At the outset I would say that this is a profound film, a true classic and if it is not, Malayalam cinema is beyond me. The film proved what I have long heard, that Malayalam cinema from Kerala is idiosyncratically creative. Here, the director Padmarajan revisits a fascinating theme of cinema, adultery. Yet, it would be a simplistic and narrow-minded view of this film to say that it was simply about adultery because it is really far more complex than that, and essentially a film about all varieties of human nature and relationships, and one could even argue- the relationship between reality and what is accepted. Despite the complexities in the characters, and despite the outcast nature of the story itself, the screenplay never borders on the theatrical and is amazingly believable. I will remember this film for many reasons, none more than the character of Jaykrishnan. At the start of the film the first thing that strikes the viewer is his dual nature. But as the film progresses seamlessly, his character becomes a case study in itself. J is confused but principled and yet never an idealist. In fact he has a dark tint so apparent yet difficult to pin point (until of course he kidnapped that guy, which I thought was unnecessary and kind of gave away that part of him). Moreover, throughout the film, despite being portrayed as a popular and gregarious man, he never really opened up completely to the other characters (even to Clara) and to the audience. I would always remember those scenes when I expected him to say the obvious but he smiled away to my frustration. His restraint further made his character extremely intriguing. However, despite the multitude of shades in his character, J is extremely self re-assured (except in his love life) which seems contagious to the other characters. The character of Clara is equally interesting. She is a prostitute but is not typecast as one. She isn't weak, broken, grieving and craving for love. Having lived a life among bounds herself, she understandably never lets herself confine J's life either. For a prostitute to let her true lover go is a supreme sacrifice. In that she comes as the strongest character in the film. While Clara's love for J is transparent, J to me was ever trying to find himself even while loving her. Clara thus came out as the more likable character at the end. It is their amazing chemistry, made all the memorable by such beautiful background scores, that finally left behind a film which is not so much a rigorously interpretable body of work but a series of transcendental cinematic moments. The film is an important, intelligent work that explores the implications of whether or not this is indeed a moral universe.Despite its plot resolution, the film is 'rescued'from utter nihilism by its ritual more acceptable ending, which I found rather an anti- climax. Perhaps Padmarajan wanted an ending the way it is supposed to end in the real world. I am sure the debate on morality and infidelity has an epiphany on everyone who saw the film, which is a wonderful accomplishment for a film made 26 years ago.