His Highness Abdullah

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His Highness Abdullah
His Highness Abdullah.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed bySibi Malayil
Written byA. K. Lohithadas
Produced byMohanlal
Edited byL. Bhoominathan
Music by
Distributed bySeven Arts Release
Release date
  • 30 March 1990 (1990-03-30) (Kerala)
Running time
150 minutes
Budget₹ 65 - 86 lakh
Box office₹ 6.75 crore

His Highness Abdullah is a 1990 Indian Malayalam-language musical thriller drama film written by A. K. Lohithadas[1] and directed by Sibi Malayil.[2] It stars Mohanlal, Nedumudi Venu, Gautami,[3] Sreenivasan, Thikkurissy Sukumaran Nair and Mamukkoya. The film was produced by Mohanlal[4] and was the debut production of his company Pranavam Arts.[5] The film features original songs composed by Raveendran and a background score by Mohan Sithara. His Highness Abdullah was the same team's first film in a trilogy of Indian classical arts films, followed by Bharatham (1991) and Kamaladalam (1992).

The story follows Abdullah (Mohanlal), a low-life Muslim Qawwali singer in Bombay, who is hired by the members of a wealthy royal Hindu family to assassinate their family head, Maharaja Udayavarma (Venu). Abdullah infiltrate the palace under the disguise of a Brahmin classical singer, Ananthan Namboothiri, and tries to assassinate the Maharaja by gaining his confidence.

His Highness Abdullah was released on 30 March 1990. It performed well at the box office,[6] becoming the highest-grossing Malayalam film of the year.[7][8] The film's soundtrack was also well received. The film won two National Film AwardsBest Supporting Actor for Venu[9] and Best Male Playback Singer for M. G. Sreekumar for the song "Naadaroopini".[10] Raveendran won the Filmfare Award for Best Music Director – Malayalam.

The 1996 Tamil film Mettukudi was based on this movie.[11] The 2009 Tamil movie Aadhavan and its 2016 Bangladeshi remake titled Shikari were reported to be based on this movie. The core plot of the 2015 Kannada movie Raja Rajendra was reported to be based on this movie.[12]


Ravi Varma (Sreenivasan), his father Prabhakara Varma (Karamana Janardhanan), Rajaraja Varma (Maniyanpilla Raju), and his father Kesava Pillai (M. G. Soman), seek methods to kill King Udaya Varma Thampuran (Nedumudi Venu) to usurp his wealth. Udaya Varma's wife Bhagirathi Thampuratti (Kaviyoor Ponnamma) has fallen into depression after the untimely death of their son Unni. She is locked up at home and looked after by Udaya Varma's daughter Radha (Gautami). Ravi Varma and the group fear that Udaya Varma might will his wealth to Radha, being his adopted daughter, who is believed to be born of an illicit relationship of Thampuran's relative with another servant. The group is helped by Cheriyachan Thampuran, the blind uncle of Thampuran, who also eyes King's wealth. He advises the group on the plans to eliminate the King upon condition of sharing the wealth with him.

As per his advice, Ravi Varma, the King's eldest nephew, travels to Mumbai in search of a killer. There he meets Jamal (Mamukkoya) who helps him. He introduces Ravi Varma to Abdullah, who is a singer in Bombay. Abdullah is in need of money and upon persuasion from Jamal, comes to Kerala planning to kill Thampuran. Abdullah disguises himself as Ananthan Namboothiri and meets Thampuran stating that he is Ravi Varma's friend who wants to study the palace. Thampuran does not like this, however he allows him to stay a couple of days at the palace. Bhagirathi Thampuratti thinks Ananthan is Unni and shows stages of recovery from mental disorder with his presence.

Once, the day Thampuran asks Ananthan to leave arrives, he sings the famous "Pramadhavanam" song, which impresses Thampuran and he starts liking him. Radha falls in love with him. Ananthan is even permitted to dine with Thampuran after having developed a strong relationship with him. Gupthan, the King's younger nephew, on finding that Radha is in love with Ananthan, misleads Ramanattukara Ananthan Namboodirippad, a famous musician, telling him that Ananthan has portrayed him as a good for nothing fellow. Enraged by hearing this, Namboodirippad travels to the palace and competes with Ananthan, singing the famous "Devasabhathalam", after which he understands that Gupthan mislead him and is highly impressed with Ananthan.

Ravi Varma and the group wants Thampuran to be killed immediately. Ananthan one day realises that Thampuran is an old friend of his father. Thampuran also tells Ananthan that Radha was brought up by him as his daughter after the demise of Unni. Thampuran also requests Ananthan to marry her. Ananthan, unable to kill Thampuran pleads to the group that he cannot kill him. The group gets angry and Ravi Varma travels to Bombay to find another killer. He comes back with Kabir, a goon from Bombay to kill Thampuran. Thampuran identifies that Ananthan is a Muslim named Abdullah when he accidentally sees Ananthan and Jamal performing daily Namaz.

