‘Manjummel Boys’ Ending Explained & Movie Summary: Did Subhash’s Friends Save Him?

Malayalam movies have delivered several survival thrillers over the years. The earliest of these survival films would be Malooty from the year 1990. In the last few years, there have been films that have taken on survival thrillers as a genre; Nayattu (2018) and Malayinkunju (2018) are some of the successful films that were about saving people from the depths of crisis. Manjummel Boys is a 2024 Malayalam-language film that is based on a true story that took place in 2006 when a bunch of boys went on a trip to Kodaikanal. Directed by Chidambaram, this film explores the friendship between the men, beyond just their desperate attempts to save one of them. 


Spoilers Ahead

Where Did Prasad Meet The Boys?

Prasad was a driver with a local travel company who met all the men at a wedding function in the town of Manjummel. These men have been friends for a long time, as they grew up together, which defines the bond they share. At the wedding, these men get into an altercation over the tug-of-war they lost a while back. Their egos pushed them to play the game again, only for all of them to lose the match in front of their friends and family. Prasad was mesmerized by the friendship he witnessed. He was an old friend of Sudhi, who knew all of them well. 


Why Did The Guys From Manjummel Plan A Trip To Kodaikanal?

These men—Siju David, aka Kuttan, Subhash, Sixon, Sudhi, Kannan, Sibu, Anil, Sujith, Abhilash, and Shebin—were a part of a small club based in their hometown and were quite jealous of the trips taken by their rivals. To trump them, these men conducted rigorous and serious discussions on a potential destination for their vacation. After several discourses, all of them decided to head to Kodaikanal because of the hilly geography and cold weather. Sudhi contacted Prasad, who was ready with his car, which would take only nine people. None of the ten people were willing to give up on the trip to the hill station, so they began their journey. 

Why Didn’t Subhash Want To Go On The Trip?

Subhash was initially not very keen to join the trip because, financially, he was not in a good place. He also had an ailing mother to look after, which made him decide to skip the trip, even though Kuttan, the oldest person in the group, tried to convince him otherwise. On the day of the trip, everyone forced Subhash to join them. The team took a pit stop at Pazhani, a temple town where Subhash declared he did not believe in God. Prasad explains that God to him was a divine light that is bestowed on them from up above the sky.


Who Encouraged Them To Explore Guna Caves’ Restricted Area?

As the eleven men reached Kodaikanal, they had the time of their lives, even though all of them were traveling on a budget. On the day of their return, Sudhi suggests they visit Guna Caves because the Kamal Hasan film from the 1980s was shot in that location. All are excited to visit the spot but make a quick exit, as they have a long drive back to Kerala. Sudhi further encouraged them to explore the restricted areas of the Guna caves, which had been closed for a reason. Since all of them were young and enthusiastic, they took up the challenge to explore another side of the Guna caves. Mesmerized by the views and the cold weather, the men figured this trip down to the restricted area was worth a try. 

What Happened While Exploring The Guna Caves?

As the men reached the restricted area of the Guna caves, Kuttan and Kannan decided to paint their names on one of the large stones for memory’s sake. These men were proud of this trip and wanted to etch a memory of themselves forever at this spot. Subhash was about to suggest making some changes to the graffiti when he fell into an opening that was covered by dried leaves. Initially, the friends hoped he might not have gone down that far. Since the friends did not hear any noise from his end, they were worried and had begun to call him in the hope that he was conscious and would respond. The rest of the gang was horrified and close to breaking down upon learning of the events that had just transpired. Sudhi and Abhilash froze at the sight. Abhilash believed Subhash may have died. 


What Was The Police’s Reaction?

None of them believed Subhash was dead, and began to look for help. Local guides and photographers could offer some words of solace, as they were aware no one in the past had survived the fall. Prasad, Kannan, and Shebin headed to the police station in the hope they would be able to help them with the rescue. The weather had changed, and the heavy downpour added to the scare and the dilemma. The police initially reprimanded the men and assumed they killed Subhash. The police were livid at the three for entering a restricted section and believed their filing a complaint was just a ruse to cover up the fact that they committed a murder. They were forced to stay at the station, and one of the police officers retold the folklore associated with Guna Caves, which was initially called the devil’s kitchen. In the last thirteen years, several people fell into the cave, including the son-in-law of a minister who could not be saved. The police had given up on Subhash and were not willing to entertain any possibility of him surviving the fall. The three of them were back at the spot with the police officer, who was only interested in admonishing the forest guard and the rest of the gang. 

When Did The Boys Realize Subhash Was Alive?

