Manjummel Boys

Manjummel Boys is a 2024 Indian Malayalam-language survival thriller film written and directed by Chidambaram, and produced by Parava Films.

The film stars an ensemble cast, which includes Soubin Shahir, Sreenath Bhasi, Balu Varghese, Ganapathi S. Poduval, Lal Jr., Deepak Parambol, Abhiram Radhakrishnan, Arun Kurian, Khalid Rahman, Chandu Salimkumar, Shebin Benson, and Vishnu Reghu. Based on a true incident from 2006, the film revolves around a group of friends from a small town called Manjummel near Kochi, who decide to have a vacation in Kodaikanal.

Manjummel Boys
Manjummel Boys
Theatrical release poster
Directed byChidambaram
Written byChidambaram
Produced bySoubin Shahir
Babu Shahir
Shawn Antony
StarringSoubin Shahir
Sreenath Bhasi
Balu Varghese
Ganapathi S. Poduval
Lal Jr.
Deepak Parambol
Abhiram Radhakrishnan
Arun Kurian
Khalid Rahman
Chandu Salimkumar
Shebin Benson
Vishnu Reghu
CinematographyShyju Khalid
Edited byVivek Harshan
Music bySushin Shyam
Parava Films
Distributed bySree Gokulam Movies
Release date
  • 22 February 2024 (2024-02-22)
Running time
135 minutes
Budgetest.₹20 crore
Box officeest.₹236 crore

The film was theatrically released on 22 February 2024 in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, and received widespread acclaim from audience and critics. It became the first film in the Malayalam film industry to earn more than ₹200 crore, and set several box-office records, becoming the highest grossing Malayalam film ever surpassing the record set by 2018. It also became the highest grossing Malayalam film of 2024, highest grossing malayalam film overseas as well as one of the highest grossing Indian films of 2024.


2006: a group of friends from an arts club in Kochi leave on a trip to Kodaikanal in the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu, during the Onam vacation. They explore Kodaikanal and before leaving, one of the friends tells about Guna Caves, a place where the film Gunaa was shot. Inebriated, high and happy, the friends reach Guna Caves and decide to explore the restricted areas of the caves by themselves despite a warning from Dominic, a tourist guide. Though there are signs of a lurking danger, the friends explore further. Upon reaching a point, a few friends decide to etch down their group name "Manjummel Boys" on the rocks within the cave.

After etching it on the wall, the friends call out to show the remaining guys who are exploring on the other sides to take a picture and they all regroup. Subhash, one of the friends, falls into a covered hole in the ground while moving towards them. Initially everyone assumes he is pranking, but as he does not respond even after calling out to him multiple times, they all start to panic. After the initial shock, a few of them run back to get help and others stay back and continue calling out to him in hopes that he would respond. They inform the locals of what happened and ask them for help, and they all suggest going to police station and the forest guard.

The locals also inform them that the specific area was off-limit to people for a reason and that so far 13 people have fallen into that hole and none were ever recovered, dead or alive. They mention that the British had called Guna caves as The Devil's kitchen due to this reason and that this hole is over 900 feet deep. Scared even more, the friends reach the police station, where they are beaten and the police file an FIR against them for entering a restricted area. They are also accused of murdering their friend and giving false complaints and no help is offered. Meanwhile, a rain starts which starts to flood the hole.

Finally after being convinced, and fearing backlash from the local people for failing to help, one of the police officers agrees to go with them to the cave. On the way, he informs them that the last person who fell into the hole was the former Central Minister's nephew around ten years ago and all the forces had gotten together to rescue him, but no one had been able to. The officer after inspecting the hole suggests that they leave Subhash as he probably is no longer alive, but the friends are adamant about rescuing him. But soon one of the boys hear Subhash's cries, informs the others that he is alive and the police are also convinced to try and save him. They estimate that Subhash has fallen down into a depth of around 120 feet. They try lowering a rope, for Subhash to hold, but are sceptical that he may not be in a situation to hold on the rope after a deep fall.

The fire department and more police officers are also called into the scene, but they are scared to go inside the hole to retrieve Subhash. Seeing this, one of the friends, Siju David decides to go down. The police officers are initially reluctant, but finally agree after being convinced by the friends and the locals. Siju is lowered into the hole, and but along the way the rope with which Siju is lowered runs out, and police are worried that its not safe to go any lower as there might be low oxygen levels, and they are not willing to risk Siju's life as well. But Siju says he can hear Subash's voice clearly and that he can't leave him down there. The police arrange for more rope and reel Siju down more and finally Siju is able to see Subash lying on a ledge covered in blood and muddy water due to the rains.

Siju is able to retrieve Subhash and the rest of the friends pull them up together successfully. After receiving first aid from the nearest clinic, they take Subash to the hospital in their hometown, where Subash is treated more thoroughly. They decide not to tell anyone about the incident and tells Subash's family that he fell in a waterfall. Subash suffers trauma from the fall and is not able to sleep initially, but slowly starts recovering after going to trauma therapy. Later, the news that Siju saved Subhash comes out from a person who went to Tamil Nadu and Siju is applauded for his bravery. Two years later he is awarded a medal which is shown along with the photos and story of the real Manjummel Boys in post credits.




