Chidambaram

Brilliant award winning movie from G. Aravindan “Chidambaram” (1985) starring Bharath Gopy, Sreenivasan, Smita Patil among others.

Muniyandi (Sreenivasan) is a cattle helper in a farm where Shankaran (Bharath Gopy) is a senior superintendent working in the office. There is another farm supervisor Jacob who is frosty towards workers and does not believe in mingling with them.

Shankaran is more easy going and friendly nature with everybody and invites Muniyandi for a drink on the last day before Muniyandi leaves for his village for his marriage. Jacob his boss wants him to come back to work immediately after his marriage.

Muniyandi comes back with Sivakami (Smita Patil) who is like besotted with the natural greenery and forests, trees, plants and flowers of the valley where the farm is situated. She is a typical village girl, afraid of everything and everybody.

Jacob comes back and eyes Sivakami lustily. They have a small drinks party on a hill top where Jacob espies Sivakami going somewhere and suggests if anybody is interested in her. Upon which Shankaran gets angry and charges at him.

Aravindam has slowly and beautifully constructed the plot upto this stage showing Shankaran, Sivakami, Muniyandi and Jacob in their natural elements. From there onwards story takes a subtle but perceptible shift which we come to know about only at the end of the movie.

Jacob puts Muniyandi on a night shift and offers a job to Sivakami which he rebuffs. Muniyandi is naturally suspicious of Jacob and when he hears a bike going away from the farm, he rushes to his home to find his door locked and somebody runs away from the house from the other side. He becomes crestfallen and Shankaran is racked by guilt and starts drinking heavily. There are few suspense elements, which i am not revealing. Chidambaram is a temple town from where Smita Patil hails before her marriage.

Bharath Gopy has acted masterfully with his full range of emotions as a guilt ridden man. Smita Patil as usually is smashing in her role as a Tamil speaking village girl. She is magnificent. But the movie is all about Bharat Gopy.

Camera work, cinematography, music, direction are all outstanding to say the least. Nice story with good dialogues to lend the movie credibility. This movie won the National Award for Best Feature Film in 1985. It deserved it.

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