Up 8,958 this week

Kala Pani (1996)

Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.2/10 from 1,318 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 2 critic

Govardhan, a doctor by profession, is wrongly accused of bombing a train and is jailed by the British in Cellular Jail, also known as Kala Pani in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. He witnesses sufferings of hundreds of Indian prisoners there.



(screenplay), (story)
0Check in

Celebrate IMDb's 25th Anniversary with Photos We Love

IMDb turns a classy 25 on October 17! To celebrate, we put together a gallery of some of our favorite movie, TV, and event photos from the last 25 years.

See the Photos We Love

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

list image
a list of 42 titles
created 24 Apr 2011
list image
a list of 37 titles
created 26 Sep 2011
a list of 30 titles
created 19 Nov 2013
a list of 47 titles
created 30 Dec 2013
list image
a list of 34 titles
created 13 Feb 2014

Related Items

Search for "Kala Pani" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Kala Pani (1996)

Kala Pani (1996) on IMDb 8.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Kala Pani.
5 wins. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Kireedam (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

The life of a young man turns upside down when he intervenes in a dispute in order to rescue his father (a cop) from a ruthless local outlaw.

Director: Sibi Malayil
Stars: Mohanlal, Thilakan, Kaviyoor Ponnamma
Sphadikam (1995)
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Chacko Master(Thilakan)is a school headmaster in Mathematics. He is a very strict teacher and does not go easy with his own son Thomas(Mohanlal).When Thomas realizes that the school ... See full summary »

Director: Bhadran
Stars: Mohanlal, Thilakan, Sphadikam George
Chithram (1988)
Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Kalyani (Played by Renjini) decides to marry her boyfriend against her father's (Poornam Vishwanathan) wishes. But her boyfriend ditches her when she comes to know that she would be ... See full summary »

Director: Priyadarshan
Stars: Mohanlal, Nedumudi Venu, Renjini
Devasuram (1993)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

The heir to a village elder's family squanders his inheritance and bullies all and sundry.

Director: I.V. Sasi
Stars: Mohanlal, Revathy, Nedumudi Venu
Thanmathra (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

He was the best father any son would dream of. His dream was to see his son as an IAS Officer. And he almost saw it.....almost

Director: Blessy
Stars: Mohanlal, Meera Vasudevan, Arjun Lal
Yodha (1992)
Action | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A young Tibetan lama, Rinpoche is pursued into hiding in Nepal by an evil cult leader (Puneet Issar). Meanwhile, Ashokan (Mohanlal) and Appukuttan (Jagathi) are cousins in a constant game ... See full summary »

Director: Sangeeth Sivan
Stars: Mohanlal, Master Siddharth, Gopal Raj Bhutani
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A stranger comes to live in a small town and rapidly changes the local balance of power.

Director: Shaji Kailas
Stars: Mohanlal, Kollam Ajith, Alleppey Ashraf
Spirit I (2012)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Raghunandan is an ex-Bank of England employee who resigned his lucrative job because he was bored with the rather sedentary and mundane nature of his work. he chose journalism as his next ... See full summary »

Director: Renjith
Stars: Mohanlal, Kanika, Shankar Ramakrishnan
Drama | Fantasy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

Jayakrishnan falls in love with two girls, Radha and Clara, and fights his confusion about whom he should marry and spend his life with.

Director: P. Padmarajan
Stars: Mohanlal, Sumalatha, Parvathi
Nadodikkattu (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

After loosing their jobs, Dasen and Vijayan don't see any chances to get work in Kerala. So both escape to Tamil Nadu, but can they find luck there?

Director: Sathyan Anthikad
Stars: Mohanlal, Sreenivasan, Thilakan
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Dennis (Suresh Gopi) and Ravishankar (Jayaram) tries to find Ravishankar's secret admirer when Ravi's relatives joins them to spend their vacation.

Director: Sibi Malayil
Stars: Suresh Gopi, Jayaram, Mohanlal
Action | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Two men tries to persuade a bunch of colony residents to relocate to another location for the sake of a corporate project, while the residents including a number of goons, comes in their way.

