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aka Elder Sister 1980 143’ col Malayalam d K. S. Sethumadhavan pc Rosamma George s M.T. Vasudevan Nair lyr P. Bhaskaran c Madhu Ambat m M.B. Srinivasan lp Menaka, Master Arvind, Balan K. Nair, Shankaradi, Master Sivaprasad

Sethumadhavan’s best-known Malayalam film. The 6-year-old Appu (Arvind) is the illegitimate son of Malu (Menaka) and knows her as his elder sister. He becomes intensely jealous when Malu marries the hard-drinking ex- military man Govindan (Nair). Appu attacks him during the honeymoon. When Malu scolds him, the boy applies emotional blackmail by running away. Much of the film deals with the bizarre love triangle, which ends only when the little Oedipus triumphs by driving away the husband so that he can keep the mother all to himself. The film, and Vasudevan Nair’s script, which apparently legitimises a woman’s love for her illegitimate son, broke new ground with the characterisation (and performance) of the little boy who dominates the film.