GF reviews “Vidheyan”

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Adoor Gopalakrishnan’s Vidheyan (The Servile) is a masterpiece– an overwhelming vision of human bondage and the meaning of power stripped down to a violent and grim tale about a sadistic landlord and his squeamish indentured servant.

The film is a vision of hell as seen through the eyes of a repentant, weak Christian sinner. Gopakumar plays the titular servile, an impoverished Kerala migrant worker named Thommi whose journey is inextricably linked to his relationship with his master – a demonic force of nature named Bhaskar Pattelar played by Mammootty giving arguably his most commanding screen performance (if not the greatest – another candidate would be Oru Vadakkan Veeragatha). Mammootty gives Indian cinema its most potent villain in Pattelar, who in this imagined hell is certainly a fearsome satanic center. This is antagonist acting on the level of Henry Fonda in Once Upon a Time in the West.

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As in Leone’s film, the setting here is a dusty town. The village, located in rural Southern Karnataka, is presented with a minimalist’s eye for construction. The men laugh and sneer, there are precious few women and ample doses of violence. Tanvi Azmi plays Saroja, Pattelar’s strong-willed, pensive wife and the only remnant of human kindness that orbits his universe. Her husband is a philanderer and a drunkard, hateful of anyone who questions his tyrannical will and in his wife, he sees a weakness that he wishes to extinguish. The narrative concerns the seduction and dominance of Thommi by Pattelar, who uses his abused servant to execute his every dirty deed. The servant becomes an extension of the master’s will and, as the story progresses, he grows increasingly attached to his master to a point where when the latter is injured, the former cries out in pain. The connection is disturbing in every implication – particularly in its allusion to the concept that absolute power penetrates and perverts not only the minds of those who wield it, but of those who suffer it.

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Thommi’s religion is not an arbitrary facet of this story and only underlines Gopalakrishnan’s intent in offering up a universe that is hellish in the biblical sense. Cast out from the garden (presumably their native Kerala) and into the hands of a vicious being with no regard for human life, Thommi and his wife are a kind of Adam and Eve seduced and destroyed by Pattelar’s devil. In the film’s most expressive and memorable frame, Pattelar, lounging on his veranda, leans forward in his chair to speak to an underling. In the process, his head, in the foreground, partially obscures the skull of an ox which is mounted over a door frame behind him. The ox’s horns, however, are still visible in the background, behind Pattelar’s head, and in that one shot we are given an overt glimpse into the character’s soul. Pattelar sits on a lofty seat with a twisted, thick mustache and the surrealist illusion of horns jutting out of his skull – every bit the picture of the devil on his throne.

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This is not a fable or a morality play. Goplakrishnan does not let the symbolism dominate or dilute the force of his vision, but instead, like the best of filmmakers, marries the astonishingly conceived form to a forceful narrative. The final shot of Thommi running towards a distant sunlight (after aiding his bruised tormentor on a last crash through the flames) is, for the battered protagonist and the viewer, a kind of deliverance. But what we grow more curious about are the possibilities that await him and his wife beyond that moment of presumed deliverance. The shot, in one respect, reminds one of the “flight of Apu” at the extraordinary ending of Ray’s Aparajito. The action of Apu’s walking, (like Thommi’s running) is something altogether transcendent. Whether or not it leads to transcendence is another matter. Justice – or symmetry – doesn’t seek out the aggressor alone. It often, perhaps, unjustly, seeks out his unwilling minions. The comparison with Ray’s masterpiece here is not a hyperbolic gesture – Gopalakrishnan earns it in what is some of the best film making this country has produced since the era of that unparalleled master.

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71 Responses to “GF reviews “Vidheyan””

  1. Extraordinary piece! That first shot here is marvelous! Of course I also consider this slow torture on your part. Aravindan one day, Adoor the next. I haven’t seen these films and don’t have any hopes of seeing them anytime soon!

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  2. Read it twice… just a pleasure to read this..

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  3. Incredible piece. I have not seen Vidheyan unfortunately- this makes me want to watch it all the more. Adoor has made excellent use of Mammootty- he was intentionally impenetrable in Mukhamukham and very accessible and empathetic in Mathilukal. He was great in Anantharam as well even though it was more of a supporting role to Ashokan.

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    • Chipguy, the complete Vidheyan is available on youtube..