Directors: Lal, Siddique
Stars: Mohanlal, Innocent Vareed Thekkethala, Kanaka


Cast overview, first billed only:
Mohanlal ...
Mirza Khan
Prabhu ...
Mukund Iyengar
Sreenivasan ...
Moosa (as Sreenivasen)
Vineeth ...
G.S. Sethu
Tinnu Anand ...
Ram Lakhan
Cochin Hanifa ...
Ahmed Kutty
Veera Savarkar
Alex Draper ...
David Berry
Nedumudi Venu ...
Sreekandan Nair
Maniyanpilla Raju ...
Tom Alter


Govardhan, a doctor by profession, is wrongly accused of bombing a train and thus jailed by the British in Cellular Jail, also known as Kala Pani in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. He witnesses sufferings of hundreds of Indian prisoners there. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Action | Drama

Parents Guide:





| | |

Also Known As:

Kalaa Paani  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


See  »

Did You Know?


British Prison Official: How do you pronounce this name?
Parmanand: Paramanand
British Prison Official: What does that mean?
Parmanand: Height of happiness
British Prison Official: [laughing] Are you happy?
Parmanand: I will be, when the Britishers are out of my country
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The best film I've seen from India.
11 October 2001 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

"Kalaa Paani" is one of those films that the Indian film industry churns out from time to time to convince the rest of the world that Indian film-makers are perfectly capable of making great films, films that will have a powerful impact on the viewer, films that you cannot easily forget (if at all you can). It rises above established conventions and is of the same class as films such as "Gandhi" and others.

Be warned that, below, although I have tried not to give too much away, I am including a summary of the plot.

The film features a good cast, although not a perfect one: Mohanlal and Prabhu play the leading roles, those of Govardhan Nair and Mukund Iyengar respectively, Tabu is Paarvathi, Govardhan's wife, Alex Draper is David Barry, the tyrannical jailor, Amrish Puri is Mirza Khan, his sub-ordinate officer, and other actors such as "Delhi" Ganesh, Sreeni, "Cochin" Hanifa, and several others. We are basically told a story about the lives of prisoners in a prison in British India and their relationships. This is where the film shows originality. We are not being told about the Indian Freedom Struggle itself, we are told about what it was like to be in prison in British India, that is all. A point to be noted here is that the lives of prisoners in FREE India, and indeed, perhaps almost everywhere else in the world, is just as horrifically sad as we see in this movie.

Govardhan Nair (as already mentioned, played by Mohanlal), a doctor, intending to help some friends of an old aquaintance of his, unwittingly helps a group of terrorists plant an explosive on the path of a train carrying a few British officials. Despite his desperate efforts to avert the tragedy when he realises what he has done, misfortune strikes him, the bomb explodes, killing fifty-five people and he is sent to prison on charges of murder. Here, he meets other people who have actually committed crimes involving participation in terrorist activity and "revenge" attacks (and he also meets other people, who are actually innocent of committing any crime, just as he is). He forms relationships with these people, partly in the hope that he will have a positive influence on their lives, i.e., intending to turn them away from violence. We also see that sometimes, beneath their hardened, disturbing exteriors, criminals can have human sides, too. After all, as they say, sometimes criminals are made, not born. The rest of the film tells the heart-rending story that can sometimes be nastily play out in innocent people's lives. I think I have to mention that there is one scene in this film that is really saddening. It's probably the saddest scene in any film ever made. But strangely enough, while I could feel a lump in my throat, I wasn't really moved to tears.

The cinematography is excellent. The sound was stunning when I watched the movie in the theatre, the film being one of the earliest films made in India to utilise the "dts" sound system. The makers of the film did not make a gimmick of this fact, but it got noticed anyway - the way a film should gain praise. The art directors and the set decorators are the people who, in my opinion, have let the rest of the crew down slightly. There are several occasions when you can clearly see that you're actually being shown a set, but there certainly are several other occasions when this is in a way, made up for. And of course, you can sometimes see that you are being shown showers from hose pipes in place of rain. The music by Ilayaraja, one of India's finest musicians, is excellent, except for one song, which isn't too bad, but still not as good as the rest of his work in this film. The make-up crew have worked really hard and have done a good job, at least by Indian standards. It is unfortunate that these few flaws are present in an otherwise great film.

To sum up, if you've never watched Indian films and you want to watch one, this is the one.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Kala Pani (1996) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: