A Valluvanadan tale retold

Abdul Latheef Naha

A Valluvanadan tale retold

Is there a better way to pay tributes to a literary figure than giving life to his characters? Certainly not; that was what filmmaker M.G. Sasi learned from Angadipuram soon after screening his latest film `Anubhavangal.' He was showered with laudatory words by those who knew Nandanar, the writer from Angadipuram who was known both for his works for children and his stories that had the defence forces as its background.

To introduce a novelist from the past generation, and to pay homage to him, Sasi chose the author's autobiographical work set in a place closely associated with the writer. `Anubhavangal' tells the story of P.C. Gopalan who is known as Nandanar.

The Unnikkuttan trilogy has branded Nandanar as a doyen of children's literature. However, his other stories have given him a place where he enjoys the company of greats like Kovilan. However, his novel `Anubhavangal,' filmed by Sasi, narrates a Valluvanadan story of poverty, misery, inequity and, above all, determination.

We may be familiar with Valluvanadan language through the writings of M.T. Vasudevan Nair. But Nandanar's stories spoke a language that was Valluvanadan, but starkly different from MT's. Sasi too has taken a conscious effort to recreate that difference in language. "I gleaned his complete works to understand the difference in the language," said Sasi. Besides, Sasi said he could do justice to Nandanar's language as he belonged to Arangottukara in Thrissur district.

"Oh, again poverty?" That was a comment made by one of Sasi's critics when he introduced `Anubhavangal.' But the filmmaker has succeeded in amalgamating the poverty of body, soul and identity. Padathuparambil Gopinath called Gopi, the young lead character in the film, passes through the phases of these different kinds of poverty.

Spirit of endurance: Scenes from the film `Anubhavangal.'

Spirit of endurance: Scenes from the film `Anubhavangal.'  

Almost the entire cast, except Sreeraman and Madambu Kunhukuttan, is new to the screen. A young boy named Suchesh essays the role of Gopi; his mother is K.P. Shailaja. Gopi's elder brother, a cruel Army man, is Manikandan. Yet, the new faces give freshness to `Anubhavangal,' a novel written a few decades ago.

Sasi is yet to send this film for a competition. Maybe next year, he says.

This year, he has already won acclaim through `Oliche Kande,' a film with T.G. Ravi and others.

`Anubhavangal' is being screened at various places across Kerala. "After seeing the movie, many youngsters told me that they could identify themselves with Gopi... ," said Sasi.

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