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Tale of death and loss

A 35-mm Malayalam short film `Oliche... Kande' deals with death and its effects on the bereaved family.



Of heartbreak and stoic acceptance.

A SHORT film, `Oliche... Kande' (`Hide and Seek') directed by M.G. Sasi was recently premiered in Thrissur. The 24-minute-long film is based on the short-story `Appeal-Anyaya Bhagam' by Vaisakhan.

Writer and activist Sara Joseph penned all the three lyrics of the film, her maiden venture in this stream of literature. T.G. Ravi is making a comeback in this film.

The film's protagonists are 53-year-old Achuthankutty and his 48-year-old wife Kunhilakshmy, enacted by T.G. Ravi and Sathi (daughter of late Premji).

Their only daughter, Malu, is killed in an accident. The film dwells on their anguish and how they deal with it. The film begins on the 18th day of the demise and the incidents of a couple of hours, especially in the parents' psyche, are analysed on a plane of fantasy. Initially, they are in a state of denial as they struggle to come to terms with their loss.

Finally, the couple accepts the reality. The film ends with the chirp of birds, signifying Malu's return to nature. The last scene is the most arresting moment of this film and it touches the hearts of viewers.

A different film

What makes `Oliche... Kande' quite different is that it focusses on death and its after effects in the psyche of the bereaved family - the parents' loss of their only daughter in this case. The theme is dealt with in eight scenes and limited shots. The sentiments of the central characters are touching without being maudlin.

Debutant Janu Krishna makes a strong presence as Malu in Malayalam films. The other actors are Mundoor Krishnankutty, Manikandan, Manoj, Vinod, Sreejith, Geetha Joseph and Shibila. Cinematography is by Rasheed Moopan.

Young singer Neethu makes her debut in the film, which is produced by Chandramohan for Chandrakala films. Lyrics that have a touch of folk music go very well with the theme.

"The sudden demise of my 10-year-old niece a couple of years back and its aftermath in our family inspired me to make this film," says director M.G. Sasi.

Although Vaisakhan portrayed a boy in this short-story written in 1989, the director, who has also written the script and dialogue, visualised a girl instead.

`Oliche... Kande' is the outcome of a brilliant endeavour within limited resources and is enlightening in terms of aesthetics.

K.K. GOPALAKRISHNAN

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