Mamangam is a 2019 Indian Malayalam-language period action film directed by M. Padmakumar, and produced by Kavya Film Company. Sajeev Pillai was the director in the first schedule, but was replaced by M. Padmakumar. It stars Mammootty, Achuthan, Unni Mukundan and Prachi Tehlan. The film is about the Mamankam festival of the 18th century in the banks of the Bharathappuzha at Tirunavaya, in the Malabar region. The film follows Chaaverukal who plot to overthrow the Samoothiri.
Songs are composed by M. Jayachandran. Originally shot in Malayalam, it was dubbed in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi and simultaneously released worldwide on 12 December 2019.
The film begins with a Mamangam festival(conducted every 12 years)which is conducted by the present Zamorin(Samoothiri)several years after the ownership of the festival was handed over forcefully from Valluvakkonathiri to the Zamorin.From that time onwards Valluvakkonathiri used to send his best Warriors(Chaverukal) from Valluvanad to confront the Zamorin and kill him.But the warriors would usually die by the hands of Zamorin’s 30000 men even before they could reach the Nilapaduthara where the Zamorin used to sit.The eyes of such dead warriors are pulled out and their body is dropped into a well named Manikkinar with the help of elephants.During this Mamangam too,the Chaverukal led by Chandroth Valiya Panikkar(Mammooty) has arrived to confront the Zamorin.They fight the Zamorin’s army and everyone except Valiya Panikkar dies.But finally,Valiya Panikkar reaches the Nilapaduthara by his skills.
The story then shifts to 24 years later where 2 of the latest warriors in Chandroth Tharavaadu are preparing to leave to Mamangam festival or Mamangappattanam as Chaverukal after they had visions from Thirumanthankunnu Devi to do so.They are Chandroth Panikkar(Unni Mukundan) and a young boy of 12 years named Chanthunni(Achuthan).It is then revealed that Valiya Panikkar actually didn’t kill the Zamorin or die during the festival,he escaped the place.So the people of his family consider him as a traitor(As due to ancient customs,he had to kill or be killed there, not return without finishing the goal) and he hadn’t returned ever since.So some people think that he died including Panikkar and Chanthunni.
As Zamorin’s men are hunting down Chaverukal who are setting of to the festival,Panikkar and Chanthunni decides to leave secretly after completing all the customs they had to do in their Tharavaadu and saying a sorrowful goodbye to their relatives.They are guided to the festival by a lower caste man called Kungan(Manikandan Achari) and they leave.The story then shifts to the perception of Zamorin’s right hand man Thalachennor (Siddhique) who has arrived at a brothel owned by the dancer and Unnimaya(Prachi Tehlan) to investigate the death of a foreigner named Zamar Koya(Tarun Arora) who is a very important man to the Zamorin. He used to go to the brothel regularly and got killed near the place.During the investigation Thalachennor receives different versions of stories on the death of Koya from Unnimaya, her lover Rarichan(Sudev Nair) and her sister Unni Neeli(Ineya).Due to his wisdom he understands that all these versions are fake.He then notices a painting in the brothel which shows all the areas of Mamangappattanam and understands that someone who had visited the festival had drawn this. During the following investigation it is understood that it was drawn by a transgender named Kuruppu, who is an artist, who helped these women to make such a brothel and who used to visit the brothel at times. An informer to the Zamorin is also found wounded in the woods.
Later, it is known from the informer that he saw Panikkar and Chanthunni in the woods and he reported it to Zamorin after finding out they were Chaverukal ,who sent troopes to take them down.During subsequent fight the two are able to take down all the men with the help of Muslim merchant Pokkar (Suresh Krishna) and his men who had earlier promised to help the duo during their quest.But Pokkar dies during the fight and Panikkar is nitten by a snake. Suddenly the informer was wounded by an unknown warrior.Unimmaya recalls that a wounded man and a kid had earlier arrived at the place and was treated by Kuruppu who is a doctor too.Kuruppu seemed to know much about the Mamangam festival.Thalachennor forces Unnimaya to say more about the mysterious Kuruppu.Finally he learns that Kuruppu was none other than disguised Chandroth Valiya Panikkar.During flashbacks it is revealed that after escaping the festival, Valiya Panikkar couldn’t return to his village as they would consider him as a traitor and he wouldn’t be welcomed there.So he was forced to disguise himself and live away from them for far 24 years.