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    • As is Thaniyavarthanam. I recently revisited this CG, and you’re right – such a moving performance by Mammootty and Thilakan. The latter is probably the single finest character actor in Indian cinema, for my money. If he had more lead roles (along the lines of the magnificent Perunthachan) he would easily exceed Om and Naseer.

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      • Also, one important note to make here is that a good deal of the film is in Kannada. I am lucky enough to have lots of family from Bangalore in town, which made things easier!

        Even with a rudimentary understanding of the language, one can understand what’s going on, though…

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        • Interesting… didn’t know this? What’s the physical setting of the film?

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          • Southern Karnataka.

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          • I think that includes the two or three Malayalam speaking districts of the state?

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          • I suspect so. The Kannada speakers (including Mammootty’s Pattelar) speak in heavily accented Malayalam. There are a few native Malayalis as well, so your assertion is probably right.

            Part of the impressive nature of Mammootty’s astonishing performance is his dialect here. It’s perfectly pitched Malayalam, filtered through a Kannada speakers’ accent.

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          • How would you compare him with Mohanlal in terms of language?

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          • I think both of them are actually on the same level as far as Malayalam diction and accents across different cultural contexts goes. CG may again have a better sense of things; speaking to my own experience, Lal has nailed a lot of nuances in the language across the state.

            But my point is more about the native Kannada speaker’s accent on Malayalam. This is something I’ve had direct experience with and on that count, Mammootty’s done a superb job. Leaving aside the issue of accuracy, Mammootty’s delivery here is sneering and diabolical, and his pronunciation of the word “Edda” (the declarative) when calling out to his servant Thommi, is like some kind of malevolent beat of poetry.

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          • Thanks for that.. I did understand you were referring to the Kannada inflection Mammootty brings up earlier.

            As you can see my little parlor game with you continues where I try hard to make you privilege Mammootty in some context or the other but you’re always too alert to succumb!

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          • Sadist. 🙂

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          • GF, agree here. I think they are both remarkably adept at nailing the language. They have done everything from the Trivandrum dialect (Mammootty more famously here), through the “Achayen” Syrian Christian accent through the Malabar “Mappilai” dialect. Good to hear about Vidheyan- I’ll have to look for this!

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          • It’s interesting to know that there is still a discernible ‘Syrian christian’ accent in kerala.. must have ancient roots..

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          • Coorg is one of those districts I think..

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      • GF, agree completely about Thilakan. Not sure if you’ve seen Padmarajan’s Moonam Pakkam. While Thilakan’s performance here is nowhere in the same league as Perumthachan, it’s still very affecting.

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  4. Thanks for reading guys.

    CG: Watch this movie. That’s all I’ll say. I haven’t revisited Mathilukal in ages and don’t have a cohesive memory of the film – was too young and it sort of bleeds into my memory of other Mammootty films…

    Satyam: I truly wished this existed in a form that was visually clear and had subs….unfortunately not the case yet. But to answer your question, this is the finest work of Gopalakrishnan’s that I’ve come across and that too by some measure. Ellipathayam is an amazing film, but the ambition and emotional resonance of Vidheyan is overwhelming. Next stop is Mathilukal, hopefully some time soon….

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    • Just reading what you’ve written GF this film seems to be right up my alley in terms of its concerns. So yes I am extremely eager to watch this. One of my great sins in life (and there are very many!) is missing out on a LIncoln Ctr Adoor festival around the mid-90s or so. There hasn’t been another one since and I now realize that was perhaps my only chance to see these films. Of course there are now two more Adoor films available on DVD in proper releases than I ever thought would be the case just a few years back. So there is some hope!

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  5. Yep. Kodiyettam is another hint that the Gopalakrishnan movies will soon be available on DVD…

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  6. For those Malayalam speaking film viewers who may be interested: (Or for those adventurous non-Malayali speakers!):

    http://ddjunction.blogspot.com/

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    • Thanks GF… this is a great resource specially for someone like myself who’s still getting educated in the cinema..

      By the way dug up my copy of Chithram.. will get to this soon! I think you also referenced Bharatham with respect to Mohanlal’s singing.. have this too.

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      • Bharatham I don’t believe Mohanlal contributed vocals to. Especially given that the film was about the competition between two classical singers, Lal’s voice, as good as it is, would probably have been disastrous. But Lal’s hand motions, etc, seem almost as if he’s possessed by the music, so good is he here.

        Chithram he has that one song I posted, but again, some great “classical gestures” are present here.

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  7. Hmm…I’ll have a check. I certainly highlighted the Chitram forest song….

