One of the most discussed Malayalam films in
recent times and a major success. The young
Calcutta couple Nakulan (Gopi) and Ganga
(Shobhana) arrive for a vacation in their
ancestral home, where they encounter a
centuries-old legend of a Tamil devadasi
dancer named Nagavalli. She had been
abducted by a Nair chieftain and had
subsequently returned to haunt the old house.
The small room in the attic where she lived is
kept permanently locked. Ganga inquisitively
opens the room and becomes possessed by the
ghost. Nakulan’s friend, Sunny (Mohanlal), a
USA-trained psychiatrist, arrives to help solve
the problem: having suffered a troubled
childhood, Ganga has become a murderously
psychotic schizophrenic. Discarding psychiatry,
Sunny turns to ‘indigenous’ methods and
successfully effects a dramatic cure relying on a
tantric cult redolent with caste prejudices. The
film was shot at extraordinary speed by two
units working simultaneously, one led by the
veteran Fazil, the other by three younger
directors (all became well known in Malayalam
cinema), although still managing to achieve
both narrative and technical coherence.
Mohanlal makes a cameo appearance, but the
main performance is Shobhana’s chilling
portrayal of the demented Nagavalli.
Did you know?
The story is inspired from a tragic event that occurred in Alummoottil Tharavadu, the famous central Travancore family from the 19th century. Read More