Pulimurugan (English: Tiger-Murugan) is a 2016 Indian Malayalam-language action adventure film directed by Vysakh, starring Mohanlal in the titular role, and co-stars Kamalini Mukherjee, Jagapati Babu, Lal, Vinu Mohan, and Bala. It is the first independent screenplay by Udayakrishna of the Udayakrishna and Siby K. Thomas duo. The film is produced by Tomichan Mulakuppadam of Mulakuppadam Films. The score and soundtrack are composed by Gopi Sunder, while cinematography is handled by Shaji Kumar.
Murugan (Mohanlal) lives in Puliyoor, a small village inside the forest. The village is vulnerable to man-eating tigers and often results in human–wildlife conflict. The villagers call these predators Varayan Puli (Striped Leopard). Murugan lost his mother in childhood after his brother Manikuttan was born. Soon after, he lost his father in a tiger attack. In vengeance, Murugan traps the predator with the help of his uncle Balaraman and kills it.
Years later, Murugan is now a lorry driver, has married Myna (Kamalini Mukherjee), and has a daughter, Chakki. He hunts down and kills rogue tigers whenever they invade the village. Acknowledging his skills in hunting “Varayan Puli”, the villagers call him Pulimurugan (Leopard-Murugan). His main weapons are a vel (a kind of spear) and a rope dart. He has his own methods developed from his young age, that aid him in killing. Murugan also has a helping behavior, as he is grateful to the villagers who cared about him after his parents death. He is too much obsessive with his brother, willing to do anything for him. Manikuttan is about to finish his MBA graduation in Mangalore.
One day, Kadutha, the village chief meets a hooded stranger in the village, who asks the whereabouts of Murugan for a hunting assignment. But, Murugan has been away from Puliyoor for days and many have been killed by the tigers. Kadutha narrates the events that lead to the circumstance, which starts with two of Manikuttan’s friends—Benny and Shiva arriving at Puliyoor, sent by Manikuttan to see Balaraman. Shiva’s father, Daddy Girija, has an ayurvedic company, Girija Pharmaceuticals and Medical Research, which is developing a pharmaceutical drug to treat cancer. For that, they need ganja (marijuana) from the forest. If the medical research succeed, Manikuttan is offered a job in the company, so Balaraman helps them. They make a contract with Ramaiya, an illegal Ganja dealer in the forest. Just after, they encounter a tiger on their way back, but is saved by Murugan, killing it with his rope dart and vel.
Meanwhile, Manikuttan returns home after his final examinations. The forest officials have found the killed tiger’s carcass at Thookupara, a violation of Indian Wildlife Protection Act, a non-bailable offense. For investigation, Forest ranger R. K. is assigned, who has a grudge against Murugan from four years back. He had once tried to molest Myna, but failed, only to get threatened by Murugan. He later gets transferred from there. Taking advantage on the present scenario, he prepare to file a self-witness F. I. R. against Murugan, who is forced to go hideout. Meanwhile, ACP Iyep Zachariah arrives at Puliyoor, apparently for Murugan.
The Ganja is loaded in Murugan’s lorry for transporting to Mangalore. Shiva and Benny gets informed that a confidant of Ramaiya is in police custody. Seeing a possibility of leaking the information, they are forced to transport it overnight. Shiva offer Murugan hideout in Kasaragod under Daddy’s protection. And deceive him that the police are in pursuit to arrest him for the tiger killing. A team lead by Zachariya arrives at Murugan’s home. Murugan with his family escapes to Mangalore in the transport, and manages to escape from police. He delivers the Ganja and Manikuttan get the job he was offered.
Murugan impresses Daddy and earns his trust by helping in his business activities. Meanwhile, more people are killed by tiger at Puliyoor. In an encounter with Zachariya, Murugan learns that Daddy is illegal producing Hash oil and exporting under the cover-up of the pharmacy, where Manikuttan is working. He co-operates with police to rat on Daddy. Manikuttan is caught by Shiva in the middle of extracting evidences of their activities, he tortures him. Murugan rescues Manikuttan, but in the tussle, Shiva is accidentally killed by Murugan. Police ambush Daddy, but he manages to escape.
Murugan returns home. It is revealed that the hooded stranger is Daddy, came to seek revenge for his son’s death. He assemble a group of henchmen and trained assassins. He ambushes Balaraman and villager Poongayi Sasi, he take Balaraman and sent Sasi back with severe injuries. Murugan decides to kill Daddy, and ensue a battle with the assassins. He finishes them off and saves Balaraman. Daddy is killed by the tiger and Murugan kills it.
Directed by Vysakh
Produced by Tomichan Mulakuppadam
Written by Udayakrishna
Starring Mohanlal, Kamalini Mukherjee, Jagapati Babu, Lal
Music by Gopi Sunder
Cinematography Shaji Kumar
Edited by Johnkutty
Production Mulakupadam Films
Distributed by Mulakupadam Release
Release date 7 October 2016 (India)
Running time 162 minutes