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1995 95’ col Malayalam d/co-s M.P. Sukumaran Nair pc Rachana Films p T.N. Sukumaran co-s M. Sukumaran c Ashwini Kaul m Jerry Amaldev, Kaithapram lp Urvashi, Nedumudi Venu, P.C. Soman, Valsala Menon, Ravi Vallathol, Kukku Parameshwaran, Mullanezhi, Mukundan, Master Mohan

Nair, having worked with Gopalakrishnan, returns to the mother-son relationship adumbrated in his first feature Aparahnam (1990), with this bitterly ironic tale of a woman’s religious mania, a variation on the theme of Radha and Krishna. The poor villager Radha (Urvashi) becomes unbalanced with grief when her husband and son die. Going to live with her mother (Menon), the two women derive some income from pilgrims visiting the local temple, an institution representing a complex knot of contradictory currents: indolence and moral corruption in the shape of its guardians (Venu, Mullanezhi) as well as traditional ideologies while remaining an important conduit for contact with outsiders. When the teacher Nandini (Parameshwaran) arrives to visit the temple with her young son Kannan (Mohan), the distraught Radha latches on to the son imagining him to be Krishna. When Kannan falls ill and dies, Radha’s delusional mania, the only source available to her in an impossibly constricted and oppressed situation, overwhelms her.