THE SERVILE


Title   Cast   Director   Year Shown  Other Info    Country  Notes 


Vidheyan

India, 1993, 112 min

Shown in 1995

CREDITS

dir
Adoor Gopalakrishnan
prod
K. Ravindranathan Nair
scr
Adoor Gopalakrishnan
cam
Ravi Varma
editor
M. Mani
cast
Mammooty, Gopa Kumar, Tanvi Azmi, Sabita Anand

OTHER

source
General Pictures
The Servile

Thommi, a tenant farmer from Kerala, and his wife, Omana, come to neighboring Karnataka, a village in southern India, in search of a livelihood. Thommi is timid, the kind of person who accepts authority without question. This disposition helps him find a plot of land but at the same time embroils him in the acts of mindless cruelty of his new master, the village chief Patelar, and a life filled with degradation and shame. However, the film seems to ask, who really is the servile one, Thommi or Patelar? The Servile is director Adoor Gopalakrishnan’s (Monologue, 1987; The Walls, 1989) elaborate exploration of the conditions of control. Patelar’s own obsession with his vanishing power and glory is as irrational and debilitating as Thommi’s helpless dependence on him. Says Adoor Gopalakrishnan about his film: "I have used the plot of the story to explore the subterranean landscape of the human mind. Here, terror—the oppressive form of power—joins hands with servility in a pathological alliance of interdependence. Each of them, oppressor and oppressed, is the source of sustenance of the other."

—Shampa Banerjee