The project was initially reported in January 2023 by The New Indian Express, which was the second of Chidambaram after Jan. E. Man (2021). Soubin Shahir and Sreenath Bhasi were roped to play the lead roles, in their fifth collaboration following Parava (2017), Kumbalangi Nights, Virus (2019), and Bheeshma Parvam (2022). Soubin also produced the film with his father Babu Shahir and producer-distributor Shawn Antony under their maiden production house Parava Films. Cinematographer Shyju Khalid, musician Sushin Shyam, editor Vivek Harshan and production designer Ajayan Chalissery were announced as a part of the technical crew.


Principal photography commenced at Kodaikanal on 26 January 2023 and concluded on 17 July. The film was shot around 101 working days throughout multiple schedules. A few scenes were also shot in Kochi and Perumbavoor. The cave and its surrounding shown in the film is actually set constructed by production designer Ajayan Chalissery.


The original score and soundtrack of Manjummel Boys is composed by Sushin Shyam. It features two tracks, which were sung by Pradeep Kumar and rapper Vedan. The lyrics were penned by Anwar Ali and Vedan. In this film, the 1991 Tamil film Gunaa is also mentioned many times, especially through the song "Kanmani Anbodu Kadhalan".


Manjummel Boys was theatrically released on 22 February 2024. Prior to the film's theatrical release, the Film Exhibitors Union Organisation of Kerala (FEUOK) announced that they would halt the screening of Malayalam-language films in theatres owing to the Kerala Film Producers Association (KFPA) and Film Distributors Association's decision to not to screen films that would be released in streaming platforms in less than 42 days. Eventually, KFPA affirmed on the film's release in specific theatres which followed the contractual agreements. Prior to the film's release, it garnered 1.47 crore (US$180,000) from advance bookings across Kerala. The Telugu-language dubbed version was released on 6 April 2024.


It was released by Sree Gokulam Movies through Dream Big Films in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The overseas rights acquired by Phars Film Co. It was distributed across Andhra Pradesh and Telangana by Mythri Movie Makers, Sukumar Writings, and Primeshow Entertainment.

Home Media

The digital streaming rights and satellite rights were acquired by Disney+ Hotstar and Asianet, respectively.


Box office

On the opening day of its release, the film earned a net collection of 3.3 crore (US$410,000) and gross collection of 3.9 crore (US$490,000), while also earning 2.1 crore (US$260,000) from overseas markets. At the second day, the film garnered 3.25 crore (US$410,000), a marginal drop of 1.52% in comparison with the previous day's release, but saw an upward trend on the third and fourth day, garnering around 4.25 crore (US$530,000) and 4.75 crore (US$590,000). The film earned 15.5 crore (US$1.9 million) within the first four days of its release in the domestic regions, while also earning 13.25 crore (US$1.7 million). At the end of the first week, the film crossed ₹50 crore at the worldwide box office, earning 28 crore (US$3.5 million) domestically and 22 crore (US$2.8 million) from overseas. By March 2024, the film crossed ₹100 crore. As of 21 March 2024, Manjummel Boys has grossed a worldwide total of ₹200 crore (US$25 million).

In Tamil Nadu, the film garnered 1 crore (US$130,000) at the box office in the first weekend. Within ten days, the film earned 15 crore (US$1.9 million), thereby becoming the highest-grossing Malayalam film in the state. Film analysts and exhibitors attributed the success of the film which was primarily attributed to 60% of the film being set in Tamil Nadu which connected with the local audiences, along with the nostalgia, themes and emotional connect with family audience and youngsters, and popular references to Tamil cinema, primilarily Gunaa, which was shot in the Gunaa caves. Exhibitors further described that the lack of notable Tamil films and the releases during February and March 2024 not performing well as expected were the contributing factors for the film's overperformance in the state.

Critical response

Manjummel Boys received critical acclaim from critics with praise for its technical aspects, acting, script and direction. S. Devasankar of Pinkvilla gave 4/5 stars and wrote "Manjummel Boys is one of the finest additions to Malayalam survival thriller films. The film demands a theater watch with the best sound quality for the best experience, and is sure to leave the audience shook". Gopika I. S. of The Times of India gave 4/5 stars and wrote "Manjummel Boys isn't your average friendship flick packed like a survival film. If you are looking for a crisp survival film, this is it. It's an absolute marvel of visuals, absolutely good writing, characterisation, editing, acting and all the thrills".

Arjun Menon of Rediff gave 4/5 stars and wrote "Manjummel Boys gets so many things right that the small nitpicks don't amount to much in the larger picture". Sanjith Sridharan of OTTplay gave 3+12 / 5 stars and wrote "Chidambaram hasn't tried to overdramatise Manjummel Boys for the sake of entertainment and has kept it mostly true to the events that had transpired in Kodaikanal in 2006".

Anandu Suresh of The Indian Express gave 3/5 stars and wrote "Despite its shortcomings, Chidambaram's film can indeed be seen as a powerful tribute to the real Manjummel Boys and their determined efforts to save their dear one". Janani K. of India Today gave 3/5 stars and wrote "Director Chidambaram's Manjummel Boys is a heartwarming thriller which is earnest in its attempt".

S. R. Praveen of The Hindu wrote "Though the survival thriller part brings back memories of Bharathan's Malootty, this one takes a different path by tying the events closely to their friendship of the characters". Princy Alexander of Onmanorama wrote "Overall, the movie is a neatly crafted tale of friendship that triumphs over the survival drama". The real life Manjummel Boys make a cameo appearance as the opposing gang during a tug of war contest.



Manjummel Boys PlotManjummel Boys CastManjummel Boys ProductionManjummel Boys MusicManjummel Boys ReleaseManjummel Boys ReceptionManjummel Boys

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