Malayalam film ‘Jananam 1947, Pranayam Thudarunnu,’ directed by Abhijit Asokan, is a heartwarming story of love in the sunset years

Abhijit Asokan’s film ‘Jananam 1947, Pranayam Thudarunnu’ is a story about the craving for companionship experienced by two senior citizens

December 15, 2023 03:35 pm | Updated 06:14 pm IST

A still from Abhijit Asokan’s ‘Jananam 1947, Pranayanam Thudarunnu’

A still from Abhijit Asokan’s ‘Jananam 1947, Pranayanam Thudarunnu’ | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Amidst the long queues and crowds at IFFK (International Film Festival of Kerala), filmmaker Abhijit Asokan organised a screening of his film, Jananam 1947, Pranayam Thudarunnu at the Kerala Film Market Viewing Room with a select audience of 25 viewers. Disappointed at not finding a place in the IFFK packages, the 29-year-old director and writer decided to express his dismay by screening the movie at Tagore Theatre, the main venue of the IFFK.

Abhijit Asokan on the location of Jananam 1947, Pranayam Thudarrunnu

Abhijit Asokan on the location of Jananam 1947, Pranayam Thudarrunnu | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

A tender story about an unusual companionship between two septugenarians — a farmer and a teacher — from two different social spheres, the movie underlines the deepening social alienation and isolation of the elderly in many families in Kerala. Featuring Jayaraj Kozhikode and Leela Samson in the lead roles of Sivan and Gowri, the movie does not deviate from their story even as it throws light on social mores and attitudes of contemporary Kerala. Deepak Parumbol, Anumol, Irshad Ali and Noby are also in the cast. 

Abhijit, scenarist of Kolumittayi, which won the Kerala State Film Award for the best children’s film, says he was keen on casting Leela Samson as “there is an innate elegance in her”. As soon as she read the script, she said yes. Abhijith recalls her telling him how much she enjoyed reading the story of Gowri and Sivan. 

Saying he was inspired by MT Vasudevan Nair’s Oru Cheru Punchiri, he says the senior romance underlines that in the autumn years, the yearning for companionship erases social and economic constructs. “Gowri teacher comes from a different class and caste although I don’t mention that specifically in the movie. She would have never had a relationship with a person like Sivan in her youth as they have almost nothing in common then. But in the sunset years, all these fade into insignificance as all that they crave for is acceptance and companionship,” says Abhijit.

Poster of Abhijit Asokan’s ‘Jananam 1947, Pranayanam Thudarunnu’

Poster of Abhijit Asokan’s ‘Jananam 1947, Pranayanam Thudarunnu’ | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The music by Govind Vasantha complements every frame of the movie filmed by Santhosh Anima. Shot in the green environs of Thalayolaparambu, Jananam 1947, Pranayam Thudarunnu critiques, sans any melodrama, the gulf between the parents and their offsprings. Although Gowri’s son lives in a sprawling ancestral house and is financially well-off, he has no space, physical or emotional, in his home for his mother. Sivan’s younger son is more worried about his father’s wealth going to strangers than his well-being when his father remarries.

The movie made a mark in the Jagran festival, Indian film festival in Atlanta and more by winning awards in different categories.

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