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1993 169’ col Malayalam d Fazil (Unit 1), Priyadarshan, Sibi Malayil, Siddique-Lal (Unit 2) pc Swargachitra p Appachan s Madhu Muttam lyr Bichu Thirumala c Venu (Unit 1), Anandakuttan, Sunny Joseph (Unit 2) m M.G. Radhakrishnan lp Mohanlal, Suresh Gopi, Shobhana, Thilakan, Nedumudi Venu, Innocent

One of the most discussed Malayalam films in recent times and a major success. The young Calcutta couple Nakulan (Gopi) and Ganga (Shobhana) arrive for a vacation in their ancestral home, where they encounter a centuries-old legend of a Tamil devadasi dancer named Nagavalli. She had been abducted by a Nair chieftain and had subsequently returned to haunt the old house. The small room in the attic where she lived is kept permanently locked. Ganga inquisitively opens the room and becomes possessed by the ghost. Nakulan’s friend, Sunny (Mohanlal), a USA-trained psychiatrist, arrives to help solve the problem: having suffered a troubled childhood, Ganga has become a murderously psychotic schizophrenic. Discarding psychiatry, Sunny turns to ‘indigenous’ methods and successfully effects a dramatic cure relying on a tantric cult redolent with caste prejudices. The film was shot at extraordinary speed by two units working simultaneously, one led by the veteran Fazil, the other by three younger directors (all became well known in Malayalam cinema), although still managing to achieve both narrative and technical coherence. Mohanlal makes a cameo appearance, but the main performance is Shobhana’s chilling portrayal of the demented Nagavalli.