Shutter (2012 film)

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Promotional poster
Directed by Joy Mathew
Produced by Saritha Ann Thomas
Written by Joy Mathew
Starring Lal
Vinay Forrt
Sajitha Madathil
Riya Saira
Music by Shahabaz Amam
Zubin Imtiaz
BB Sam
Jacob Panikker
BB Sam
Cinematography Hari Nair
Abra Films
Distributed by Popcorn Entertainments (Australia & New Zealand)
Release date
  • 9 December 2012 (2012-12-09) (IFFK)
  • 22 February 2013 (2013-02-22) (theaterical)
Running time
134 minutes
Country India
Language Malayalam

Shutter is a 2012 Indian Malayalam thriller film written and directed by theater actor and playwright Joy Mathew in his directorial debut. The film set and filmed in Kozhikode, stars Lal, Sreenivasan, Vinay Forrt, Sajitha Madathil and Riya Saira. Renganaath Ravee does the sound design, Hari Nair cranks the camera . The film notably features a poem by Pablo Neruda, set to music and sung by Shahabaz Aman.[1] Biby Sam and Jacob Panikker composed the background score for the film.

Claimed to be a part of the new-wave in Malayalam cinema, the film is a satire about Indian laborers in the Gulf and is set within two days and a night in the city of Kozhikode. The film portrays unexpected incidents happening in two days and a night in the city of Kozhikode. The story centers around the mess created by three men — a Gulf Malayali, a film director and an auto driver — after they meet a strange woman in bizarre circumstance. The film is a moral suspense thriller and according to the director it is "poetical violence on celluloid".

The film had its Indian premiere at the 17th International Film Festival of Kerala and international premiere at the 9th Dubai International Film Festival. It won the Silver Crow Pheasant Award for Best Feature Film (Audience Prize) at the 17th International Film Festival of Kerala.[2]

The film was a critical and commercial success,[3] which led to its remakes Shutter (2014) in Marathi and Oru Naal Iravil (2015) in Tamil. It was also remade in Tulu as Shutterdulai.[4] Prakash Raj remade the movie into Kannada-Telugu bilingual called Idolle Ramayana in Kannada and Mana Oori Ramayanam in Telugu.[5] It was also remade in Punjabi in 2016 as Lock.

It is the third Indian movie to be remade in six languages after Charlie Chaplin (Tamil)and Nuvvostanante Nenoddantana (Telugu).It is the second Indian movie to be remade in six Indian languages after Charlie Chaplin (Tamil). It is the first Indian movie to be remade in six languages within less than 4 years. It is also the only Indian movie to have versions in all the five South Indian languages.


Rasheed (Lal) is an NRI working in the Gulf. He comes to his hometown Kozhikode on a vacation for his daughter's engagement. Rasheed has invested in a commercial property next to his house which he has let out to store owners, except for one room. During his holiday, he meets his friends here and they bond every night over a few peg of drinks. During one of these days, Rashid's friend Nanmarayil Suran (Vinay Forrt), an autorickshaw driver, locks him with a prostitute in a garage from the outside to let the two have some fun. He fails to turn up as promised and the two end up spending two nights and one day together in the garage. The rest of the narrative revolves around the embarrassing plight of these two and the lives of Suran, Thankam and Manoharan.



The film marks the directorial debut of Joy Mathew, who is a well known face in the Malayalam drama industry and shot to fame in films by portraying the central character in John Abraham's classic film Amma Ariyan. Noted theatre actor Sajtha Madathil plays the female lead in the film while Apoorvaragam fame Vinay Forrt plays the role of an autorickshaw driver. The film includes about sixty experienced theatre actors from Kerala and Gulf countries. Academy Award-winning sound designer Resul Pookutty was initially approached for the film's sound recording.[6] When he opted out, another noted sound designer Renganaath Ravee was chosen. The sound mixing was done by M. R. Rajakrishnan. National award-winning cinematographer Hari Nair wields camera for the film. A longtime friend of Joy Mathew, Nair is making his comeback to Malayalam cinema after quite a long gap with this film.[7]

The film was completely shot from Kozhikode and was completed by July 2012.


