‘5 Sundarikal’ to ‘Mamangam’: A list of Malayalam films that have identical titles

The films could be remakes of older films or bear absolutely no connection to its predecessor.
Mamangam old and new posters
Mamangam old and new posters
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Just as the recent Malayalam film Nayattu was about to release, a Google search of the title threw up another 1980 film by the same name. Starring Jayan, it had released 11 days after the actor’s death as a result of a daredevil stunt in another film. Both the Nayattus tell police stories but have no other similarities. It’s not the first time that the title of an earlier film was reused years later for a film with absolutely no connection to its predecessor.

Critic B Vijayakumar writes on Malayalam Music and Movie Encyclopaedia that Sthree (1970) was perhaps the first such film to have a repeated title. Another film called Sthree had released 20 years earlier (in 1950), as an adaptation of a play by the same name. Through the years, many such titles have been repeated, sometimes for remakes of older films (ChattakkariRathinirvedamNidraNeelathamara, etc.) and other times, for films with no link to the earlier release.

Let’s look at a few of these titles through the years.

Bharya (1962, 1994): The 1962 version was quite popular when it released. Sathyan and Ragini played the main characters in a story that was reportedly based on a real-life incident. It dealt with an extramarital affair affecting a perfectly happy marriage. The second Bharya – which released in 1994 – was about relations souring between a newly married woman and her in-laws, the woman depicted as selfish and uncaring. Jagadeesh and Urvashi played the main characters in the film.

Watch: Song from Bharya (1962)

Mamangam (1979, 2019): Both are period films based on the Mamangam festival held every 12 years on the banks of the Bharathapuzha river. But the storylines are not the same. The earlier version had the then superstar Prem Nazir playing the hero while the newer version had contemporary superstar Mammootty in the lead.

5 Sundarikal (1968, 2013): The two films have nothing in common. The earlier film was a thriller starring Prem Nazir while the 2013 film was an anthology consisting of five segments. The segments, centering around girls or women, were directed by Shyju Khalid, Aashiq Abu, Sameer Thahir, Amal Neerad and Anwar Rasheed.

Watch: Song from 5 Sundarikal (2013)

Vettah (1984, 2016): Thirty-two years apart, these two films have nothing in common other than the title. The 1984 film starred Mohanlal and Mammootty in a drama while the 2016 one was a thriller with Manju Warrier in the lead.

Vetta (1984) / Credit - Malayalachalachithram.com and Vettah (2016)

Vellinakshatram (1949, 2004): Released so many decades ago, the first Vellinakshatram – no longer available now except for the song books kept by old cine goers – was directed by a German cinematographer Felix J Beyse and produced by Udaya. The second one, released more than five decades later, was a horror film with Prithviraj in the lead.

Oozham (1988, 2016): The old Oozham, directed by Harikumar, had Parvathy and Devan playing the lead roles. The newer film was an action thriller by Jeethu Joseph, starring Prithviraj.

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