Viswam and Seeta come to the city as eloped lovers, but although the social pressures to conform may be less stifling, the economic pressures make their survival increasingly precarious. They move from their expensive hotel to a cheaper one, and eventually to a slum, with a smuggler, a rice seller and a prostitute for neighbours. Viswam, who is also a writer, has his novel turned down, and then loses his job as a lecturer. Eventually he dies in poverty, leaving Seeta a destitute widow with a small baby.
'Swayamvaram', is said to have benchmarked Malayalam films into three different categories - "uncompromising art films", "compromising films" which aimed at commercial success but tried maintaining a good deal of the artistic qualities, and the "commercial films" which purely aimed at box office success
Swayamvaram pioneered the new wave cinema movement in Malayalam cinema
The film featured no songs and has only an original score by MB Sreenivasan
The film marked the beginning of a collaboration between Gopalakrishnan and cinematographer Mankada Ravi Varma
The film was shot in two schedules, and the film was delayed due to scheduling conflicts of the lead actress, Sharada
Swayamvaram was one of the first Malayalam films to use synchronised sound and to be filmed in outdoor locales, for which Gopalakrishnan used his Nagra audio recorder
Due to financial crises, it took more than one and a half years for Gopalakrishnan to finish the fil
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