adoor gopalakrishnan

Elippathayam - 1981
(The Rat Trap)

Adoor's first film in colour, Elippathayam is an allegory about the collapse of the feudal system in Kerala.

The film is trying to explore the question, what is being? It is an incisive examination of what constitutes an individual. In close scrutiny, a person is made out of his actions and interactions. It is always a give and take. For Unni, it is always takes and no gives, while for his sister Rajamma it is always gives and no taking.

Unni is the head of a feudal Nair family, unable to cope with the changing social conditions leading to the decline of the feudal system in Kerala. While his elder sister Janamma fights for her own family share from the feudal spoils, his younger sister Rajamma obediently serves him like a slave, and finally collapses under the strain. Sridevi the rebellious youngest sister walks away from the family rejecting the old system. Confronted with adverse conditions, Unni withdraws like a rat into a dark hole.

Elepathayam won the British Film Institute award. It also won the State award for best film in 1981.

Direction & Screenplay: Adoor Gopalakrishnan
Cast: Karamana Janardhanan Nair, Sharada, Jalaja, Rajam K Nair, Soman
Cinematography: Mankada Ravi Varma
Editing: M Mani
Music: M B Srinivasan

Also read :
Of Life...On Films...:Adoor on Elippathayam

Other films by Adoor Gopalakrishnan:

| Swayamvaram | Kodiyettam | Mukhamukham | Anantharam | Mathilukal |
| Vidheyan | Kathapurushan | Nizhalkkuthu | Naalu Pennungal | Oru Pennum Randaanum |

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