adoor gopalakrishnan

Swayamvaram - 1972
(The Selection)

Swayamvaram pioneered the Malayalam New Wave Cinema. Adoor Gopalakrishnan, fresh from the newly constituted film institute at Pune, took a new path of filmmaking unfamiliar to the common Malayale viewer at that time.

Swayamvaram was all about choices. The protagonist in it had so many choices before her. It seems, as a beginner, I also had different choices then. I also could have made the obvious choice of going to Bombay or Madras and work as someone's assistant in the industry.

Vishwam and Seeta arrive in a city as eloped lovers. Vishwam is in lookout for a job, while he hopes for a life as a writer. When he fails so, economic pressure force them to shift to a cheaper hotel from their expensive one and eventually to a slum, with a prostitute as the neighbour. Vishwam has to be satisfied with a job at a tutorial college and later when he looses it he settles with a job at a timber mill. Poverty ultimately leads Vishwam to illness and his death, leaving Seetha a destitute widow with a small baby. The film ends with the scene of Vishwam's perplexed wife gazing at a closed door.

The climax scene, which makes the ending of the film 'without an end' gives a larger meaning for the film.

Swayamvaram won the President's Gold Medal for best film and Sharada won the National award for best actress in 1972.

Direction & Screenplay: Adoor Gopalakrishnan
Co-Scenarist: K P Kumaran
Cast: Madhu, Sharada, Thikkurisi Sukumaran Nair, Adoor Bhawani, Lalitha, Gopi
Cinematography: Mankada Ravi Varma
Editing: Ramesan, M Mani
Music: M B Srinivasan

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

Other films by Adoor Gopalakrishnan:

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

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