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Joy, a journalist, no longer values the mission of his profession to disseminate news and truth. His priority at home, though, is his wife's happiness, to whom he is passionately devoted until her elder sister, Subhadra arrives

india Updated: Oct 18, 2003 16:33 IST

Director/Story/Screenplay: Satish Menon
Cast: Jyothirmayee, Murali Menon, Mita Vashisht, Siddique
Malayalam/102 minutes/35mm/Colour

Joy, a journalist, and his wife, Lata, a college lecturer, live with Kochamma (Joy’s aunt) and Matthew (her middle-aged bachelor son) amid the tranquil surroundings of a coastal village.

Lata teaches Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment to a lackadaisical, intellectually bankrupt students, determined to impress upon them the impact of the consciousness on their daily lives.

Joy, in contrast, no longer values the honest mission of his profession to disseminate news and truth, easily swayed by the culture of want and desires prevalent around him. However, his priority at home is the happiness of his wife, to whom he is passionately devoted. Into this equation arrives Lata’s elder sister, Subhadra.

Subhadra, who has led a life of urban sophistication, has faced grave tragedies – the loss of both her husband and her home in a seemingly accidental fire. Lata, keen to reconnect with her sister, invites her to stay with them through the duration of her own pregnancy.

As they move into their new house in the city, she accommodates her sister within her nuclear set-up. Soon, it is obvious that Subhadra is harbouring a secret with no place to go but her sister with whom she has not maintained a relationship for over eight years.

At first, Joy goes along with his wife’s desire to incorporate Subhadra into their life, but later regrets his decision when he finds himself in conflict with his carnal desire for his sister-in-law, coupled with the illusion of having to compete with her for his wife’s affections.

Meanwhile, professionally, Joy is unconsciously tempted into a Faustian bargain to defend the role of private corporations in the management of public utilities in the state. Despite Lata’s dissent, he uses his newspaper in manufacturing a need, facilitating a debate and inevitably achieving consent through a corrupt political process.

In return, he is assured a steady job and an income that empowers him to indulge in consumerist excesses. The resulting intellectual and lifestyle divide between Joy and Lata drives an emotional wedge between them.

Producer: Visual Possibility
Cinematography: Sunny Joseph
Editor: Ajith Kumar B.
Art: Shaji Raghavan
Music: Issac Thomas Kottukapilly
Sound: Hari Kumar & Krishna Unni

First Published: Oct 10, 2003 10:12 IST