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  8. An interesting recent article about Adoor and the sound in Kodiyettam, among other films:

    http://inhome.rediff.com/movies/2009/mar/02adoor-gopalakrishnan-on-resul-pookutty-sound.htm

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    • good piece.. thanks..

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      • I’m not nearly as good a “listener” of films as I should be, I feel. But I do think sound plays a key role in Indian cinema, not least because unlike other film cultures, there’s a lot more canned sound in the smaller, more independent films.

        In any case, Adoor makes a valuable point here about sound getting lost, (quite literally) in the mix.

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        • I think the opening sequence of Ellipathayam is extraordinary on this score (no pun intended). I was in fact going to post it here at one point but the youtube on it is very dark.

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          • Absolutely. As a whole, Adoor is very light with his musical score (as is Karun, incidentally) so you tend to get a more measured and interesting soundscape.

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  9. A superb piece indeed, one of the best by GF that I have read. Hope someone with moolah is reading this and puts out a subtitled version of this film…

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  10. Thanks for reading Q. Couldn’t agree more, one really hopes this film gets its due in the DVD market. This has really climbed the list of personal favorite films in Indian cinema as a whole for me…

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  11. While I definitely put Lal ahead of Mammootty by quite a stretch, I would certainly never deny Mammootty’s immense talent. Before I engaged with this titan called Bachchan, Mammootty was my second fave, right behind Lal.

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  12. Came across this rather interesting piece (even if I don’t consider Azmi incomparable) that refers to Vidheyan in rightfully glowing terms, and discusses its politics briefly.

    http://podium.deonandan.com/indiafilm.html

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    • Thanks for this great piece. I also liked this bit on Rathnam:

      “Rathnam has built upon all that is sacred in “masala” film. Unlike other Indian filmmakers seeking wider respect, Rathnam has not foresaken the commercial conventions of Tamil cinema with its supporting pillars of song, dance and melodrama. He has thus truly transcended the genre. His is an example that many “art house” filmmakers, Indian or other, might take to heart: by seeking to entertain first, he has also managed to educate, stimulate and provoke his audiences.”

      Incidentally I also share the author’s distaste for Roja..

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  13. I watched 3 Adoor Gopalakrishnan movies in the past couple f weeks or so. I’ve been hearin loads abt d director. N i ‘wanted’ t become a fan of his. 1st one i saw was Anantaram. My dad said its borin. but i dint find it so. it was a strange film, nonetheless. then i saw Kodiyettam, which is by far, the most borin film i’ve seen. I was literally talkin t d characters – “do somethin….” I seriously dunno y the film n d actor got state n nat’l awards respectively. 3rd one was Vidheyan. It mayb bcuz i’m a hardcore MAMMOOTTY fan, but i hav t say this… It was vintage MAMMOOTTY. Tat 1st scene is in a way similar t The Godfather(Hollywood). Both scenes set the tone for the film. U jus know tat u’re in for a class movie. Next i wanna c Ellipathayam, Mathilukal n Ponthan Mada.

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    • Yup Ellipathayam is a masterpiece. Nizhalkuthu is excellent too. I didn’t like it as much as the former but I do need to revisit it. It is more complex than the former in terms of its cultural and political tapestry, not to mention the questions it raises.

      I haven’t seen the films you’ve mentioned. I find it hard to believe that anything by Adoor could be boring!

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    • Thanks for directing me here Satyam – I’d been meaning to address this. I actually haven’t sat through Kodiyettam yet but I’ve been meaning to. I saw Anantharam and here we have another Adoor masterpiece. I have to write something on it soon.

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  14. I’ve been a fool. I didn’t watch Kodiyettam and it’s now been removed from youtube.

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  15. why_so_serious Says:

    Vidheyan is definitely the easily immersible piece of his filmography. Especially the dynamics of master-slave dialectics here is so expertly conveyed. It’s not a stretch to say that the introduction is Leoneesque, the amorality and partly also the way it’s choreographed with both characters diametrically opposite, spatially separated, and it finally ends with a gunshot.

