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aka Monologue 1987 125’ col Malayalam d/s Adoor Gopalakrishnan p K. Ravindranathan Nair pc General Pics c Ravi Varma m M.B. Srinivasan lp Ashokan, Mammootty, Shobhana, Balan K. Nair, Bahadur, Vempayan, Sooraj, Sudheesh, Kaviyoor Ponnamma, Chandran Nair

Gopalakrishnan’s experiment with subjective storytelling. The film centres on a young man Ajayan (Ashokan) who narrates two stories about himself in the first person. He was abandoned by his mother, raised by a doctor, and proved himself a consistent misfit. Much of his fantasy, into which the ‘reality’ of his second story merges, revolves around the figure of his foster-brother’s (Mammootty) wife (Shobhana). The film marks a major shift from the director’s previous Mukha Mukham (1984) which, despite its critical depiction of politics, retained Gopalakrishnan’s commitment to developing a tradition of Kerala melodrama. Anantaram is much more cynical, descending into a subjectivity bordering on the paranoid. Gopalakrishnan says that the film attempts to ‘relate an experience’, nothing more, of a ‘state of intense despair and angst’.