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Shadow Kill (2002) More at IMDbPro »Nizhalkkuthu (original title)


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Release Date:
5 November 2003 (France) See more »
Plot Keywords:
7 wins & 5 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
executioner's dilemma See more (4 total) »


  (in credits order)
Oduvil Unnikrishnan ... Kaliyappan the executioner
Sukumari ... Marakatam, his wife
Reeja ... Mallika, the younger daughter
Thara Kalyan ... Madhavy, the older daughter
Murali ... Vasu, Madhavy's Husband
Sivakumar ... Mallika's Lover

Narain ... Muthu, Kaliyappan's son (as Sunil)

Nedumudi Venu ... Jailer

Vijayaraghavan ... Jailer

Jagathi Sreekumar ... Maharajah's Officer

Indrans ... Barber
Kukku Parameshwaram ... Woman seeking treatment in Kaliyappan

Directed by
Adoor Gopalakrishnan 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Adoor Gopalakrishnan 

Produced by
Joël Farges .... co-producer
Adoor Gopalakrishnan .... producer
Elise Jalladeau .... producer
Original Music by
Ilaiyaraaja  (as Ilayaraja)
Cinematography by
Sunny Joseph 
S. Ravi Varman  (as Ravi Varma)
Film Editing by
Production Design by
Ratheesh Babu 
Adoor Gopalakrishnan 
Costume Design by
Satheesh S.B. 
Makeup Department
P.N. Mani .... makeup artist
Sound Department
Jonathan Liebling .... foley artist
Fabrice Naud .... sound editor
Dominique Vieillard .... sound editor
Dominique Vieillard .... sound re-recording mixer
Dominique Vieillard .... sound

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Nizhalkkuthu" - India (original title)
See more »
90 min
Singapore:PG | Switzerland:12 (canton of Geneva) | Switzerland:12 (canton of Vaud)


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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful.
executioner's dilemma, 13 June 2014
Author: Lee Eisenberg ( from Portland, Oregon, USA

The first Malayalam-language movie that I've ever seen focuses on a hangman's questioning the moral implications of his job after learning that he executed an innocent man. Adoor Gopalakrishnan's "Nizhalkkuthu" ("Shadow Kill" in English) is set during the final days of the British occupation, although there is no mention of the British presence. There is a mention of the caste system, and the arrival of the Maharajah's officer towards the end of the movie affirms the disconnect between the lives of most Indians and those of the subcontinent's elite.

I like seeing movies that show us cultures that we don't often see, in this case people's lives in Kerala. To be certain, India leads the world in movie production, but the west tends to see very few of them. We hear a lot about Bollywood, but South Asian cinema is much more diverse than that. I would like to be able to see more Indian movies, and in particular movies like this one.

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