August 1 is a 1988 Malayalam film directed by Sibi Malayil, written by S. N. Swamy, and starring Mammootty,Sukumaran, Captain Raju and Urvashi. The film was produced and distributed by M. Mani under the banner of Sunitha Productions. The film was a milestone in Malayalam cinema, August 1 is loosely based on the 1971 British novel The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth.
This film was remade into Telugu as Rajakeeya Chadarangam (political chess) in 1990 with Akkineni Nageswara Raoportraying the chief minister role and Krishna portraying the inspector role (played by Mammootty in the original).
A sequel titled August 15, directed by Shaji Kailas, and scripted by S. N. Swamy was released in March 2011.
Just after the election, K.G. Ramachandran (Sukumaran), popularly known as KGR is elected as the new Chief Minister. A young Turk with a clean image, KGR overshadowed Kazhuthumuttam (Prathapachandran), another strong aspirant for CM’s chair. Just after the meeting, Kazhuthumuttam joins with Eranjoly Aboobakkar (Mamukkoya) and Mathai Chacko Pappachan (Kollam Thulasi) at a hotel room, to plan out the next move. Vishwanathan, commonly referred as Vishwam (KPAC Sunny), a high profile business tycoon and political lobbyist joins them at the hotel. Vishwam, the political sponsor of Kazhuthumuttam is now in deep trouble as he has several business ambitions in the state. Vishwam has collected several million rupees from several businessmen, whom he had also given promises. If KGR continues in power, his plans would be tarnished. KGR, on the other hand leads a simple life along with his wife Vatsala, a home maker. He brings out several revolutionary changes in the state, including dismissal of corrupt officers and changes in liquor policy of the state. Even Kaimal (Janardhanan), his party president finds him too arrogant to tame. The popularity of KGR is on sudden rise.
It was then, Vishwan, decides to assassinate KGR. He puts out the plan in front of his friends, who also agrees. Vishwan contacts Muniyandi Thevar, a Malaysian based businessman and smuggler in Madras, who introduces him to a professional hit man (Captain Raju).
But after the payment of the amount is done, Kazhuthumuttam feels cheated as again, he has been denied the CM’s post. Kazhuthumuttam, in a state of intoxication, calls up Gopu (Sreenath), a journalist and spits out the information that ‘the Chief Minister will be assassinated shortly’, but without committing his identity. Even though the caller does not give his name, the journalist identifies him as Kazhuthumuttam. He therefore passes the information to a friend of his, Perumal (Mammootty), a police officer (DySP of Crime Branch).
Perumal doesn’t seem to take this serious at first, and since the identification of the voice of the caller by the journalist is not positive, they conclude it is a prank call. Still they convey the message to the higher officials. Th IG of Police, still not thoroughly convinced, orders a routine investigation into the matter. Perumal is assigned the case and he begins his investigation by arresting Vishwam. But Vishwam couldn’t give them any further details as he was also unaware about the whereabouts or name of the killer, except that the killer has introduced himself as Gomes, a fake name.
Perumal reaches Madras, from where, he arrests Thevar and brings him to Kerala. According to an eyewitness, Perumal issues a sketch of the killer and gets it broadcast on TV, but he skips from police miraculously.
On the day of August 15, when the CM is checking the guard of honor, Perumal waits eagerly with all police facilities to grab the killer. While scanning the CCTV feeds, Perumal observes Gomes among the police in uniform, in the line for the guard of honour. (The assassination setting is very similar to the July 30, 1987, attempted assassination of Rajiv Gandhi). Perumal sprints from the Control room and shoots down Gomes, before he can hit the CM, thereby saving KGR.
The final scene shows the burial of the assassin Gomes, where Gopu questions Perumal how the killer had got into the guard of honour. Perumal replies that he doesn’t know and that had if the killer was alive, then he would have asked him.