Director: Shaji N. Karun; Producer: S. Jayachandran Nair; Cinematographer: Hari Nair; Cast: Venmani Vishnu, Haridas, Aswani, Mullenezhi, Sarath, Gopi, Praseetha, Rudraprathapan, Gopalakrishnan
Summary: Stunningly photographed melodrama of a
family in Thenmala on the border of Kerala and
Tamil Nadu. When the Brahmin Ramayyar
(Haridas) dies, his wife (Aswani) has to raise
their two children and look after the coffee
shop that constitutes their only income. The
shop is located near a countryside railway
station whose manager offers them support.
They are evicted by their landlord (Gopi) and
the mother raises money to pay a bribe to get
her son enlisted in the army. The son dies in a
demonstration protesting against state
corruption. A quotation from Kalidasa’s
Shakuntalam announces the film’s intention to
offer a new way of narrating a familiar
Malayalam film plot, which would include all
the detail that is usually discarded from such
stories. The images change from colour to b&w
as the story moves between the past and
present, arriving at a tragic structure that
furthers the director’s favoured idiom (cf.
Piravi, 1988) of characters struggling to come
to terms with the emptiness left by death.