Version 1 (modified by salomex, 11 years ago) (diff)



aka Sindoor Box 1971 150’ b&w Malayalam d Madhu p/s/lyr Yusuf Ali Kacheri c Benjamin, Master Aloysius, Vasant B.N. m P. Devarajan lp Madhu, Shankaradi, Jayabharati, Bahadur, Philomina, Radhamani, Shobha

Directed by Malayalam star Madhu, the film was dominated by its producer and writer, the poet Kacheri. It used the rich Kerala landscape and folklore as a backdrop for his love songs in a story humanising elephants and poking fun at soothsayers and simple village folk. The star of the sometimes violent film is the elephant Gopi who behaves a little like a golem, rebelling against being maltreated and blindly enacting a code of social justice. A soothsayer claims that the beloved elephant will kill three people and the mahout’s daughter, Ammalu, fills her sindoor box with ants which she then puts into Gopi’s trunk to kill him. Years later, the village has been modernised but the prediction has not been forgotten. When the mahout Shankaran Nair drunkenly annoys Gopi, the elephant kills a man and is to be destroyed. A wandering mahout, Keshavan, saves Gopi’s life and becomes Ammalu’s lover. When Keshavan is about to marry Ammalu, Gopi goes mad with anger and Ammalu again puts ants in his trunk. Gopi kills her and Keshavan leaves the village as the police come to shoot the elephant. Kacheri went on to make another animistic film, Maram (1972).