The Films of Adoor Gopalakrishnan
A Cinema of Emancipation
About This Book
“All along this critical study, Suranjan has made interesting observations. […] Suranjan Ganguly’s marvellous book promises to incubate interest in the maverick filmmaker and his great films.” — “Outlook”
This first study of Adoor Gopalakrishnan’s feature films offers a compelling analysis of the socio-historical contexts of his work. Suranjan Ganguly examines how Kerala’s abrupt displacement from a princely feudal state into twentieth-century modernity has shaped Gopalakrishnan’s complex narratives about identity, selfhood and otherness, in which innocence is often at stake, and characters struggle with their consciences. Ganguly places the films within their larger frameworks of guilt and redemption in which the hope of emancipation – moral, spiritual and creative – is real and tangible.
Suranjan Ganguly teaches European and Asian cinema at the University of Colorado, Boulder and has also written a book on filmmaker Satyajit Ray.
Table of Contents
Introduction; 1. Things Fall Apart: ‘Mukhamukham’ and the Failure of the Collective; 2. The Domain of Inertia: ‘Elippathayam’ and the Crisis of Masculinity; 3. Master and Slave: ‘Vidheyan’ and the Debasement of Power; 4. The Server and the Served: ‘Kodiyettam’ and the Politics of Consumption; 5. The Search for Home: ‘Swayamvaram’ and the Struggle with Conscience; 6. Woman in the Doorway: ‘Naalu Pennungal’ and ‘Oru Pennum Randaanum’; 7. Making the Imaginary Real: ‘Anantaram’, ‘Mathilukal’ and ‘Nizhalkkuthu’; 8. The Dream of Emancipation: ‘Kathapurushan’ and the Triumph of the Individual; Filmography; Notes; Bibliography; About the Author; Index