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Inspired film making

K.K. GOPALAKRISHNAN

A short film by M.G. Sasi looks into some of the problems of consumerism and its impact on society.

A 30-minute Malayalam short film by M.G. Sasi, `Mahatma... angayode' (To you... Mahatma) was recently premiered at Thrissur under the aegis of Navachitra film society.

It was adapted from a famous short story `Kalla Note' by the late Vaikkom Muhammed Basheer.

The film deals with the life of a poor family in a village where the local police station and ration shop are the main centres of activities. Extreme poverty compels a young woman to sell herself, only to be exploited by the powerful and wealthy in society. She resorts to this extreme step in order to look after a sick mother and a younger sister.

A picture of the Mahatma in the police station and his visage, which is printed on currency notes, is a silent witness to the murky dealings. Side by side, there is also the circulation of fake currency notes. The goings on unleash panic in the village.

"Our contemporary life is determined by money, power, fake principles and laws that are conveniently twisted for the powerful. All this happens in a nation where we consider Gandhiji as the father of the nation. I happened to read Basheer's `Kalla Note' several times and each time it questioned my conscience. This film is an attempt to answer those questions with an independent approach," says Sasi who scripted and directed the film.

Although Basheer never mentioned Gandhiji in his short story, the director has introduced the idea in his frames. The treatment is both realistic and analytical. Some of the shots are more dramatic and slightly exaggerated. The director has made a deliberate deviation from typical cinematic stylisation and endeavours to bring in a new stylisation in tune with the situation.

Some of the actors in the film are M.R. Gopakumar, Vijayan Peringode, Ambujam Surasu, N. Sreeja, writers Vaishakhan and Madambu Kunhukuttan, Baby Arya and Kesavan of `Nataka souhrutam.' The film was produced by K. Hussain and Rajalakshmi for Sarika films.

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