adoor gopalakrishnan

Mukhamukham - 1984
(Face to Face)

Mukhamukham arouse controversy as the theme of the film was the degeneration of leftist politics and came under attack from the leftist parties of Kerala.

Even before it was released there were rumours that it was an anti-communist film. When it was released, it was criticized as anti-communist. I think it has something to do with film literacy. We are not able to react to a film naturally. Instead we are aghast that a communist drinks alcohol and we pick on that. That is not the way to approach a work of art.

The first part is set during the 1945 - 55 period, prior to the short lived electoral victory of the Communists in Kerala. The second part takes place ten years later after the split of the Communist party into two.

Sreedharan, a charismatic leader of a leftist trade union is the moral strength of the labourers going through a prolonged strike in a tile factory. The proprietor of the factory gets killed and Sreedharan becomes the prime suspect. While the police start hunting for him, he goes underground. Even when his comrades return to a more liberal political environment, Sreedharan doesn't. He is believed to be dead. Sreedharan who acquires martyrdom becomes the sole unifying factor of the two break-away fractions after a split in the Communist Party.

One day Sreedharan returns creating bitter disappointment to his comrades. He remains silent, spends his time sleeping and drinking. His presence becomes a liability to his comrades. One day he is found killed. After death Sreedharan regains his hero hood.

Mukhamukham won Adoor Gopalakrishnan the National film award for best director in 1984 and the State awards for best film and best director.

Direction & Screenplay: Adoor Gopalakrishnan
Cast: Ganga, Balan K Nair, Kaviyoor Ponnamma, Karamana Janardhanan Nair, Ashokan, Lalitha
Cinematography: Mankada Ravi Varma
Editing: M Mani
Music: M B Srinivasan

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

Other films by Adoor Gopalakrishnan:

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

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