    Speaking of opening/introduction/establishing shots, Thommi’s pose and face tells its own narrative, its own ‘history’ of oppression. Superb bit of casting. As Adoor has often said, it’s the physiognomy and how the actor looks the part that matters to him. He casts the cronies and side characters with care. Nothing is compromised. Like Ray, Adoor is also a painter with his composition & lighting and his aesthetic is always in harmony with the narrative and thematic tone. Adoor’s craft in his films is also economy of expression, within one or two shots the characters are introduced and defined. The pose and facial cues aided by lighting (Thommi as the subservient vis-a-vis the satanic oppressor in Pattelar) are still immersed in one’s mind. It actually ran well for an ‘art film’, especially for Mammootty’s portrayal. And yeah, there’s a rhyme to ‘Edda’ and his accent in general. Such a devilish persona I’ve witnessed from likes of DDL, Mammooka, Sivaji. In his introductory scene (We hear his ‘voice’ first), Mammootty spits, reminiscent of Fonda in OUATIW. Forget these references, nothing will prepare you for this performance.

    Well done GF for finding time and penning down this piece. Hope it got one or two here to watch the film.

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  16. why_so_serious Says:

    Btw I’d still take Ellipathayam as his best film.

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    • Picking between masterpieces is a difficult proposition. These are both exquisite films and very different films, though some of the concerns with regard to waning feudal power obviously overlap…

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      • why_so_serious Says:

        Oh that’s right (both great films). I see that you tilt towards Vidheyan for the emotional resonance. That’s a good point. I’d say Elli is just as ambitious. But when it comes to any uncompromising filmmaker, ambition is always there. Whether it is Mathilukal or Anantharam, Adoor’s care for his characters/stories at given point in a given story at a given time/place couldn’t be doubted. I only wish his films are available in their proper anamorphic widescreen format. Even Nizhalkuthu DVD (which is the most accessible in Adoor’s filmography) doesn’t inspire in terms of quality, for a transfer from Cinescope 2.33 to 1! OTOH, Ye Maya Chesave Blu-ray is amazing to say the least. I only wish a thespian like Adoor capitalizes more on this. Relentless pursuits of fans aren’t rewarded, unless the artist himself does something about it. Have to find someway to reach him. Or perhaps mail DVD companies. Starting with Criterion.

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  17. why_so_serious Says:

    Jnanpith award an honour for Malayalam poetry: O N V Kurup
    PTI | 11:09 PM,Sep 24,2010
    Thiruvananthapuram, Sept 24 (PTI) Renowned Malayalam poet O N V Kurup, who won the 43rd Jnanpith award today, said he considered it as an honour for Malayalam poetry. “I consider this as an honour for Malayalam poetry. I truly believe that Malayalam poetry does not lag behind poetry in any other language and I accept this honour recalling the invaluable contributions from the illustrious pioneers of Malayalam literature,” Kurup, on a tour of the Gulf, said in his reaction. Kurup is the fifth recipient of the country’s highest literary honour for Malayalam language, after G Sankara Kurup, S K Pottekkat, Thakazhi Shivashankara Pillai and M T Vasudevan Nair. He is the second among Malayalam poets to receive the honour after the first-ever Jnanpith was awarded to the late G Sankara Kurup. Sharing the elation of the literary fraternity, Vasudevan Nair said this was a moment of great joy for entire Kerala. “O N V has been writing poetry for over six decades. He still retains the poetic flair in his mind without losing its vibrancy.” Kerala Culture Minister M A Baby said he considered this as an honour for entire Keralites as Kurup continues to be the `beloved poet’ of Malayalees.
    http://ibnlive.in.com/generalnewsfeed/news/jnanpith-award-an-honour-for-malayalam-poetry-o-n-v-kurup/351228.html

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  18. So, thanks to GF and Satyam’s constantly recommending his films I saw my 1st Adoor film- Kodiyettam (A friend had downloaded the subtitled version from ytube).

    And I really loved the film. The way Adoor captures the nomadic life style of Kutty, the entire opening sequence of him attending the temple festival etc reminded me of those ‘little moments’ in those Mukherjee/Chatterjee films. Super stuff. And this guy Gopi is one hell of an actor (Gf and CG had earlier told me abt him). I loved him in Nihalani’s Aghaat too

    If Satyam or GF have written anything on it I would love to read it

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  19. I finally saw this film albeit not with subtitles as I would have liked to ideally. Nonetheless this film has such strong visuals (one hopes Second Run get around to this next), such an enormous physical presence in Mammootty and then such a remarkable foil in Gopakumar (who rewards the closeup here as well as any fine actor one can think of) that one forgets the loss of subtitles beyond a point. Jarmusch has always felt that (and in my paraphrase) the emotional experience of a film is better translated without subtitles. While I wouldn’t agree with this opinion without qualification Vidheyan is certainly one of those films that can be accessed in this parallel sense.

