Oct 3, 2013



A film by G.Aravindan
1985/ Malayalam, Tamil/ Col/103 minutes
6th October 2013; 5.45pm
Perks Mini Theater

Chidambaram is a temple town of Tamil Nadu. "Chit" means mind and "Ambaram" means space, thus the name Chidambaram.
The legend is that Lord Shiva came here to perform his dance. This region was already under the custody of Kali and naturally a quarrel ensued. It was mutually agreed that the winner in a dance competition should possess the region. The game commenced; with the Thandava of Shiva and Lasya of Kali. Shiva resorted to a stratagem. He lifted one leg high up in the air, which Kali could not do, because of modesty. Shiva won and became the Lord of Chidambaram. 

 Chidambaram is based on a short story by noted Malayalam writer C V Shriraman. The film is a deeply symbolic exploration of the man-woman attraction leading to betrayal and eventually to the purgatory of guilt.

The story develops mainly around three characters, Muniyandi (Sreenivasan), his wife Shivakami (Smita Patil) and the office superintendent of a farm, Shankaran (Gopi). Muniyandi, a labourer in the farm, believes and respects Shankaran. Muniyandi brings Shivakami to the farm after marrying her. She soon befriends Shankaran. 

But one day Muniyandi catches Shankaran red-handed with his wife Shivakami. Broken hearted, Muniyandi commits suicide. The extreme feeling of guilt forces Shankaran to leaves the place. He tries alcohol, spirituality and all other possible methods to escape from this mental torment, but fails. Finally he reaches the temple town of Chidambaram. There he finds Shivakami as a shoe keeper in the temple.

Chidambaram won the National Film award for best film and the State Film awards for the best film and director in 1985.

Direction & Screenplay: G Aravindan
Cast: Gopi, Smita Patil, Sreenivasan, Mohan Das, Murali
Cinematography: Shaji N Karun
Music: P Devarajan
(Source: http://www.cinemaofmalayalam.net/index.html )


Govindan Aravindan (born 21 January 1935 in Kottayam — died 15 March 1991 in Trivandrum), popularly known as G. Aravindan, was a national award winning film director, screenwriter, musician and cartoonist from Kerala, India. Known for his unorthodox film-making, Aravindan consistently experimented with cinematic forms and narrative styles drawing upon history, myth, folk tales, traditional stories, current events and anecdotes. Aravindan’s films are marked by an entirely original approach to cinema, and alongwith John Abraham and Adoor Gopalakrishnan, he placed Malayalam cinema in a position of pre-eminence in India.

 Aravindan started his professional life as a cartoonist in the journal, Mathrubhumi. He established himself as a noted cartoonist in the early 1960s. Next, Aravindan turned his attention to theatre and music and played a major role in establishing the theatre groups Navarangam and Sopanam.

Aravindan died on 16th January, 1991 before the release of his last film, Vasthuhara . Lamenting his death, Shyam Bengal said: “It is unfortunate everything had to end so suddenly. He had so many films in him – we would have seen films of the sort he had never made before; the kind he was slowly reaching towards. It is unfortunate he couldn’t complete his mission.”

An extremely important director of the New Indian cinema of the 1970s and 80s, his films have a haunting quality to them and what makes them unique and poetic is their constant yearning to break limits, to go beyond, their symbiotic links with music, mysticism and painting. All of Aravindan’s films, in one way or other, draw from and work with other art forms, classical and folk music, drawing and painting, dance, classical and folk art forms and so on. It is this constant transgression of boundaries – of medium, form, aesthetics and sensibility – that marks Aravindan’s works and makes them stand out from that of other filmmakers. (Source – www.mubi.com )

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