25 October, 2020

The Boy And The Wall Clock

Fifty years. Adoor. A quiet opus where, into tight frames of the ordinary, there seeps in depth, and the universal verities: time, place, power, morality.

Photograph by K.R. Vinayan
The Boy And The Wall Clock

In an oeuvre spanning over four decades and counting—from Swayamvaram (1972) to Pinneyum (relea­sed last month)—one of the central themes of Adoor Gopalakrishnan’s films has been the ethical conflicts of men caught inexorably in the vortex of history and power. At the very basic level, it is a question of survi­val for them, but this struggle to live with freedom and dignity pushes them into confrontations with power structures along various axes—familial, social, communal and political. In the process, Adoor’s films map the highs and lows, the agonies and upsurges that Kerala witnessed in these decades. Turbulences that connect with and encapsulate the universal.

Excavating the Present

Though Adoor constantly experiments with different narrative formats and storytelling modes, certain elements persist in his oeuvre—the geographic terrains, thematic concerns, temporal frames and ethical anxieties that were and are rigorously consistent and dee­ply ‘local’. And it is...



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