Anjaam Pathiraa (transl. The fifth midnight) is a 2020 Indian Malayalam-language crime thriller film written and directed by Midhun Manuel Thomas. The film stars Kunchacko Boban, Sharaf U Dheen, Sreenath Bhasi, Jinu Joseph and Unnimaya Prasad. Sushin Shyam composed the music, while Shyju Khalid was the cinematographer.
The plot follows a squad of police sleuths assisted by a consultant criminologist, Anwar Hussain, as they attempt to unveil the identity of a faceless killer who employs brutal tactics to slay his victims. The film was dubbed in Telugu as Midnight Murders and released on the OTT platform Aha. The film was remade in Bengali in 2021 as Mukhosh. The film went on to emerge as the highest-grossing Malayalam film of the year. Following its success, the director has announced a sequel named Aaram Pathiraa (transl. The sixth midnight).
Anwar Hussain is a psychologist who works as a consulting criminologist in Kochi City Police on the special recommendation of his friend ACP Anil Madhavan. One night, DYSP Abraham Koshi is abducted and his corpse is left in a gypsum field with eyes and heart eviscerated. The investigation is headed by DCP Catherine. The autopsy report shows zolpidem presence in the body, but no signs of coercion.
In a few days, a second police officer goes missing, his body is found in the backyard of the police station, along with a Lady Justice figurine. Anwar finds a similar artefact in the previous crime scene from the forensic photos. Autopsy results are the same as previous. The station’s CCTV footage has tampered, indicating the killer is also a security hacker. Anwar employs hacker Andrew for cyber investigation. Catherine implements a plan to lure the killer in which two officers should pair and patrol the nights in 100-meter distance. During duty, Catherine’s driver Paulson is kidnapped. His scooter’s camera footage shows a wolf-masked man and another man’s voice, indicating they work as a team.
Paulson’s body is delivered to Anwar’s house in a refrigerator box. The fingerprint of a cocaine dealer, Shameer, is found. They track him to a cottage where they find his mummified corpse. It was a decoy. Anwar accidentally discovers a signature imprinted on the figurine, which turns out to be that of its sculptor, Sudhakar Devalokam. On questioning, Sudhakar explains that he made five such figurines for two men, who blinded him after he delivered it. From that, Anwar deduces there will be two more murders.