-writer Neelakantha's approach to the subject and its presentation
is totally refreshing. No wonder, with just two characters,
his film caught the attention of the jury, and bagged the
'best regional cinema' and the 'best screenplay' awards at
the national level. This film also launches Manjula, actor
Krishna's daughter, as an actress and producer.
film is simple in structure and bears the qualities of an
art cinema, too, in certain sections. It begins with Manjula
arriving at the house of a professor. Dr. Krishnamohan, who
is away at that time. Manjula finds a letter written by the
professor addressed to her asking her to pick up a key that
he has left for her and to stay till he returns. Alone in
the palatial house, Manula begins to panic. Soon a car buzzes
into the place and a bizarre looking Madhav gets out of it.
A lawyer, he deputed by his senior to meet the professor for
some consultation. To kill time, the two spend time chatting,
trying to know about each other. Manjula is in love with somebody
and wants more time to study him before she decides to marry.
The lawyer's seven-year-old marriage, with a child, is currently
under stress. All this open talk establishes Madhav as an
actor. Therefore, till the professor arrives, he gives basic
lessons in acting to Manjula, then ask her to join him to
play a mini-drama. The script: his own household conditions
and relationship with his wife (off-screen character). The
dialogue is nothing else but the antagonism his wife displays
to him. But the effort fails.
then declares he is a good cook and volunteers to prepare
lunch for them. The post-lunch session is again reserved for
one more session of an extempore play. Manjula also changes
her get-up a bit to look a housewife and becomes so realistic
that the lawyer starts listening to the true voice of his
the director juxtaposes the voices of Madhav's wife and that
of Manjula. It sounds as if both the voices are coming in
unison. Madhav gets involved in the scene to such an extent
that he starts feeling he is arguing with his own wife.
to commit sucide, picks up a dagger, and as he lifts it a
helpless Manjula simply shouts and claps as if she is appreciating
his performance as a true artiste. Soon he comes out of his
own spell. The play and the film also end there. And, to round
it off, the professor also arrives.
is an experienced artiste, specially branded for psychological
roles, and the last part of this internal drama really proves
that he is a good dramatist too and needs better roles. So
is Manjula, though the role is more a passive one. Music is
balanced. This is a novel approach in filmmaking and thus
Neelakantha and Manjula must take full credit for being different.