Silver Screen: Chidambaram

Chidambaram is supposedly a Malayalam movie but most of its dialogues are in Tamil. The movie directed by G. Aravindan and is inspired from a short story of the same name by Sri. C.V. Sriraman and is a beautifully directed artistic movie that forces a person to ask questions regarding a man and woman relationship.

The movie begins with Sankaran (Gopi) works in the office of a cattle farm and is still a spinster leading a lonely life. Muniyandi, the labourer who manages the cattle in the farm has been newly married and he visits the farm with his dusky wife Shivagami (Smita Patil). Shivagami who is brought up in a sun-baked remote village in Tamil Nadu, supposedly explains the dusky complexion and immediately, she is fascinated by the farm and its awesome greenery. Soon it is revealed that Sankaran and Shivagami have an illicit relationship. The consequences of the affair form the rest of the movie.

The movie does not have pages of dialogues and the powerhouse acting with expressions justify each action of the leading characters. The dialogues far too less and it is left to the viewer to decide everything about the characters. The characters dare to go beyond and break the rules set by the society and puts so many moral questions. When the movie ends, it forces one to start constructing your version of this story. The movie demands a lot of concentration and has to be watched closely. The movie has just five minutes of background music but it adds to the drama that unfolds in the movie.

Chidambaram is a fine example of powerful acting. Smitaji stands out even in a role in a language which is alien to her and Gopi wins accolades from my side. This film won the 1985 National Award for the Best Film and subsequently, it also won the Kerala state award for the best film and best director.


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