While Valiya Panikkar was staying at the brothel, he heard about the news of Chaverukal which had somehow leaked.So he left searching for them and found them fighting a bunch of soldiers and it was him who neutralised the gunman,wounded the informer and took wounded Panikkar and Chanthunni to the brothel.He treated him there and finally revealed to them that he was actually Valiya Panikkar.It is further revealed that as Valiya Panikkar reached the Nilapaduthara to kill the Zamorin,he was surprised to find the place empty.Earlier during the fight, Thalachennor had advised the Zamorin to leave the seat and hide in the Nilavara fearing Valiya Panikkar’s skills,which he agreed to.After reaching the Nilapaduthara, Valiya Panikkar had only 2 choices,one was to die by the hands of the men simply and attain fame by his death or to escape the fest.Panikkar chose the latter after knowing that death was useless.After this incident he understands that being a Chaver was useless and the death of all these men for these many years was a waste as the Zamorin who took the procession by force had died centuries before.He tells all these to Panikkar and Chanthunni and is finally able to convince them that he is neither a traitor nor afraid.He tries to convince them not to go to the festival as it will only take their lives but fails to do so.So he promises to accompany them to the festival.
Zamar Koya who was at the place for all these time feels suspicious about the two as he is assigned to prevent Chaverukal from reaching the fest.Under Valiya Panikkar’s command Panikkar and Chanthunni leaves the place midnight in between the dance performance. Seeing this Zamar Koya follows them but get killed by Valiya Panikkar after a fight.Thalachennor decides not to follow them and returns to the festival with his men.Panikkar and Chanthunni who had left with Valiya Panikkar after the previous events reunites with Kungan who takes them to a secret shelter where Valiya Panikkar trains Chanthunni and tells them all about Mamangam and the place. After some days they continues their journey.They move through many places and finally reaches the Mamangam festival.Valiya Panikkar is forced to leave them on their own as it is their destiny.They disguise themselves and enter the Mamangappattanam.As they try to escape a checking gate by the soldiers, they meet Moyin(Manikkuttan) who is the son of Pokkar.He had arrived there to help the duo after his father’s death.The three of them confronts the Zamorin and a huge battle begins between the 3 and the 30000 soldiers.They are able to kill many soldiers, but in course Moyin and Panikkar are killed.Without fearing after seeing their death Chanthunni continues his feat.
After remembering Valiya Panikkar’s lessons he uses the light staffs(jumping from one to another) to reach the Nilapaduthara but the soldiers pull down the last staff.But this doesn’t prevent Chanthunni reaching the Nilapaduthara.He is able to wound the scared Zamorin.But as he tries to kill the Zamorin, he is stabbed to death by Thalachennor from the back and his body falls down.In the aftermath, while searching for the body of Chanthunni, the soldiers realise that it is missing.Thalachennor finds out that it was the work of Valiya Panikkar who had earlier promised Chanthunni that he would bring his body back to the village in case he died. He hears the words from Kungan too. As no one has ever seen or retrieved the body of a dead chaver till then, he decides to prevent this.He along with his men chase Valiya Panikkar to a valley side where they confront each other. But they are no match for Valiya Panikkar. Valiya Panikkar kills these men and finally Thalachennor. He brings back the body of Chanthunni to his village. After seeing his body and hearing the advice of Valiya Panikkar the villagers and the family members learn about their mistakes and decides that no more Chaverukal will be send. As he cannot stay in a village who treated him as a traitor he leaves the village never to be seen again and a monument is erected for Chanthunni who is the only chaver whose body has been ever retrieved.
Directed by M. Padmakumar
Produced by Venu Kunnappilly
Screenplay by Sajeev Pillai
Starring Mammootty, Achuthan, Unni Mukundan, Siddique, Prachi Tehlan, Anu Sithara, Kaniha, Ineya
Music by Songs: M. Jayachandran Score: Sanchit Balhara & Ankit Balhara
Cinematography Manoj Pillai
Edited by Raja Mohammad
Production Kavya Film Company
Distributed by Kavya Film Company
Release date 12 December 2019
Running time 160 minutes