The movie is centered around human relationships- the delicate nature of human relationships, their complexity, and the way the ordinary pattern of our lives revolves around these relationships. It focuses on the simple things that give meaning and purpose to life.
In this movie, the main focus is on the relationship between Jayaram (grandson) and Thilakan (grandfather). Jayaram gives meaning to Thilakan’s life, justifying his continuing existence.
But, on a closer look, we are made to realize that the movie portrays a delicate network of intertwined relationships:
Nalini, whose life is solely nourished by Thilakan’s generosity.
Bhadra, whose dreams and goals revolve around Jayaram. While her grandfather fills the void of her parents, Jayaram gives her life a direction, a goal.
Jagathi- yet another lonely soul, who integrates himself into Thilakan’s network and fills the void in his own life.
The old doctor, whose association with Thilakan is so old and deep that one tends to overlook it.
They are all people deprived in their own ways, but the deprivation is buried by the social network that these people have created, filling the void in each others’ lives, and giving warmth to each other.
On the peripheries of this network of human relationships, are physical factors, which derive meaning from the rim of human existence that surrounds them- the lovely old house built in wood, the pond, the trees and fields, the sea and sands, the forts and ruins…
Death will always be a haunting fiasco in all our lives. This movie addresses the impact of death on our carefully woven lives.
Death targets our near and dear, and we learn to come to terms with it…we shift our goal and focus, and we continue to live.
Sometimes, death brings to surface the depth of a relationship. Also, death is powerful; it puts back the focus on all the negativities surrounding us, highlighting our hollow existence. Both these are highlighted with great sensitivity in this movie:
The grandson-grandfather relationship is so deep, that it is ordinary and natural. Had the grandson not met with death, the essence of this relationship would have been lost on us.
Also, while the grandson lives, Thilakan’s platter seems full. His grandson’s death brings to light the frightful loneliness and emptiness in his life.
This movie has a simplicity about it. It is so ordinary that one would mistake it for real life. Like Vincent says- simple works of art are the most difficult to replicate coz they have practiced the most rigid elimination.
Like all of Padmarajan’s movies, the location is a tranquil place, with immense natural beauty, and very little people…where one can hear the sounds of nature.
This movie is built on a deep rooted emotional plane- there is no element of heightened emotion all along the movie, and then it terminates abruptly with a haunting climax, throwing on our face, the horrors and the powers of reality, that we so cleverly choose to not acknowledge.