That One Malayalam Flick To Remember On This World Dance Day. 'Kamaladhalam.'
A Movie of Celestial and Mythological Wonders.
It's been seventeen years and the flick is still flawless. 'Kamaladhalam' Lotus Petals of love, art, and beauty. Just to take the reel roll from the box- Nandagopan (Mohanlal), a genius of an artist and dance teacher turns an alcoholic and drug addict after his wife Sumangala (Parvathy) commits suicide, in the whim of a moment. As he drifts on aimless, he gets a pupil, Malavika (Monisha) who wants him to revive his pet project, 'Sita Ramayanam', which he had meant for his wife to execute. His life ambition comes to fruition but at the expense of his life itself.
The movie uses Classical dance to narrate the story. It's not just Nritta as it is, the intricacies are also shown through different situations. Songs and its lyrics have a pretty good role here in this reel. A very beautiful song penned by Kaithapram and composed by Raveendran master, it highlights the various moods of Sita – from anguish to ire – as she bids adieu and cries to her mother, Vasundhara (the Earth) to split and take her in. And end her life in this unjust world, once and for all.
The movie mainly talks about Nandagopal's Ramayanam, i.e, his take on Ramayanam as seen by Sita. This is 'Sita Ramayanam'. This situation transforms into a parallel plot of Agnipariksha episode where Sita undergoes the fire ordeal in order to prove her chastity – Suma immolates herself when she feels Nandagopan disparaged her (almost devotional/divine) love. As if to prove that she was earnest in her intentions and love for him; something Nandagopal failed to see. The ending with that song and performance is the pièce-de-résistance of the movie: Sumuhoorthamayi swasti.
The movie is definitely 'Sita' inspired and even the title has a reference with Sita. In some versions of the Ramayanam, it is said that lotus flowers sprouted at Sita’s feet to protect her from the fire, or that the coal at her feet turned to lotus flowers. Because the Gods knew she was pure and had protected her through the ordeal.
The movie, a sublime effort from Sibi Malayil - Lohitadas team.
Meet the author
An Existential Nihilist who loves scribbling and editing. Doing Masters in English and Cultural Studies from Christ University. A Malayali Movie buff who hugs and squeeze screenplays and scripts.