|Produced by||Suchitra Mohanlal|
|Edited by||T. R. Shekar|
K. R. Gaurishankar
|Distributed by||Pranavam Arts|
Harikrishnans is a 1998 Indian Malayalam-language detective comedy film written and directed by Fazil. The film was produced and distributed by Suchitra Mohanlal under the production company Pranavam Arts, starring Mammootty and Mohanlal. Others in the cast include Juhi Chawla, Innocent, Shamili, Nedumudi Venu and Kunchacko Boban. The film received a great pre-release hype due to the combined screen presence of Mohanlal and Mammootty, and was the highest-grossing Malayalam film of the year. It was later dubbed into Tamil with the same name.
The film initially had two endings when released, where the heroine chose Mammootty in one version, and Mohanlal in the other one. This was an attempt by the filmmakers to satisfy the fanbases of both Mammootty and Mohanlal, who were each popular in different regions of Kerala. However, only the Mohanlal version was submitted to the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) for censorship approval, and after both versions were released in theatres, the board sent a notice to the producer warning that it would take legal action, unless the ending with Mammootty, which had not been certified, was withdrawn. The producers were embroiled in legal actions after that, but the gimmick helped the film to bring in millions of rupees. This was an upturn for the Malayalam film industry, which had been generating unsuccessful films for quite some time.
The Harikrishnans are of the most famous lawyer duos in India. To avoid confusion one is called as Hari (Mammooty) and the other as Krishnan (Mohanlal). They head the organization called Harikrishnan Associates, which consists of around 300 lawyers. They get engaged in a murder case of Guptan (Rajiv Menon), who was allegedly killed by a deaf and dumb woodcutter, Gabriel (VK Sreeraman). Gabriel is a friend of Hari's sister (Shamili) and Harikrishnans become the defence lawyers upon her request.
The Harikrishnans begin an investigation and come across Meera (Juhi Chawla), a friend of Guptan. Both of them fall in love with her. After some trouble over the matter, they rediscover their friendship and get involved in the case again. They discover that Guptan actually died due to poisoning by his relatives who were doctors who wanted to amass his wealth. The culprits are captured and Guptan's elderly father (Nedumudi Venu) accepts Sudarshanan (Kunchacko Boban), a former student of Guptan, as his son and successor to the property.
At the end Meera decides to go for a random method of choosing her lover as she liked both Harikrishnans equally. She tosses with a leaf where the winner would marry her and the other would be her friend. The leaf fell on the name of Krishnan, and she presumably marries him and Hari would become her friend.
In the uncensored cut of the film, the leaf fell on Hari's name and she presumably marries him and Krishnan becomes her friend. There was also another ending planned with Shah Rukh Khan. He was proposed to do the role of the lover of Meera. But due to some technical problems it was cancelled.
