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



The Servile 1993 112’ col Malayalam/Kannada? d/s Adoor Gopalakrishnan pc General Pics p Ravi st Paul Zakaria’s novelette Bhaskar Pattelar Ente Jeevitham [Bhaskar Pattelar and My Life] c Ravi Varma m Vijayabhaskar lp Mammootty, M.R. Gopakumar, Tanvi Azmi, Savita Anand, Babu Namboodiri, Ravi Vallathol, P.C. Soman, Aliyar, M.K. Gopalakrishnan, Krishnankutty Nair

Gopalakrishnan’s exploration of the ‘Hegelian’ master-slave dialectic in a South Karnataka setting. Bhaskar Pattelar (Mammootty) is the aggressive, tyrannical, hard-drinking village landlord whose will is law, while Thomma (Gopakumar), a Christian migrant labourer from Kerala, is his timid and fearful but always loyal slave. Thomma resents the master’s control, but is always there when required, whether it is to help murder Bhaskar Pattelar’s kindly wife, Saroja, or to make his own wife, Omana, sexually available to the master or to dynamite the sacred fish in the temple pond, the temple being the only effective site of resistance to the landlord’s tyranny. Thomma is unwilling to join the other villagers’ plot to kill the tyrant, but exults in freedom when Pattelar is finally shot dead. The author of the original story objected to the film’s interpretation of his work, renewing an old controversy about filmic adaptations of literary works.