This is a psychological thriller movie about a man who calls himself as "Naanu" (Me). It explores the human needs and greeds in the form of a metaphorical comparison to the three female characters in the movie.
An unusual love story between a film director and an actress narrated through multiple flashbacks within flashbacks and reverse screenplay. The film deals with the dark truths of cinema like the casting couch.
A haunting movie that reverberated deep in my psyche. I saw this movie as young boy. And still can here the sound of jungle and its lush settings. The songs in the movie were 'minimalist" as are the costumes. These and many other cameos in the film enrich the rural/tropical village/jungle background so clearly. I remember the simple food that the two children bring the Shankar Nag in a leaf, which clearly adds to the subtle aura of a dated period setting in the film.
Many years later (1990), I happened to go trekking in Dandeli. The rural background has not changed much among the thatched huts in the area. They offer jaggary ( a mound of brown sugar) and water to all passers by, and brought back memories of the film. The action sequences in Kalari (martial art) are choreographed so realistically and occasioned by fears/insecurities so well that I consider it an equal to Kurasawa's Yojimbo, which I believe Karnad aimed for.
A must see.
If you are really hooked to this one, you should see Boorman's Emerald Forrest. Has the same mystical and ethereal feel.
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