Changes between Initial Version and Version 1 of Mukha Mukham

Jul 16, 2012, 7:34:13 PM (10 years ago)



  • Mukha Mukham

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     1'''Mukha Mukham''' 
     4aka Face to Face 
     51984 106’ col Malayalam 
     6d/s Adoor Gopalakrishnan 
     7p K. Ravindranathan Nair pc General Pics c Ravi 
     8Varma m M.B. Srinivasan 
     9lp P. Ganga, Balan K. Nair, Kaviyoor 
     10Ponnamma, Krishna Kumar, Karamana 
     11Janardanan Nair, Thilakan, Vishwanathan, 
     12Ashokan, Lalitha, Vembayam, Krishnankutty 
     13Nair, John Samuel, Shanmugham Pillan, Thambi 
     16Gopalakrishnan’s melodrama that opened up a 
     17new direction in the genre in Malayalam film 
     18while looking at the unpalatable aspects of 
     19radical populism in Kerala. The first part is set 
     20in the 1945-55 period just prior to the shortlived 
     211957 CPI electoral victory in the State. The 
     222nd part is ten years later, after 1964, when the 
     23CPI split in two, later fragmenting even further. 
     24The central character is Sridharan (Ganga), a 
     25trade union leader who plays a key role in 
     26winning a strike against mechanisation. He is 
     27mercilessly beaten by thugs and has to go 
     28underground. This episode is told from the 
     29point of view of an idealist radical, Sudhakaran 
     30(Vishwanathan as a boy, Ashokan as a man). 
     31Years later, the old radicals have made their 
     32compromises and Sridharan has become a 
     33legendary emblem of integrity on whom the 
     34defeated survivors have projected their 
     35erstwhile radicalism. When he returns, there 
     36follows bitter disappointment at the discovery 
     37of the legendary hero’s human weaknesses. His 
     38name is invoked by all factions as a rallying 
     39cry, making his presence all the more 
     40embarrassing. One day, he is found killed. With 
     41the man safely out of the way, his image can 
     42once again be mobilised, untarnished by the 
     43complexities of real life. Violently attacked by 
     44the CPI(M) establishment in Kerala, the film 
     45works on several layers: in critiquing the state’s 
     46left establishment it also critically evokes a 
     47tradition of political melodrama in Kerala (cf. 
     48Thoppil Bhasi’s scripts). It suggests that its 
     49protagonist in all his roles - fiery leader, spent 
     50force, political legend - is inescapably reduced 
     51into stereotypical functioning, in the popular 
     52melodramatic sense, of one kind or another. 
     53The film thereby shifts the entire critique into 
     54one where the mass culture generated by 
     55incomplete capitalist growth merges with the 
     56rhetoric of left activism, the whole masking 
     57what the director suggests to be the major 
     58problem: the absence of a valid indigenous 
     59culture able to define the terms of its 
     60engagement with capitalist systems.