Very graceful in its simplicity, quite minimalist in its style, the film depicts landmarks in the life of four different women being subjugated in male-dominant Indian society. The film is a quartet of four tales: The Prostitute, The Virgin, The Housewife and The Spinster. It is set in a rural area, spanning a time of twenty years from the 1940s to the late 1960s. Each woman shows the initiative to handle and improve her life, but individual efforts are cruelly dismissed and abandoned.
The director paints an analytical picture of the female characters, showing considerable nuance and human understanding, while the men are portrayed as weak and stupid. Set in the different levels of Indian society, the stories deal with the attitude towards prostitutes, spinsters abandoned by the family, childless wives who have to suffer the consequences within their own family or wives who have to endure their husband’s whims.
The impressive camera work, with many carefully composed close-ups, creates a specific mood within the psychological drama; the protagonists’ lives are determined by dharma or by neglect of the family members. Although the stories are given separately, they do connect within their psychological and contemplative context, since they all reveal one of the complex aspects of the female inner world as well as the multilayered Indian reality. (RS)

Original title
Naalu pennungal
Filmmaker
Adoor Gopalakrishnan
Country
India
Year
2007
Medium
35mm
Length
105’
Language
Malayalam
Producer
Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Benzy Martin
Production Company
Adoor Gopalakrishnan Productions, Emil & Eric Film Pvt.Ltd
Sales
Adoor Gopalakrishnan Productions
Writer
Adoor Gopalakrishnan, based on the short story by Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai
Cinematography
M.J. Radhakrishnan
Editor
B. Ajithkumar
Production Design
Adoor Gopalakrishnan
Sound Design
N. Harikumar
Music
Isaac Thomas
Cast
Nandita Das, Geetu Mohandas
Website
http://adoorgopalakrishnan.com