Yodha (theatrical release name: Yoddha; Malayalam: യോദ്ധ; pronounced yōddha) is a 1992 Malayalam action comedy film scripted by Sasidharan Arattuvazhi and directed by Sangeeth Sivan. The film stars Mohanlal who plays the protagonist, who is told he is the saviour destined to rescue the Rimpoche of a Nepalese Buddhist monastery from practitioners of black magic.
The score and soundtrack were composed by A. R. Rahman. The story is loosely based on The Golden Child. It was mostly shot at Palakkad in Kerala and Nepal. A sequel titled Yodha 2 has been planned, which hypes A.R. Rahman’s second venture in the Malayalam film industry.
In an unknown location in the Nepalese Himalayas, a young monk (played by Siddhartha) is about to be crowned the Rimpoche of the monastery, when a gang of black magicians led by an unnamed character (played by Puneet Issar) kidnap him. It is revealed that the leader of the black magicians wishes to make a human sacrifice of the Rimpoche to attain invincibility. The other monks in the monastery understand that the Rimpoche’s saviour will arrive from across the Himalayas to rescue him from the clutches of the black magicians. In the meantime, the young Rimpoche manages to escape from the clutches of the magicians and runs away to Kathmandu.
At the other end of the subcontinent, in a small village in Kerala, Ashokan (Mohanlal) is an unemployed youth who, with the other members of his club, whiles his time away competing with his cousin Appukuttan (Jagathi Sreekumar) and his club in a series of trivial competitions. Appukuttan finds himself on the losing side every time, adding to his insecurity complex, which leads him to suspect Ashokan of having an affair with his (Appukuttan’s) fiancée Damayanti (played by Urvashi).
When an astrologer predicts to his mother, Sumathi (played by Sukumari), that Ashokan is likely to commit a murder if he remains in Kerala, Ashokan is bundled away to Nepal to stay with his uncle Captain (retired) Krishnankutty Menon (M. S. Thripunithura), whom he hasn’t met since childhood. Unbeknownst to Ashokan, Appukuttan flies to Nepal beforehand and establishes himself in Krishanankutty Menon’s (Kutty Mama) house, masquerading as Ashokan. Ashokan is cast out onto the streets of Kathmandu, where he meets the Rimpoche and forms a friendship with the young lad.
Appukuttan attempts to connive his way into marrying Kutty Mama’s daughter, Ashwati (Madhoo) — a researcher into Nepalese traditions and black magic at a university in Kathmandu. But Ashokan, with the Rimpoche’s assistance, manages to cast doubt into the mind of Kutty Mama and win over Ashwati.
Ashokan and Ashwati then witness one of the black magician’s minions kidnapping the Rimpoche. Upon following the kidnapper, they end up confronting the black magician himself. In the ensuing melee, the magician grievously wounds Ashwati and blinds Ashokan, and leaves the two of them to their deaths in the forest. Both of them are rescued by the adivasi tribe tasked with protecting the Rimpoche’s monastery. Ashokan is then told of how he is the Chosen One and is trained by an adivasi teacher to overcome his blindness and become a warrior tasked with rescuing the Rimpoche.
In the meantime, the jealous and suspicious Appukuttan follows Ashwati and Ashokan into the forest and is captured by a tribe of adivasis who torture him.
Ashokan then ventures into the magician’s hideout, rescues the Rimpoche, and brings him back to the monastery. The Rimpoche then, aided by an ailing old monk, restores Ashokan’s eyesight. As the solar eclipse nears, the monks begin the coronation of the Rimpoche. The black magician rushes to the monastery to kill the Rimpoche before he is crowned. But Ashokan stands in the black magician’s way and, in the climactic fight, kills the latter.
Ashokan then discovers that Ashwati is not dead as he had previously feared. Appukuttan makes a final appearance, trained as a warrior by the adivasis who captured and tortured him. In the comical fight that ensues, Appukuttan is beaten up by Ashokan.