LIFE

A struggle is relived

It hasn't been long since the State witnessed a raucous agitation by the Government employees against a sudden withdrawal of some of their employment benefits.

Riding piggyback on the lack of public sympathy for the striking employees, the A. K. Antony Government took a firm and belligerent stand, pushing many an employee family to the wall.

What eluded the unsympathetic eyes of the public then is portrayed beautifully in `Sdhithi', a film which is yet to hit the theatres in the State. The young filmmaker, Sarath, has once again succeeded in telling society something worthwhile through his second venture. His first movie, `Sayahnam', won many laurels and entered more than a dozen film festivals abroad. It also won the State award and the Indira Gandhi national award.

No Malayalam cinema brought out this year deals with the contemporary social life of the State better than `Sdhithi'. It's a reflection on the life of an average Government employee whose struggle against the various odds has no better example than what we saw during the staff strike. The film tells the story of a lower middle-class family in a strikingly down-to-earth fashion.

Hardly can a viewer be surprised if he finds himself in any of the situations portrayed in the film. So ubiquitous are the scenes we find in the film that Mr. Sharat can rightly claim the title of a people's filmmaker.

But he doesn't brand his film as people's or parallel. Yet it must be a film with a specific appeal to the masses.

The gifted singer of Malayalam, Unni Menon, and the renowned Odissi artiste, Nandini Goswal, are cast in the lead roles.

A struggle is relived

While the film marks Mr. Menon's maiden venture into the silver screen, Ms. Goswal has already had some rave reviews for her role in Kumar Shahani's `Char Adhyay'. This Odissi artiste is a disciple of Kelucharan Mahopatra.

Mr. Menon has the role of a singer (Vivek) who prefers to cope up with his destiny of being limited to track singing. His wife (Vani) is a Government employee, who is caught and jailed during the agitation. And the struggle in their life begins.

Produced by T. P. Abdul Khader, a Kochi-based industrialist, the film is a tell tale example of successful film-making with a tag on the budget. This low-budget film can lead others indeed.

`Sdhithi' has the same team of technicians who were associated with

`Sayahnam'. Unni Menon has given his voice to the lyrics penned by Prabha Varma. The music is scored by Viswanath.

By Abdul Latheef Naha

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