Ananthan tells Thampuran that he is surrounded by enemies from his own family and he can save him. But Thampuran refuses. The next morning, Thampuran is found to have disappeared. Kabir and his other goons/henchmen try to find Thampuran and indulge in a fight with Ananthan. Ananthan overpowers him and the group and they all, along with all the greedy relatives run away from the palace. After the fight is over, Ananthan releases Thampuran, whom he had locked up in a room in order to save him from Kabir. Thampuran shockingly realises that Ananthan is his friend's son and feels sorry for having disbelieved him. He requests Ananthan to stay in the palace as Unni and marry Radha. He names Radha as the successor to all his wealth. Ananthan accepts the request from Thampuran.



His Highness Abdullah was produced by Mohanlal and was the debut production of his company Pranavam Arts.[13]


His Highness Abdullah
Soundtrack album by
ReleasedMarch 15, 1990 (1990-March-15)[14]
RecordedJanuary 1990
StudioTharangini, Chennai
GenreFilm soundtrack

The film score was composed by Mohan Sithara while the songs were composed by Raveendran, with lyrics written by Kaithapram.

Track Song Title Singer(s) Other notes
1 "Pramadhavanam" K. J. Yesudas Picturised on Mohanlal.

Raagam: Jog[15]

2 "Devasabhathalam" K. J. Yesudas, Raveendran, Sharreth Another version, in which M. G. Sreekumar replaces Raveendran Master, was also recorded. But Raveendran's version was selected in the movie. The song is picturised on Mohanlal and Kaithapram.

Raagam: Raagamaalika (Hindolam, Thodi, Panthuvarali, Abhogi, Mohanam, Shanmukhapriya, Sankarabharanam, Kalyani, Chakravakam, Revati)[16]

3 "Naadaroopini" M. G. Sreekumar M. G. Sreekumar won the National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer. The song is picturised on Kaithapram.

Raagam: Kanada[10]

4 "Gopika Vasantham" K. J. Yesudas, K. S. Chithra Duet song picturised on Mohanlal and Gautami.

Raagam: Shanmukhapriya

5 "Devasabhathalam" K. J. Yesudas, M. G. Sreekumar, Sharreth Raagam: Raagamaalika (Hindolam, Thodi, Panthuvarali, Abhogi, Mohanam, Shanmukhapriya, Sankarabharanam, Kalyani, Chakravakam, Revati)
6 "Tu Badi Maasha Allah" K. J. Yesudas, Chorus A Hindi Qawwali song picturised on Mohanlal & Miss Kim. Lyrics by Madhu (Bihar).

Raagam: Patdeep[8]


His Highness Abdullah performed well at the box office, and the top-grossing movie of the year [7][17][18] The film was a success in Tamil Nadu too.[19]



  1. ^ Kumar, P. K. Ajith (28 June 2015). "Remembering a master storyteller". The Hindu.
  2. ^ B. S., Shibu (20 May 2020). "A Fruitful Friendship: Mohanlal and Sibi Malayil". The New Indian Express.
  3. ^ "Mohanlal, Gautami team up for a trilingual". The Hindu. 14 October 2015.
  4. ^ "Actors who are successful producers". The Times of India.
  5. ^ "Happy Birthday Mohanlal: Here are His 5 Must Watch Movies". CNN-News18. 21 May 2020.
  6. ^ Subramanian, Anupama (24 May 2016). "High expectation for Mohanlal's trilingual". Deccan Chronicle.
  7. ^ a b Sharadhaa, A. (8 May 2013). "When the autowale grab all the limelight". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  8. ^ a b Nair, Vipin (17 February 2018). "Where do Malayalam films get their love of Hindi songs from?". The Hindu.
  9. ^ a b Aravind, C. V. (20 February 2017). "Nedumudi Venu: Malayalam cinema's man for all seasons". The News Minute.
  10. ^ a b c Kumar, P. K. Ajith (21 May 2020). "'For each individual, their favourite Mohanlal film would be different'". The Hindu.
  11. ^ "'Muthu' to '36 Vayathinile': Five blockbuster Tamil films that were remade from Malayalam movies". The Times of India. 19 March 2020.
  12. ^ Narayana, Guruprasad (6 February 2015). "ಹಿಸ್ ಹೈನೆಸ್ಸ್ ರಾಜ ರಾಜೇಂದ್ರ" [His Highness King Rajendra]. Kannada Prabha (in Kannada).
  13. ^ "25 years, 25 landmarks". Rediff.com. 3 September 2003. Retrieved 18 July 2019.
  14. ^ "His Highness Abdullah - Tharangni". Bandcamp. Retrieved 28 October 2020.
  15. ^ Kumar, P. K. Ajith (31 March 2015). "Silver milestone for a golden song". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  16. ^ Menon, Akhila (17 March 2017). "7 Performances That Prove Mohanlal Is The King Of Song Sequences". FilmiBeat.
  17. ^ B. S., Shibu (13 April 2020). "For Kerala's Tinseltown, it's a lost Vishu". The New Indian Express.
  18. ^ "H for His Highness Abdullah (1990)". Rediff.com. 20 April 2012.
  19. ^ "Thamizh Talkies: Union of stars". The New Indian Express. 23 September 2019.
  20. ^ Soman, Deepa (9 December 2017). "If I had tried to imitate Yesudas, I would have reached nowhere: M G Sreekumar". The Times of India.

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