The Dadasaheb Phalke Award winner for the year 2004
A P J Abdul Kalam presenting film maker Adoor Gopalakrishnan
with the prestigeous Dada Saheb Phalke award for the year 2004
at a colourful function in Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi on 21st
Gopalakrishnan was born in 1941. He started acting on the
amateur stage at the early age of eight, and wrote and directed
over twenty Plays in his student days. After graduating in
Political Science and Economics, he joined the Film Institute
in Pune in 1962. Equipped with formal training in Script writing
and Direction, he went on to script and direct nine feature
films and more than two dozen Shorts and Documentaries.
Gopalakrishnan, a director of Malayalam cinema, India has
now become an international icon in the film world. Four of
his films have won the National Award and he won the International
Film Critics Prize for five consecutive films.
has been awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for the year 2004,
the highest award for a person connected with films conferred
by the Government of India.
He is also a recipient of the Padma Shri, a civilian award
from nine feature films, he has over 30 short films and documentaries
to his credit. All the nine films he directed, from Swayamvaram
to Nizhalkkuthu, were screened at several International film
festivals and won him several National and International awards.
He won the British Film Institute award for Elepathayam.
He is an alumnus of FTII.
Apart from his films, Adoor's major contribution towards introducing
a new cinema culture in Kerala was the constitution of the
first Film Society in Kerala, 'Chalachitra'.
also took active part in the constitution of 'Chitralekha',
Kerala's first Film Co-operative Society for film production.
movements triggered a fresh wave of good films, called 'art
films' by directors like Aravindan, P A Becker, K G George,
Pavithran, and Raveendran. At a time this movement was so
strong that even the popular cinema had to make synthesis
with art cinema to create a new genre of films.
won the President's Gold Medal for best film and Sharada
won the National award for best actress in 1972.
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.
won the State award for the best film and the National
award for best actor for Gopi in 1977.
Kutty lives a childish life even at his mid ages. He
ignores his identity as a grown up individual and wanders
without taking up any responsibilities and also without
reacting to the insults by the society. It is the festive
season, the drum beats at the temple, flying kite, and
speeding up vehicles that attracts him the most. He
begins to come to terms with real human relationships
through an encounter with a truck driver.
film unfolds at the slow, rhythmical pace of a village
festival which provides the opening imagery of the tale.
The main character's maturation to adulthood draws parallels
to the social and historical changes in Kerala.
(The Rat Trap)
won the British Film Institute award. It also won the
State award for best film in 1981.
Unni is the head of a feudal Nair family, unable to cope
with the changing social conditions leading to the decline
of the feudal system in Kerala. While his elder sister
Janamma fights for her own family share from the feudal
spoils, his younger sister Rajamma obediently serves him
like a slave, and finally collapses under the strain.
Sridevi the rebellious youngest sister walks away from
the family rejecting the old system. Confronted with adverse
conditions, Unni withdraws like a rat into a dark hole.
(Face to Face)
won Adoor Gopalakrishnan the National film award for
best director in 1984 and the State awards for best
film and best director.
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.
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.
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.
won Adoor Gopalakrishnan both State and National awards
for best director in 1987.
an orphan is brought up by a doctor. A brilliant child,
Ajayan grows up into an introvert and confused youth.
The beautiful Suma arrive at their house after marrying
Balu, his foster-brother. Ajayan at the very first sight
of his sister-in-law gets sexually attracted to her.
This creates internal conflict within him and ultimately
he leaves the house.
the second story Ajayan narrates his confused youth
and about the beautiful girl, Nalini who enters his
life. Ajayan's mind shifts often between reality and
an imaginary romantic world. Finally both these stories
converge to a point where both Nalini and Suma become
a single entity.
won Adoor Gopalakrishnan the National Film award for
best director and Mammooty for best actor in 1989.
is Bashir's(renowned Malayalam writer, Vikom Muhammad
Bashir. ) memories of jail life during the early 1940s,
when he was imprisoned by the British Government for
Confined to the narrow space of a prison cell, Bashir
falls in love with a woman in the neighbouring prison
compound. They are separated by a high wall so that
they never see each other and have to devise ingenious
ways for communicating. Narayani, Bashir's love is presented
as a female voice and never appears in person in the
won the State Film awards for best film and best director
for Adoor Gopalakrishnan.
Zacharia explores the master-slave dialectic in a South
a Christian migrant labour from Kerala is an obedient
slave of his aggressive, tyrannical landlord Bhaskara
Pattelar. Thommy obeys all the orders of his master,
whether it is to make his own wife sexually available
to his master or in killing Pattelar's kindly wife,
Saroja. When Pattelar escapes to a jungle, due to his
own deeds, Thommy escorts him like a pet. But when Pattelar
gets killed Thommy exults in freedom.
Indo-Japanese co-production, Kathapurushan won the National
Film Award for best film in 1995.
in a feudal family, the protagonist, Kunjunni's parents
were separated leaving him deprived of paternal care
and affection. He grew up receiving love and affection
of his mother, grandmother, the estimate manager and
his friend Meenakshi - the maidservant's daughter.
by his uncle, Vasu, who became a Gandhian and later
a Marxist, Kunjunni too gets drawn towards leftist ideology
during his college period. For him communism offers
cure for all social ills and inequalities. He joins
an extremist Maoist group, providing it with intellectual
leadership. He gets arrested in a police station attack
case and eventually gets released when the Court acquits
lonely, disillusioned yet not bitter, a lot more mature
and richer with experience, he goes searching of Meenakshi,
his childhood friend.
is the dramatisation of Kerala's history since the onset
of the Independence struggle.
plot is set in the 1940's in a Southern village of Kerala.
Kaliyappan, the last hangman of Travancore dynasty is
dragging his remaining life by consuming alcohol and
worshipping the Mother Goddess. The reason for this
self-destruction is the remorse born out of the feeling
that the last man he hanged was an innocent.
pulling on his life by boozing, worshiping the Goddess
and treating people with the ash obtained by burning the
hanging rope, one day the King's messenger once again
arrive with the Kings order of appointing him for executing
a convict termed as 'a killer, proved beyond doubt'. He
leaves to the jail with his Gandhian, freedom fighter
son to assist him in his job.
As a tradition, the hangman has to spend
the eve of the execution awake. When alcohol fails to
keep Kaliyappan awake, the jailer starts telling a 'spicy
tale' to keep him awake, the tale of a 13 year old girl
rapped and killed by her own brother-in-law and an innocent
musician boy convicted for this charge.
When Kaliyappan comes to know the condemned
person he is about to hang is that very same musician
boy, he breaks down. The job of executing the convict
is passed on to his assistant, his son. The Gandhian,
freedom fighter son, who is in revolt against the existing
system accepts the job without any protest and walks
towards the gallows to accomplish his job.
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