Unda (transl.?Bullet) is a 2019 Indian Malayalam-language black comedy film, directed by Khalid Rahman and scripted by Harshad from Rahman’s story. Krishnan Sethukumar produced the film under the banners of Moviee Mill and Gemini Studios. The film stars Mammootty, Shine Tom Chacko, Jacob Gregory and Arjun Ashokan. The story is based on a real incident that occurred at the time of the 2014 Lok Sabha election, when a police unit from Kerala was sent to a Maoist affected area of Chhattisgarh as part of election duty. Sajith Purushan was the film’s cinematographer, and its soundtrack and score were composed by Prashant Pillai.
The film tells the story of a nine-man police unit from Kerala led by Sub-inspector Manikandan C. P. (Mammootty), who travel for another state election duty in a Maoist prone area in Chhattisgarh. Deceived by the calm and quiet on their first day, they were just starting to let their hair down when the shoot out the next day made them aware of the dangers they were about to face. In their initial rush of excitement, they fired all of the very limited number of bullets they had brought with them. To conduct the elections peacefully with only eight bullets left becomes a humongous task ahead of them.
Unda’s development began in 2014, when Rahman spotted an article featured in the Malayala Manorama daily. The article was about a police unit from Kerala posted as part of election duty in a Maoist affected area in Chhattisgarh without sufficient ammunition. After a brief research, Harshad along with Rahman wrote the screenplay in 2016. Eventually, Sethukumar replacing Anwar Rasheed, who was its initial financier, became the producer of the film. The title was announced on 21 September 2018 and production commenced from October. Principal photography began by the second week of October in Kasaragod and shooting was completed on 23 March 2019 in Chhattisgarh.
The film released in Kerala and rest of India on 14 June 2019 and globally on 19 June. Upon release, the film met with widespread critical acclaim. The performances of its cast, direction and screenplay were praised by critics. It grossed over ?20 crore worldwide in 10 days at the box office and became a commercial success. The film was screened at the 24th International Film Festival of Kerala 2019 under the section ‘Malayalam Cinema Today’.