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A family tale

G. JAYAKUMAR

`Baalyam' delves into a child's world.



CHILDHOOD: KPAC Lalitha and Riya Jithu in `Baalyam.'

Five-year-old Malu is moody and has recurring nightmares in which a person called Mosambi makes an appearance.

Who is this Mosambi? Malu's mother, Renuka, works for an IT company. It turns out that Mosambi is a foreign client who regularly appears on Renuka's computer screen. This client can offer a lot of business to her company and Renuka dreams of furthering her career prospects through him.

The child's nightmares unerringly point to the source of her insecurity. It is Mosambi. Her mother lavishes attention on Mosambi, neglecting Malu in the bargain.

This theme is part of the film `Baalyam' (`Childhood') directed by newcomer Jose Nettayam. Riya Jithu, who played Malu, won the Film Critics' Award for the best child artiste actor.

Says Jose, "Childhood is a period of innocence. A feeling of security that love provides is what a child needs during this period. I have tried to portray a family life set in modern times."

The movie's cast includes Jagadish and Tara Balachandran as Malu's parents and Jagathy Sreekumar as the neighbour. `Baalyam' was shot on a low budget in and around Vattiyoorkavu on the outskirts of Thiruvananthapuram city.

The story is by the director and script by Raju Mavumkal. The movie is produced by Thankappan.

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