Ozhimuri (2012)


Ozhimuri (2012)

A 55-year old woman files a divorce petition against her 71-year old husband, after over 30 years of married life. Their son, and a female advocate searches for the reason and circumstances, changing their perception about some people.
IMDb   7.5 /10
TheMovieDb    8.2 /10
Director Madhupal
Writer Jayamohan
Release Date2012-09-07
Runtime2h 7mins
GenreDrama, Family
Content Rating
Awards1 nomination.
CompanyPNV Associates
Ayyappa Baiju
Ayyappa Baiju
M.R. Gopakumar
M.R. Gopakumar
Thanu Pillai / Sivan Pillai
Kalipilla Ammachi


Ozhimuri (transl. Divorce Record) is a 2012 Indian Malayalam-language period drama film, directed by Madhupal and written by Jeyamohan and starring Lal, Mallika, Asif Ali, Bhavana and Shweta Menon in lead roles. The original songs and background score were composed by Bijibal. The film opened to critical acclaim but did not fare well at the box office. It was an official selection in the Indian Panorama section of the 43rd International Film Festival of India.

Ozhimuri is based on the story of the book 'Uravidangal' by veteran bilingual writer Jeyamohan. The title of the work refers to the matrilineal system that prevailed in the Nair community in the erstwhile southern Travancore. A prominent feature of the matrilineal system was that properties were enjoyed by successors of the women in the family. The women were educated and bold, with mothers often being stronger than fathers. They enjoyed freedom in all respects. However, when the system was marginalized in the 1940s, women lost all their powers and soon became 'slaves' in the hands of a feudal male-dominated society. The movie exposes the complexities of a period of transition from a matrilineal to patrilineal society."Ozhimuri" means 'divorce record' in both Tamil and Malayalam. In the matrilineal system, women were free to divorce their husbands if they were not having a sound relationship. The 'ozhimuris' or small palm-leaf pieces recording divorces of couples still stand testimony to the freedom, which women enjoyed those days.


The story lays open the ego clashes and complexities of a period through the eyes of its lead character Thanupillai (Lal), who witnesses the tale of three women, his mother, wife and son's wife.

Meenakshi Pillai who is married to Thanu Pillai files a for divorce against her husband and ask for her dowry back. Advocate Balamany who is the defense lawyer tries to convince Meenakshi and her son Sharath Chandran to withdraw the case on various occasions. Sharath tells her that his father was very abusive and harsh towards him and his mother. And also tells her about Kali Pillai, Thanu pillai's mother who was lord of a feudal family which followed matrilineal succession and had considerable power in the local politics and among people. Thanupillai was also very harsh towards his mother and even hated the matrilineal system that's why he married Meenaskhi who was from a family with patrilineal system. Eventhough Meenakshi was from a poorer family Kali Pillai loved her even advised her many times to take a stronger stand against her husband instead of submitting to patriarchy. Sharath and Balamany slowly develops a relationship.

As the case progresses more and more things from the past are revealed from the perspectives of various people in Thanupillai's life. Meenakshi lived through these cycle of abuse because she knew that her husband deeply loved his son. it's also revealed that the only reason Sharath is alive and intact is because of his father. This reveal make Sharath change his view towards Thanupillai. It's also revealed that Sivan Pillai, Thanu Pillai's father was a wrestler who died penniless because Kali Pillai divorced him to live with a younger, educated man. This scarred a young Thanu Pillai deeply and causing him to be harsher towards his mother and become abusive towards his wife even-though he loved both of them. Kali pillai before her death ask Meenakshi to call Thanu Pillai but he refuses to see her, which causes Kali to storm out of the house and die in the streets. Her death causes Thanu Pillai to suffer a heart attack later. After recovering he asks his wife what has caused his mother to leave the home and accuses his wife for hurting his mother and even calls her a slave. This deeply affects Meenakshi and that's what drove her to file for divorce. Who tells Balamany that she wants to live and die independent like her mother in law. Thanu pillai suffers another heart attack but he is cared by Meenakshi and recovers. Thanu Pillai agrees to all demands of Meenakshi in court. On his way back to home he reveals to his son he was abusive towards Meenakshi and Kali Pillai because he was afraid of them due to his father's fate. He tells his son that Balamany is a strong woman and approves of their relationship, but he also advises his son never submit to her. Meenakshi who is now free woman now, spends rest of her life like Kali Pillai did.


  • Lal as Thanupillai & Sivanpillai (Double role)
  • Asif Ali as Sharath Chandran
  • Mallika as Meenakshi Pillai
  • Bhavana as Adv Balamani
  • Shweta Menon as Thengumpura Veetil Kali Pillai Kochamma
  • Jagadish as Adv Nanu Nair
  • Ilavarasu as vaidyan
  • M. R. Gopakumar
  • Kochu Preman
  • Nandhu
  • Sudheer Karamana


Earlier it was reported that Padmapriya was selected to play one of the three female lead. But later Mallika replaced her. Actor-turned-director Madhupal invited 65 fresh faces in the age group of 10–70 years for this film.


Critical response

'Ozhimuri' released with positive response.Metromatinee.com gave positive review with a verdict : "Impressive".Nowrunning.com gave 3/5 stars and concluded saying that "Ozhimuri burns slowly, spurting off those sparks every now and then, and even when the smoke and fire appears to have died out, you sense that crimson embers lie glowing and buried deep inside."IBN Live gave a mixed review by saying that the movie is "Satisfying".


  • Best Second film of the year 2012 Kerala State Government Film Award
  • Best Film 2012 Pearl Award Qatar Kerala Film Producers Film
  • Best Director award Jaihind Television 2012 film
  • Best Director award Doordharsan Nirav award film
  • Best Second Film Kerala Film Critics award 2012 of the movie
  • Best Actor Special Jury National award Government of India to Lal film
  • Director of Excellence award from Indonesia Film Festival 2013 film Ozhimuri
  • Best Actor Lal Kerala Film Critics award 2012
  • Best Actress Swetha menon Kerala film critics award 2012
  • Best Director of Photography Azhagappan Kerala Film Critics Award 2012
  • Best Music Director Kerala state Government film award Bijibal 2012
  • Best Costumer SB Satheeshan Kerala State Government Film awards 2012
  • Best Scriptwriter B Jeyamohan Kerala Film Critics Award 2012
2nd South Indian International Movie AwardsBest FilmP. N. VenugopalNominated
SIIMA Award for Best DirectorMadhupalNominated
SIIMA Award for Best CinematographerAzhagappanNominated
Best ActorLalNominated
SIIMA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting RoleShweta MenonWon
60th Filmfare Awards SouthBest FilmP. N. VenugopalNominated
Best DirectorMadhupalNominated
Best ActorLalNominated
Best ActressShweta MenonNominated