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Viswam
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Seeta
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July 1973 (Soviet Union)  »

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Bonds of poverty
14 November 2010 | by (India) – See all my reviews

Poverty is a disease and in many parts of the world it has epidemic proportions. This powerful film is set in such a milieu. Poverty becomes unbearable if you are severed from your roots of family and village in such a society. The middle class has the worst of all worlds because it doesn't know where it belongs.

Vishwam and Seetha elope from their village and we are introduced to them on a seemingly endless journey through the rural landscapes of this lush riverine state. A few days of honeymooning in a humble but respectable motel soon ends and life begins it's nose dive.Thet are educated and probably hope to make a living but this is not to be. The little money they have is running out and the wolf in many garbs is snarling. He can't publish a book he has written and loses his first job as a zoology lecturer. Many a ruffian eyes Seetha lasciviously and maintaining respectability on an empty pocket is as difficult as bodily survival. First the spirit breaks an then the body. And then a child comes along.

This is Adoor's first film and we find the mastery and restraint of his maturer work evident only as a future promise.But this is a slice of reality, scary, painful and bitter in which we can see our own reflections. Both the leads (Madhu and Sarada) have given powerful performances well supported by the remaining cast. The social realism of the film reflects a point of view widely prevalent among the intelligentsia of the period.

This is a depressing, powerful and true film getting to the heart of the realities of the life of ordinary people which Bollywood has only been caricaturing and turning into tomfoolery.


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