Director: G. Aravindan; Writer: G. Aravindan, C.N. Sreekantan Nair; Producer: K. Ravindranathan Nair; Cinematographer: Shaji N. Karun; Cast: Ramadas, Venkateshwaralu, Chinna Pullaiah, Keshav Panicker, Krishnan, Pottiah, Rangiah, Shobha Kiran, Annapurna
Duration: 01:16:32; Aspect Ratio: 1.335:1; Hue: 54.095; Saturation: 0.039; Lightness: 0.226; Volume: 0.137; Cuts per Minute: 9.929
Aravindan’s most enigmatic film to date is his version of the Ramayana episode about Rama (Ramdas) and his bride Seeta, represented here only as aspects of nature such as the rustling of the wind in the trees or as rain bringing harmony where discord threatens. Derived from Sreekantan Nair’s play and Valmiki’s epic, the film alludes to the golden image of Seeta which Rama sets by his side for the Ashwamedha Yagya, the ritual sacrifice of a horse to Agni, the god of fire. The poet Valmiki (Panicker) is cast as a witness to the mythical events which move him to compose the story of Rama as an epic. The film’s epilogue shows Rama’s last journey as he walks into the River Saraya and becomes one with Seeta, i.e. nature. Aravindan’s nature mysticism finds expression in Shaji’s pellucid images prefiguring some of the associations of nature in his later Estheppan (1979)
and Chidambaram (1985)
). The director’s most daring gesture is his attempt to renovate the mythological as a genre, partly by his interpretation of Seeta’s presence but also by casting Rama Chenchus, tribals from AP where the film was shot, as the mythological figures.