1983 is a crucial year for actors Mohanlal and Shankar.The movie Engine nee Marakkum which released that year ended the reign of the then superstar Shankar and started the ascent of Mohanlal to superstardom. The movie which was directed by M.Mani was produced under the banner of Sunitha Productions. Mohanlal enacted a powerful character called Shambu in this movie scripted by Priyadarshan. Shankar appeared as Sambu’s close friend Premkumar. The romantic musical thriller had melodious songs by Chunakkara-Shyam team. The movie was the tale of Shambu who was an illegally born whose greatest foe was the head of a royal family in his village.
He and his mother suffered a lot at his hands and the relentless ire of his enemy eventually results in Shambu losing his mother. In his bid to save his life Shambu runs away and ends up in the home of Premkumar.There starts a camaraderie between them. Later when Shambu returns to his village to take revenge on his foe, he finds him a thoroughly ruined pauper. Shambu loses his anger and urges for revenge and returns to Premkumar. Shambu becomes a millionaire and he has all the vices associated with a spoiled brat. Meanwhile, Premkumar becomes a celebrity singer. An admirer named Sobha falls in love with Premkumar. Without knowing the bond between Premkumar and Sobha, Shambu too falls for Sobha. It becomes really interesting as Shambu ends up as a buffoon trying to win over Sobha. Shambu plays devious games to drive a wedge between Premkumar and Sobha.
The climax of the movie written by Priyadarshan was changed by Chunakkara. The death of Mohanlal’s character in the climax created a huge impact. Shankar became crestfallen and a week after the release he called Chunakkara and expressed his sadness. Shankar himself predicted his downfall and the rise of Mohanlal, which ultimately proved prophetic. Adoor Bhasi, Menaka, Shankaradi etc. were the other prominent actors in the movie.