The soundtrack to the film features three songs. The first, is a poem by Pablo Neruda, set to music and sung by Shahabaz Aman. Teenage school student from Kozhikkode, Zubin Imtiaz, was approached to provide a bilingual song, "Kyun". Along with Jacob Panikker, he penned the Hindi lyrics while Joy Mathew provided the Malayalam verse. Zubin and BB Sam composed the music for the song. The third song which is briefly heard sung by Joy Mathew in a cameo appearance in the film, is played during the ending credits. The lyricist of this old folk song is not known.

1."Ee Raathriyil"Shahabaz AmanShahabaz Aman3:20
2."Kyun"Zubin Imtiaz, Jacob PanikkerAvni Joglekar, Tejas5:00
3."Naadu Kaani"AnonymousJoy Mathew2:50

Release and reception[edit]

Film festival screening[edit]

The film had its Indian premiere on 9 December 2012 at the 17th International Film Festival of Kerala where it was screened in the International Competition Section.[8] The film's international premiere was at the 9th Dubai International Film Festival where it was screened on 10 December at the Cross Section of Indian Films section.[9] The film had won the Silver Crow Pheasant award for the best movie in the Audience Choice section.

Theatrical release[edit]

The film had its theatrical release on 22 February 2013.[10] Gold Coin Motion Pictures, owned by ace film director, Ranjith Balakrishnan, and Seven Arts pictures has taken the distribution rights.

Critical response[edit]

Veeyen of stated that "Joy Mathew's directorial debut reinstates your faith in fine cinema, and has already made it to my list of the most gratifying films of the year." He also added that "Shutter is a keenly observed drama on human predicament that appears delectably funny at times and palpably poignant at others."[11]

Paresh Palicha of says "Shutter which has already won critical acclaim deserves to be successful at the box office too."[12]

Rating the film 3 stars out of 5, Dalton L of Deccan Chronicle says "Joy Mathew’s drama, through an act of trust, forces open the shutters of the conservative eyes of a moralist with double standards, humbles him, and sets him free from the shackles of his sinful thoughts."[13]

The Times of India called Lal's performance "stunning" and said that "Vinay pulls off a performance that overshadows Lal, Sajitha and Sreenivasan."[14] The Hindu said the film "celebrates the sights and smells of Kozhikode" and while "the twist comes a bit too delayed", the film "fully taps the curiosity factor, making the audience feel for each well-shaped character".[15]

film fare awards,


Shutter has been remade in several languages and is set to be remade in Hindi.[17]


  1. ^ "പ്രമേയ വൈവിധ്യവുമായി 'ഷട്ടര്‍'". (in Malayalam). Madhyamam. Retrieved 14 December 2012.
  2. ^ "Curtains down on IFFK, Sta. Nina bags Suvarna Chakoram". Malayala Manorama. Manoramaonline. 14 December 2012. Archived from the original on 11 January 2013. Retrieved 15 December 2012. 
  3. ^ Deepa Gauri. The best of Malayalam cinema in 2013 26 December 2013 Khaleej Times [1]
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Resul Pookutty coming back to Malayalam with Shutter". Retrieved 14 December 2012.
  7. ^ "ഷട്ടറിലെ കെമിസ്ട്രി ". (in Malayalam). Mathrubhumi. Retrieved 14 December 2012.
  8. ^ "Two Malayalam films for IFFK competition". Business Standard. 23 September 2012. Retrieved 23 September 2012. 
  9. ^ "'Shutter' to premiere at DIFF". The New Indian Express. 9 September 2012. Retrieved 12 November 2012. 
  10. ^ Asha Prakash (7 December 2012). "Joy Mathew's 'Shutter' to release soon" (Broadsheet). The Times of India. Kochi, India: Times News Network. Retrieved 14 December 2012. 
  11. ^ "Shutter - Movie Review". Nowrunning. 24 February 2012. Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ Aswin J Kumar (24 February 2013). "Shutter movie review:". Indiatimes. Retrieved 14 January 2014. 
  15. ^ "Of the serendipities of ordinary men - The Hindu". The Hindu. 24 February 2013. Retrieved 14 January 2014. 
  16. ^ "Suvarna Chakoram for Sta.Nina". The Hindu. 14 December 2012. Retrieved 15 December 2012.
  17. ^ Prakash, Asha. "Shutter in Punjabi too!". Times of India. Retrieved 18 June 2015. 
  18. ^

External links[edit]