and won two Kerala State Film Awards.[1]

The leopard, used in a number of scenes in the film, was loaned out by animal trainer Govindarajan Naidu.[2] The plot of the movie is based on the critically acclaimed Kannada movie Huli Banthu Huli[3]


The story takes place in a hillside village, terrorised by the frequent attacks of a man-eating leopard. Tired of waiting for help from the authorities, the villagers under Reverend Father Panangodan (Thilakan) and Philipose Muthalali (Jagannatha Varma) decide to hire a hunter. The hunter whom they wanted had recently died, so his son Varunni (Mammootty) is summoned to the village. The uncultured life of Varunni soon became a headache for the village. The villagers try to avoid the drunkard hunter from their lives.

However, a women named Bhagyalakshmi (Sunitha) (whose mother was killed by the leopard) befriends Varunni. This relation makes Thomaskutty (Mahesh), who is in love with Bhagyalakshmi, jealous. Seeing Varunni talking to Bhagyalakshmi, Thomaskutty gets angry and starts fighting with the hunter. In the fight Thomaskutty accidentally slips and falls from the top of the cliff. Varunni feels responsible for the death of Thomaskutty and confesses secretly to Reverend Father Panangodan. Father Panangodan realises the big heart inside the hunter. He decides to protect Varunni despite the objections from the villagers and arranges a livelihood for him. Varunni gradually starts to help the villagers and the family of Thomaskutty. The villagers also develop a soft corner for the hunter. Meanwhile, the leopard again comes to the village and Varunni fails to kill it. The leopard escapes with a wound.

The preparations of the betrothal of Thomaskutty's sister Annamma (Urvashi) is going on. But the groom fails to show up at the function. At the directions of Father Panangodan, Varunni decides to marry Annamma. This makes Bhagyalakshmi, who was in love with Varunni, jealous. On the eve of the wedding, she informs Annamma that Varunni had killed her brother Thomaskutty. Varunni gets exposed on the wedding day and flees to his hut. On reaching the hut, Varunni finds his dog barking alarmingly. He concludes that the dog has rabies and kills it. Soon he spots the leopard at the top of his hut and realizes that his dog was actually signalling about the leopard. He manages to kill the leopard with an axe. The villagers celebrate the death of the leopard. However, the police soon arrives and arrests Varunni for murdering Thomaskutty.




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