|Summer in Bethlehem|
|Directed by||Sibi Malayil|
|Produced by||Siyad Koker|
|Story by||Venu Nagavally|
|Editing by||L. Bhoominathan|
|Running time||143 minutes|
Summer in Bethlehem (Malayalam: സമ്മര് ഇന് ബെത്ലെഹേം) is a 1998 Malayalam film written by Ranjith and directed by Sibi Malayil. It stars Suresh Gopi, Jayaram, and Manju Warrier in the lead roles with a cameo appearance by Mohanlal. The music was composed by Vidyasagar.
The film was shot among the forest hills and farms of Ooty (Ootacamund). It tells the story of Ravishankar (Jayaram), the bumbling friend of a successful landowner Dennis (Suresh Gopi), and the vacation visit by Ravishankar's relatives in Dennis's estate known as Bethlehem Estates in Chandragiri.
Ravishankar (Jayaram), an unsuccessful investor, stays with Dennis (Suresh Gopi), his friend who is a big success in farming business. Dennis owns a vast farmland named Bethlehem, and hundreds of cows, in a valley. Ravi is a fun-loving, jovial chap, who has fabricated stories of his success to his parents and relatives.
On a vacation, Colonel C.R. Menon (Janardhanan), his grandfather arrives with his grandchildren to spend a couple of days at the farmhouse of Ravishankar. He successfully makes them believe that he is the real owner of Bethlehem, and Dennis is his partner. Dennis, who is an orphan, was happy to meet a huge family and welcomes them with full heart. Colonel Menon has a plan to get Ravishankar married to any one of his granddaughters. Ravishankar is a bit confused about whom he should choose. For past few months, he had been receiving a mail from one among these girls expressing her love for him. Ravi and Dennis decides to find out the one behind this game. Meanwhile, a few days after their arrival at Bethlehem, Abhirami (Manju Warrier), another granddaughter of Menon, who is studying at Bangalore arrives alone. She seems to be too upset and worried. But within short time, she returns to normalcy and enjoys the colors of vacation. They play pranks on Ravi and Dennis and both enjoys them well.
Once, Dennis and Ravi asked everyone to assemble in the yard to play something for entertaiment. When everybody came there, Ravi told he will sing a few lines of a song and anyone has to complete it. When he finish singing nobody completed it reasoning that how can they sing a song they haven't ever heard and Abhirami say that she have heard this song from their cottage.
One day Dennis told Abhirami that, Ravi has been receiving those mails from one of the girls. Abhirami questions all the girls and finds that it is from one of the two of the whole girl gang.
As time passes, Dennis feels a special attraction for Abhirami.
Colonel Menon and his wife decide to get Ravi married to Abhirami. She snubs them by declaring that she is in love with Dennis. Her decision creates a panic among all, who believes that Dennis is a failed businessman who is living at the expense of Ravishankar. Ravi shocks everyone by revealing that he is nothing and is the original owner of Bethlehem is none other than Dennis. Abhirami meets Dennis who is completely broken down after the chaos at the house. Dennis, at the same time, is happy at heart knowing about Abhirami's love for him. But she shocks him by saying that she was just using his name to escape the marriage. She tells Dennis that she is in love with Niranjan Mohanlal, a Naxal revolutionary in southern Karnataka. Niranjan, whom she met at Bangalore, is now in jail, convicted of killing Brijesh Mallaya, a landlord and his family. He has got capital punishment and is waiting for the gallows. He is to be executed in a couple of days; Abhirami has taken a vow not to marry anyone other than Niranjan.
But at home, upon the compulsion from Ravi, the family decides to get Abhirami married to Dennis. The night before marriage, Abhirami requests Dennis to take her to jail to meet Niranjan as he is getting executed the next day. Dennis takes her to Niranjan (Mohanlal), who is a completely changed man. Remorseful Niranjan regrets the violent ways he adopted in class war and the crimes he did to obtain a classless society. In jail, Niranjan became more spiritual and advises Abhirami to forget him and accept Dennis as her husband. Abhirami refuses to take his words, but Niranjan forces Dennis to tie the mangalsutra to Abhirami, which she has brought with her. Dennis obeys Niranjan, marries Abhirami at the jail, and Niranjan witnesses it with tearful eyes. He goes back to his cell happily by wishing them all success. A few days later, the family returns from Bethlehem, while Ravi jokingly reminds everyone that they should be back here next year to welcome junior Dennis. The train departs slowly and a girl's hand reaches out the rapidly receding coach window, holding the kitten which was sent as a gift. Ravishankar takes off running to find out who it is, but he catches only a cryptic message that teases him to follow and discover her identity.
- Suresh Gopi as Dennis
- Jayaram as Ravishankar
- Mohanlal as Niranjan (Special appearance)
- Manju Warrier as Abhirami
- Janardhanan as Colonel C.R. Menon
- Kalabhavan Mani as Monai
- Sukumari as Ravishankar's grandmother
- Manjula as Aparna
Producer of the film Siyad Kokker had accused Priyadarshan of remaking Summer In Bethlehem in Tamil without taking his permission or paying for the rights.The Kerala film producers association had banned the screening of all the films of director Priyadarsan in the state. Kokker had alleged Priyadarshan's Tamil film Laysa Laysa is an exact copy of Summer In Bethlehem. Priyadarsan refuted by alleging that Summer in Bethlehem is a copy of Hollywood films like Fiddler On The Roof and Come September. The matter was later settled.
- This was the second script written by Renjith for Sibi Malayil after Maya Mayooram. Later they joined again for Ustaad in 1999.
- The movie is also famous for the cameo of actor Mohanlal as a convict, who is in the green mile.
|1||Oru Raathri Koodi||Dr. K. J. Yesudas, K. S. Chithra||Abheri|
|2||Ethrayo Janmamay||Srinivas, Sujatha||Kapi|
|3||Marivillin Gopurangal||Biju Narayanan, Srinivas|
|4||Oru Raathri Koodi||Dr. K. J. Yesudas||Abheri|
|5||Choolamadichu||K. S. Chithra||Vrindavana Saranga|
|6||Confusion Theerkaname||M. G. Sreekumar||Shanmukhapriya|
|7||Poonchillamel||K. S. Chithra|
|8||Kunnimani Koottil||M. G. Sreekumar, K. S. Chithra|
|9||Oru Raathri Koodi||K. S. Chithra||Abheri|
- Summer in Bethlehem (1998) Malayan Film Music Database. Retrieved 15 September 2010.