The Harijan girl Neeli (Kumari) is found dead with her illegitimate child which is adopted by the postman, a high-caste Hindu (Bhaskaran) to the consternation of the village. The child’s real father, a high-caste teacher (Sathyan) with a barren wife (Prema), eventually acknowledges paternity, thus breaking the caste barrier. Kariat’s direction debut is often presented as the first major breakthrough in the Malayalam cinema. The reformist literature of novelist Uroob was extended into a performance idiom, using new-generation actors like Sathyan alongside Vincent’s crisp camerawork to manufacture for the first time a culturally valid and economically successful indigenous melodrama in Kerala. The film was a musical success, representing the best work of singer Kozhikode Abdul Qadir. The trend of realist melodrama inaugurated by this film was to continue for over 20 years, in Kariat’s own work and e.g. in Vincent’s
M.T. Vasudevan Nair films.
Did you know? This film won the All India Certificate of Merit for Best Feature Film, and the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Malayalam, thus becoming the first nationally recognized Malayalam film. Read More
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