- Mammootty as Adv. Harikrishnan / Hari
- Mohanlal as Adv. Harikrishnan / Krishnan
- Juhi Chawla as Meera
- Innocent as Adv. Sundaran
- Nedumudi Venu as Thampuran (Thirumanassu), Guptan's elderly father
- Kunchako Boban as Sudarshanan
- Shamili as Ammalu, Hari's younger sister and Krishnan's cousin
- Rajiv Menon as Guptan, Meera's friend
- Cochin Hanifa as Kunjikuttan, Meera's cousin
- V. K. Sreeraman as Gabriel, who is both deaf and dumb (gets implicated in Guptan's murder)
- Krishna as Sudarshanan's friend
- Sudheesh as Sudarshanan's Friend
- Poojappura Ravi as Ramabhadran [Ramappan], Thampuran's sinister younger cousin
- Venu Nagavalli as Kallurkaatil Vishwambharan, Meera's father
- Jagadish as Public Prosecutor
- Maniyanpilla Raju as Kunjikuttan's Advocate
- Hemanth Ravan as Dr Jaya Kumar, Ramappan's elder son and Guptan's cousin (who murdered Guptan)
- Baburaj as Prem Kumar, Ramappan's younger son and Guptan's cousin (who murdered Guptan)
- Reena as Meera's mother
- Sajitha Betti as Ammalu's friend
- Saranya Mohan as Ammalu's Friend
- Kanakalatha as Ammalu's neighbour
- Krishna Prasad as Sudarshanan's friend
- K.P.A.C. Sunny as Judge
- V.P. Ramachandran as Ammalu's neighbour
- Augustine as Sasi, Kunjikuttan's driver
- K. P. Ummer as Sudarshanan's Hostel Warden
- Yadu Krishnan as Sudarshanan's friend
- Jereesh James as Sudarshanan's friend
- Vijayan Peringode as Temple Poojaari at Kovilakkam
- Jose Pellissery as Jose-paapa, the guard at Ammalu's neighbourhood in Ponoor
- Antony Perumbavoor as Ambulance driver Antony
|Soundtrack album by|
|Studio||VGP Digital, Chennai|
|1.||"Ponne Ponnambili"||K. J. Yesudas (Dual voice)|
|2.||"Ponnambal Puzhayirampil"||K. J. Yesudas (Dual voice), K. S. Chithra|
|3.||"Ponnambal Puzhayirampil"||K. S. Chithra|
|4.||"Samayamithapoorva"||M. G. Sreekumar, K. S. Chithra|
|5.||"Minnal Kaivala"||Sujatha Mohan|
|6.||"Pooja Bimbam"||K. J. Yesudas, K. S. Chithra|
|7.||"Samayamithapoorva"||K. J. Yesudas|
|8.||"Minnal Kaivala" (Violin Solo)||Ouseppachan|
K. J. Yesudas sang his parts in two different voices, to simulate the singing of both the lead actors during the song sequences in the film.
Harikrishnans had multiple climaxes to appease the fan base of the lead actors Mohanlal and Mammootty. This had also caused some controversy. The scene was when Meera (Juhi Chawla) chooses one of them to be her friend among both the Harikrishnans. She admires both equally and goes for a selection method which her grandmother taught her, whenever she had to make tough decisions. She sets the method so as to choose her friend; the loser of the toss presumably becoming Mira's lover. One of the climax shots shows Hari (Mammootty) winning the toss and the other one Krishnan (Mohanlal) winning it.
However, only the Mohanlal version of the film was submitted to the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and censored on 1 September 1998. Soon after the release, CBFC was quick to send a notice to the producer warning that the board would take legal action unless the uncensored alternate ending (Mammootty version) is removed from the exhibition. As a result, all the prints of Mammootty version was withdrawn from theatres and replaced with the other version.
The film's budget was ₹2.5 crore (US$330,000) and recovered its cost within two weeks. The film collected ₹5.6 lakh (US$7,400) from first week beating the previous record of Aaraam Thampuran, which was ₹4 lakh (US$5,300). The film was commercial success.
- "Team of 48". Rediff.com. 1 September 1998. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
- "Twice tossed gamble". India Today. 5 October 1998.
- Radhakrishnan, M. G. (5 October 1998). "Two endings of 'Harikrishnans' make it a hit but run into rough weather with CBFC". India Today. Retrieved 19 December 2018.
- Jose, D. (6 October 1998). "Double trouble". Rediff.com. Retrieved 19 December 2018.
- "Did you know Shah Rukh Khan was cast in a Malayalam movie? - Times of India". The Times of India.
- "Archive News". The Hindu.
- "Hari gets Meera, so does Krishnan in Fazil's Harikrishnans". Indian Express. 12 September 1998. Retrieved 15 April 2011.
- "The win-win situation". Rediff. 14 September 1998.
- "'Nothing, neither criticism nor compliment, affects me'". Rediff. 11 March 1999.
- "All is not lost..." Rediff.com. 7 December 1998.