Brilliant award winning Malayalam movie “Vanaprastham” directed by Shaji Karun and starring Mohanlal, Suhasini Maniratnam among others.
Kunhikuttan (Mohanlal) is a Kathakali artiste of repute but he is a lower caste bastard child rejected by his father. He studies Kathakali, a dance form in Kerala and becomes an accomplished artiste.
He is invited to perform at the various functions including the royal family of Trivandrum. There the Diwan’s niece Subhadra (Suhasini Maniratnam) is awed by his performance and starts following him. She is also a composer of plays, understands the art form including the mime and does research on the subject.
She writes a play called Subhadraharnam which is like her masterpiece and wants Kunhikuttan to perform Arjuna in that play. In the meanwhile both of them fall in love and beget one son. But she refuses to allow Kunhikuttan to grow up with his son because all along she believes she has loved Arjuna the character, not Kunhikuttan the man behind it.
Kunhikuttan has a bad marriage but he pulls along only for his daughter whom he loves very much. Double rejection by his father and by Subhadra leaves him much distressed and anguished. He then decides to perform one last time as Arjuna in the play written by Subhadra for which the character of Subhadra will be played by his own daughter, who learns kathakali by then.
The entire community including his family members is aghast as to how he has selected his daughter to play that role. Mohanlal has acted out of his skin for this movie for which he won the Best Actor award at the national level. The film also got the best feature film award at the Nationals.
Music by Zakir Hussain is breathtaking, while cinematography, photography, camera work, sound, direction are all of very high standards.