Riveting and revealing, this exquisitely crafted period drama revolves around a male Kathakali dancer Kunhikuttan (Mohanlal), an admirable and respected performer but a member of a lower caste. He struggles to come to terms with the rejection and estrangement of his father, a member of an upper caste who denies his son. Poor, unhappy, and stuck in an arranged marriage that provides no relief, he gets by for the sake of his daughter.
One night, whilst performing as Arjuna from the epic Mahabarata on stage, his dance is witnessed by Subhadra (Suhasini), a well educated member of an upper caste family. Defying the norms of India's rigid caste system, they have a son, but it soon becomes clear that Subhadra loves the character Arjuna from his stage performances, and not Kunhikuttan the dancer. More in love with the valiant, noble hero of the Mahabarata, than the dancer Kunhikuttan, she rejects him and refuses to let him see his son.
Denied access to his son, and rejected by his father, Kunhikuttan returns to the stage, leaving behind his hero roles to play demonic characters, reaching within the dark corners of his mind, becoming increasingly resentful and full of anger, until one last dance which brings the feature to a stunning end.
Did you know?
This movie was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1999 Cannes Film Festival. Read More