Sixon always spoke in high decibels, which was required during the game of tug of war. He kept screaming down the opening in the hope that Subhash would retaliate. The locals and the police requested them several times to leave the spot and pray for their friend’s soul. The men were diligent and refused to move until a rescue mission was sent to retrieve Subhash from the pit. Even if he was not alive, they wanted to bring his mortal remains back home. It was to Sixon’s high decibel that Subhash responded. This proved everyone’s hunch to be right, and the police had to arrange for a rescue mission.

Who Volunteered To Rescue Subhash?

The rescue team reached the spot only to realize none of them were willing to go down the crater because they were not sure exactly where Subhash landed. The rescue team had heard of the folklore around the Guna caves and was worried about falling down the shaft, and there would be no one to bring up their bodies. This fear was real and palpable, which made all the friends a lot more agitated than before. Since only a few knew the local language, the rest were clueless about the police and the rescue team’s plan of action. Kuttan had saved one of their friends from drowning during their childhood days, and he came forward to volunteer himself to rescue Subhash. Kuttan was warned that the mission was dangerous. As he was untrained, there was a possibility of him making a mistake that might put his life in jeopardy. He had nothing to lose at this point and was confident about his decision, and the gang supported his decision.

How Did The Men Save Subhash From The Depths Of The Cave?

As Kuttan was slowly going down the trench, he understood the magnitude of the depth, and there was nothing he could rely on except the rope and the bulb on his helmet. It took a while for Kuttan to go down, and there were issues regarding loss of oxygen. Sudhi was translating everything from Tamil as he was feeling extremely guilty, since it was his encouragement to visit this area that led to this calamity. The police at many junctures wanted to bring Kuttan up, fearing the worst, but the man could hear Subhash’s delusional rambling. Kuttan, Sudhi, and the rest of the gang were only slightly optimistic about this daring proposition of bringing back Subhash. The police were surprised to see the bond these men shared and took the risk of sending Kuttan down the trench. 


As Kuttan reached him, Subhash could see the light coming down to help him. Sadly, Subhash was half-conscious and delusional with pain, and he tried to attack Kuttan. Subhash was in excruciating pain, and it is assumed he may have had countless broken bones that put him in a horrible state of mind. This is when the friends took over, all of whom were seasoned tug-of-war players. Kuttan was patient yet wanted this ordeal to get over so that Subhash was given medical attention. 

Even though the team lost the game back in their town, during the time of adversity, it was their skill set that came in handy, and they could carry out the rescue missions better than the well-trained men around them. Kuttan and his friends barely managed to bring him up when the rope got stuck in a wedge. The team loosened their grip only for the rope to get out of the wedge. At the end of the day, it was the friends who saved Subhash, not the police. The police only provided basic supplies, but the rest of the mission was carried out based on the strength of the friends. 


Manjummel Boys ended with Subhash being shifted to a local hospital, and the doctors strictly recommended he be moved to Kerala for better healthcare and treatment. The police had no option but to let them go because of the gravity of his injuries. They could not risk asking them to stay back for the police procedures and registering the case. It was good of the Tamil Nadu police to choose humanity. The friends stayed with Subhash till he was discharged from the hospital in Kerala and brought back home for a full recovery. 

Sadly, Kuttan was being admonished by Subhash’s mother for his current condition. Subhash, on the other hand, had nightmares and, as a result, could not sleep. His time in the cave would probably stay with him for the foreseeable future, and this could have caused trauma that would be hard to recover from. No one mentioned the ordeal they went through or Kuttan’s heroic move to save Subhash, because everyone was coming out of the trauma in their way. Subhash approached a doctor for his traumas, while one of the villagers informed the local parish about Kuttan putting his life on the line to save Subhash. 


Manjummel Boys‘ last shot had Subhash’s mother profusely apologizing for loathing Kuttan without realizing he could have died on the way to save her son. The apology was witnessed by everyone in the village, and they were proud to know someone who’d saved one of their own at a time of dire adversity. Kuttan was feeling happy and content to see everyone acknowledging him. His only goal was to save Subhash and not attain glory for himself. The trench in the cave was also sealed by the forest officers. Since this is based on the true story, the end credits had details of the real group who rescued their friend, and Kuttan was offered a bravery award from the state of Kerala.

Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan is a cinema enthusiast, and a part time film blogger. An ex public relations executive, films has been a major part of her life since the day she watched The Godfather – Part 1. If you ask her, cinema is reality. Cinema is an escape route. Cinema is time traveling. Cinema is entertainment. Smriti enjoys reading about cinema, she loves to know about cinema and finding out trivia of films and television shows, and from time to time indulges in fan theories.

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