    Your piece was even more of a pleasure to read having seen the film. I especially like your astute highlighting of the Aparajito parallel (in line with the visual motifs you discuss elsewhere), not least because I once again find a correspondence where in a sense Adoor responds to Ray. The connection of course isn’t as direct as the Swayavaram-Mahanagar double or the Jalsaghar-Elippathayam one but it’s an interesting one nonetheless. Once again it’s a question of Ray examining things ‘within’ the frame of already ordered social relations and Adoor on the other hand interrogating the frame itself. Apu’s flight is either an unrealizable dream of escape or else a momentary epiphany. Perhaps it is both but in any case the films are not meant to be a radical questioning of a world in which such social networks come about. Ray is closer to that sort of foundational questioning in days and nights in the Forest or perhaps more immediately in Distant Thunder. He returned to some of these themes in his final film, the Stranger, but it seems to me that this film is somewhat more benign compared to those other two besides of course being the inferior work in other respects as well. But Ray oscillated between these more radical instincts of his and his more humanist ones. The Calcutta trilogy for instance is made roughly around the same time as Days and Nights and Distant Thunder. There is a certain overlap here. One could even go back further and say that possibly Devi is the film closest in tone to Adoor’s in Vidheyan. In each a certain fusion of the mythic and apocalyptic, of the claustrophobic nature of the existing (and violent) social order and the visionary which in turn sometimes relies on a different indexing of violence. I should even add here and I think you might have hinted at this somewhere but Ratnam’s Raavan seems to owe something to Vidheyan, which is of course not to compare the ‘gifts’ on display here too directly. And Ghatak once more seems to be in that politically edgier sense somewhat in between Ray and Adoor.

    In any case it is hard to conceive of a more Hegelian film than Vidheyan. This is a work that Zizek would absolutely adore if ever that properly subtitled DVD transfer materialized. The entire film could be considered a cinematic essay on Hegel’s legendary master-slave dialectic. Some of your formulations at the end of your longer second paragraph are superb in this respect:

    “The servant becomes an extension of the master’s will and, as the story progresses, he grows increasingly attached to his master to a point where when the latter is injured, the former cries out in pain. The connection is disturbing in every implication – particularly in its allusion to the concept that absolute power penetrates and perverts not only the minds of those who wield it, but of those who suffer it.”

    There is something very pure about this film. It is a totally sustained, completely unrelenting examination of this master-slave equation. There is nothing that happens in this world that is not refracted through the prism of this discourse. Adoor’s visual cues are quite often stunning and once again I would be thrilled with a proper transfer on this (with or without subs).

    Truly a haunting film, easily one of the director’s best, equally one of the best Indian films ever made. I am quite sure I shall be revisiting it in the next day or two. Had this been playing at a theater I would have seen it multiple times (it was actually screened in Chicago earlier this year)!

    I also finally caught up with Kathapurushan. This too is a film that needs serious revisiting. It’s probably the director’s most ‘difficult’ film but once again one of his very important works. I suggested the other day that Swayamvaram was my favorite among Adoor’s works even as Elippathayam was his greatest. Haven’t seen these two films now I’d say that Vidheyan and Kathapurushan might both be up there with the latter. I’m surer about the former but again the latter will take some time to grapple with. The film relies on an extremely elliptical realist narrative bookended by a haunting folktale delivered eerily by a kind of timeless seer. The former is challenging enough to interpret but this larger framing makes the work even harder to get a handle on.

    Suffice it to say that the more one is exposed to Adoor the more one is left in awe. One of the world’s great cinematic talents though sadly he’s mostly unknown outside his native state and even among those in the auteurist ranks of Hindi cinema (Kashyap once said right here that he had never seen an Adoor film and didn’t know where to get them). In 1993 or 1994 there was a Lincoln Center retro on Adoor. To this day I regret missing out on some of those screenings.

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    • Your comment was worth the wait! I was quite confident Vidheyan would play as well as it appears to have for you. Despite a lot of the very specific local flavor on display, I think this film is also probably Gopalakrishnan’s most accessible work. Not that the rest of his work is very exclusive or anything, just that Vidheyan’s core plot is recognizable in some ways as are its Christian underpinnings for a audience weaned on Western art forms. For me it plays like a conflation of certain films or kinds of films one has encountered but it nevertheless retains a completely unique quality. Deeply familiar but also very fresh, as if (to paraphrase something Bloom once said about Crowley’s Little, Big) this work always existed and Gopalakrishnan merely found it, dusted it off, and presented it to the world. Which might be something that explains why even without subtitles it plays as intelligibly as it seems to. Not surprised by this.

