wiki:Achamillai Achamillai

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Achamillai Achamillai

aka Fearless 1984 161’ col Tamil d/s K. Balachander pc Kavithalaya Prod. lyr Vairamuthu, Erode Tamizhanban c B.S. Lokanathan m V.S. Narasimhan lp Saritha, Rajesh, Delhi Ganesh, Pavithra, Ahalya, Prabhakar, Vairam Krishnamurthy, Veeraiah, Jayagopi, Charley T.

After the critical success of Thanneer Thanneer (1981), Balachander pushes his jaundiced view of (Tamil but also general Indian) politics further with this grotesque drama symbolising the conditions of life in independent India. The central character is Thenmozhi (Saritha), a textile worker, who loves and marries Ulaganathan (Rajesh), a pragmatic politician whose daily compromises eventually lead to provoking communal riots and callous corruption. A strong and lively woman, Thenmozhi ends up killing her corrupt husband. The film repeatedly evokes, in its political references, the old tradition of political propaganda in Tamil film, with numerous symbols and clear distinctions between good and evil: most notably in the climactic sequence when the wife, stepping on to a dais to garland her husband, has a knife hidden in the garland with which she publicly stabs him. Sridhar Rajan described the film’s opening as ‘a stunning surrealist streetside strewn with corpses [a]nd, later, we see the evocative visuals of men with loudspeakers growing out of their throats, each vying democratically to down the other vocally in the battle of the ballot’. The grotesque side of the story is evident in e.g. Thenmozhi’s deformed brother born on Independence Day and named Swatantram (i.e. Independence) and in her blind father, a former freedom fighter who is corrupted by Ulaganathan’s promise to pay for an operation to restore his sight.