No.20 Madras Mail

No.20 Madras Mail

Poster designed by Gayathri Ashokan
Directed by Joshiy
Produced by Tharangini Films
Written by Dennis Joseph
Story by Hari Kumar
Starring Mohanlal
M. G. Soman
Manianpilla Raju
Suchitra Murali
Music by Background Score:
S. P. Venkatesh
Song: Ouseppachan
Cinematography Jayanan Vincent
Santosh Sivan(second unit)
Edited by K. Sankunny
Distributed by Tharangini Films
Release dates
16 February 1990
Running time
177 minutes
Country India
Language Malayalam

No.20 Madras Mail is a 1990 Malayalam action-comedy film directed by Joshiy, starring Mohanlal in lead role along with Jagadish, Manianpilla Raju, M. G. Soman, and Ashokan in supporting roles, Mammootty also appears in an extended cameo role.[1] The film follows the mystery behind the murder of a young woman in a train journey between Thiruvananthapuram to Madras. Almost half of the film was shot inside the train. This film was remade in Hindi as Teesra Kaun by Partho Ghosh with Mithun Chakraborty.[2]


The train No.20 Madras Mail to Madras starts from Trivandrum Central. R.K. Nair (M.G. Soman), a Kollam-based businessman takes the first class coupe of the train to Madras with his wife Geetha (Jayabharathi) and daughter Devi (Suchitra) from Kollam Junction. Tony Kurushingal (Mohanlal), along with his friends Hitchcock Kanjikuzhi (Manianpilla Raju) and Kumbalam Hari (Jagadish) boards the same coach from Kottayam. Tony is the son of a wealthy businessman, Kurishinkal Kariyachan (Jagannatha Varma), Kanjikuzhi is a detective novelist and Hari is a young politician. The three of them are going to Madras for seeing a cricket test match and to make attempts to make Kanjikuzhi's novel Vaazhikuzhiyile Kolapathakam a movie. All the three are heavily drunken while boarding the train. After entering the train and seeing Devi, Tony and friends make several attempts in getting a seat for Tony in the same coupe of Devi, with the help of TTE officer Nadar (Innocent) but with little success. While doing so Tony gets into heated arguments with RK Nair and Sunil (Ashokan), who has a reserved seat in the same coupe (from Ernakulam) as that of R.K. Nair. Actor Mammootty boards the train from Thrissur and gets into the same coach. Nadar leaves the train at Palakkad after giving company with Tony and gang and the new TTE Chokalingam a.k.a. Choki (Jagathy Sreekumar) enters the train. Tony and his friends visit Mammootty in his coupe and soon become friends with him. Meanwhile, Tony tries to flirt with Devi while she returns from the toilet, which causes Tony to land in trouble with R.K Nair but on Mammootty's intervention the matter is settled.

In the morning, as the train reaches Madras, Devi is found murdered in the toilet. Suspicion lands on Tony and friends and they run away from the spot in fear. The investigation is carried out by the Police led by DySP Murthy (V.K.Sriraman) who comes to know via TTE Chokalingam that Mammootty had taken photos of the suspects while in the train. He visits Mammootty and gets the photos. The suspects photos are publicly displayed.Tony and friends seek Mammootty's help and he helps them to return to Kerala secretly. Back in Kerala, they are confronted by Sunil, who was actually the lover of Devi. Both had actually planned to escape from the train at Erode, but was failed as Sunil could not get out off the train in time during the halt . Devi, with the help of station master had then taken a taxi to the next station (Salem) in order to get back in the train. Also, from Sunil, they learn about Sr. Gloria (Sumalatha), who tells that Devi gave her diary before leaving for Madras. After acquiring the diary from the convent, they come to know that R.K Nair is not Devi's father and that he is the one who killed her father in her childhood. On learning that RK Nair might be the possible murderer, Tony calls RK Nair by phone impersonating Mammootty's voice and says that he has got the diary with him and blackmails him to give Rs 20 Lakhs in return for the diary. Tony informs Mammootty and convinces him to proceed with the play. Mammootty and RK Nair meet and agree to fix the deal on the same No 20. Madras Mail on 21 December (Wednesday). Mammootty boards the train at Palakkad on which RK Nair has already booked an entire bogie. Mammootty says that the diary is not present with him and he would hand it over at Salem when Tony joins the train. Nair leaves the train at Erode Junction railway station and goes to Salem station via taxi to find Tony but Tony enters the train in between and with Mammootty's help they power down RK Nair's henchmen. Meanwhile, Nair renters the train at Salem Jn and finds that Tony has already entered. Mammootty and Tony attacks Nair and make him confess the truth. R K Nair revealed that he killed Devi after she caught up the train at Salem, fearing that Devi would inform the police about her father's murder. The next morning, when the train arrives Madras, DySP Murthy, who had already been informed of everything by Hari and Kanjikuzhi, arrests RK Nair. On 1 January while boarding the No 19 Trivandrum Mail to return home, they find Mammootty again in the same train. Mammootty tries to leave the train only to be stopped by Tony and friends who promises a happy and safe journey back home.


Main cast
Cameo roles

Box office

The film ran over 125 days.[3][4]


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