Director: G. Aravindan; Writer: G. Aravindan; Producer: K. Ravindranathan Nair; Cinematographer: Shaji N. Karun; Editor: Rameshan, Selvanathan; Cast: Gopi, Venu, Sriraman, Jalaja
Duration: 01:54:32; Aspect Ratio: 1.500:1; Hue: 109.014; Saturation: 0.060; Lightness: 0.233; Volume: 0.124; Cuts per Minute: 14.563; Words per Minute: 8.879
Aravindan’s finest b&w film chronicles three days with a circus in a small town in Kerala. A series of high-angle shots, as the circus drives into its new location, introduce us to the village. Several sequences use a remarkable quasi-documentary effect combined with minutely choreographed action e.g. the sunset as the manager (Gopi) directs the raising of the big top. The episodic film tells of a soldier who befriends the circus strong man in a toddy bar and shows how the bizarre characters from the circus including the dwarf merge with the local populace. Much of the imagery is genuinely poetic, accompanied by some remarkable b&w work by Shaji, sustained by a narrative that consistently replaces conventional storytelling with a sense of the cultural geography of the village. The film’s documentary style, including direct address to camera, is in sharp contrast with Aravindan’s previous feature, Kanchana Seeta (1977)
, also shot by Shaji, although the same reverence for nature animates both works.