      Planning to catch Kathapurushan some time this week, perhaps tonight.

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      • This entire characterization is very persuasive. Somehow despite all the available archives (and I do agree this is an accessible film at many levels) Adoor manages to bring a certain concentrated purity to the central theme. With its rather primal physical setting he almost makes his film the Ur-text for those other films. A kind of primevally repressed tale that has unconsciously informed all those later recreations. If Freud were asked to write a Totem and Taboo-like narrative for this master-slave tale he might have come up with something like this film!

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        • And on a separate note I’m glad you saw this if only to see what I think is Mammootty’s strongest turn as a pure actor…

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          • It’s easily one of the most impressive performances I’ve come across even in a very physical sense. Beyond this Mammootty is simply superb at conveying that primal sense or a sort of elemental man which is precisely what the film requires. This is hard to do without reducing the character to caricature or a too easy archetypal villain. Mammootty manages to convey a kind of universality here without reducing the specificity of the character. And he does it with all those little tics and gestures and an overall instinct that only the finer actor is capable of. And there couldn’t have been a better ‘slave’ than Gopakumar!

            Might be watching it again tonight. Actually even more than subs at this point I wish there were a better transfer. It’s relatively alright on a smaller screen but when you blow it up on a bigger one it gets quite poor.

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          • would love to watch his other two films with Mammootty. These two follow Mukhamukham and seem to constitute an important sequence of political films for him.

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          • I’ve seen both of those but not Mukhamukham. I think Mammootty was most effective for Adoor in Vidheyan but Mathilukal was a great, moving performance as well. Also a deceptively ambitious movie, quite accessible and layered.

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          • Unfortunately haven’t come across any of those three films anywhere. Hard to believe they’re not available at least on VCD. But finding them online is another matter altogether.

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          • Yeah. Very recently the University of Wisconsin created The Adoor Gopalakrishnan archive:

            http://www4.uwm.edu/psoa/film/adoor-gopalakrisnan-archive.cfm

            When this was announced I vaguely recall an article mentioning that they would release (and possibly remaster) a number of his important works. I really hope this is in the offing – I’m certainly going to keep it on my radar. From that link above this was particularly interesting:

            “To preserve the quality and feel of the original work, the films will be archived in the UWM Libraries in their original 35 mm prints and also in digital formats. They will be used for both scholarly study and community engagement. To bring the films to the audience in their original format the UWM- Union Theater will be converted to include an archival 35mm projector system.”

            Not sure if this means only those who visit the archive will be allowed to see the works. Might be the only reason to visit Wisconsin!

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          • LOL, true! Yes I too remember that piece except that Swayamvaram was supposed to be the first such release and we’re still waiting. Admittedly it’s only a matter of time. Second Run has done two, more likely than not they’ll do something else. The US has been dragging its feet on this with just one title but I do sense a threshold being reached in some sense. Within another 5-10 years (interminably long as this wait seems) the whole corpus should be much more available in proper transfers. In some ways the progress Adoor has already made isn’t bad if you consider that Ghatak has had two UK releases, none in the US so far. Of course in his case every title is available subtitled on an Indian DVD (the transfers are a different matter!). With Ray himself it’s only within the last 7-8 years that things have gotten more organized. The UK has once again taken the lead but the US is catching up (of course there were the restored VHS versions earlier following the Merchant efforts). There still isn’t a complete Ray, or even most of the major stuff, available in the US (in the UK it’s close). So given how slow things have been even with a director who first shot to international fame in the mid-50s perhaps we can’t complain too much on the Adoor front!

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          • by the way Suranjan Ganguly whose essay on Kathapurushan shows up in the DVD booklet is doing a full-scale work on Adoor. Not sure when it’s supposed to be published but he’s already done something on Ray:

            http://www.colorado.edu/FilmStudies/faculty/sganguly.shtml

            of course on Adoor there’s already this but I’m not sure how good this is:

            http://www.amazon.com/Adoor-Gopalakrishnan-A-Life-Cinema/dp/067008171X/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&qid=1378217120&sr=8-11&keywords=adoor+gopalakrishnan

            Given the scarcity of interpretive material on Ray this should probably be checked out in any case. I’m even more interested in Adoor’s own writing but don’t know if these have ever been translated.

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