Dec 3, 2007

9th Dec 2007 ; Konangal Outreach Programme screening : Chemmeen

A film by Ramu Kariat
Year 1965 , Run time : 140 Minutes.
Malayalam with English subtitles
6pm 9th December 2007
Aruna Thirumana Mandapam
N S R Road, SBColony, Coimbatore

Directed by Kerala's one of the most renowned directors Ramu Kariat, Chemmeen is based on a highly acclaimed Malayalam novel by Jyanpeth award winner Takazhi Shivashankara Pillai. By becoming the first south Indian film to win the President's Gold Medal for best film. At Chicago Film Festival, the movie won a Certificate of Merit. At the 2005 Brisbane International Film Festival, the movie was screened in a retrospective on 50 years of Malayalam Cinema. Chemmeen put Malayalam cinema on the Indian cinema map. While considering the history of Malayalam cinema, the film is attributed epic status.

Chemmeen was recognized as a technically and artistically brilliant cinema. Incidentally, it was also one of the first Malayalam movies in colour. Chemmeen had some of the best names then in India for its technical support, Hrishikesh Mukherjee, the editor and Marcus Bartely the cinematographer
. Lyrics by Vyalar Rama Varma and the music composed by Salil Choudhury made the songs of Chemmeen highly popular.

Karutthamma (played by Sheila in the movie) is the daughter of a poor fisherman, Chembankunju (Kottarakkara). She is in love with a fish trader, Pareekkutty (Madhu), who helps her ambitious father buy a boat and net. In return, Chembankunju promises to sell his catch to Pareekkutty on credit. However, once he launches the boat, he dishonors the agreement . Chembankunju prospers. .Traditions prevent Karuthamma to marry Pareekutty, and she is married off to Palani, a total stranger who arrives in their village. Even though the affair of the past between Karuthamma and Pareekutty is a matter of talk among the villagers, Palani ignores them and loves Karuthamma while Karuthamma can not erase her love for Pareekutty from her heart.
At the core of the film are the three central performances of Sheela, Sathyan and Madhu. The film offers all three of them their career-defi
ning roles. The three are strongly supported by Kottarakkara Sreedharan Nair bringing alive the wily and greedy Chembankunju.

Chemeen’s tale is multilayered. On one level while it is a tragic love story of forbidden love. On the other hand it proves that true love recognizes no religious, cultural or geographical boundaries. If the film reaffirms the required commitment to relationships, it also shows how deep, passionate love can both save and destroy man. It tells you how people can change with greed and jealousy and it illustrates the deeply rooted nature of superstition in the Hindu psyche while looking at the life of a typical Kerala fishing community of Allapuzha. While its grandeur flows from the wild and powerful ocean that rules the fishing community, its poetic beauty lies in its depiction of those small moments that can make or mar our lives

Direction: Ramu Kariat , Screenplay & Story: Takazhi Shivashankara Pillai
Cast: Satyan, Sheela, Madhu, Kottarakkara Sridharan Nair, S.P.Pillai, Adoor Bhawani
Cinematography: Marcus Bartely , Editing: Hrishikesh Mukherjee
Music: Salil Choudhury

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