Agnisakshi, a Spiritual Film
Express, Jan 15th 1999
"Agnisakshi is a spiritual film and the fundamental
issue is spiritual identity", says Shyamaprasad,
director the Malayalam feature film Agnisakshi featured
in the panorama section of the IFFI here.
Agnisakshi is based on a novel by Lalithambika Anterjanam,
popular all over Kerala as a short story writer. She was
67 years old when she wrote her only novel, AgniSakshi.
This novel fetched her many prestigious awards and she
focuses on the dreary lives on the Namboodiri women who
refuse to compromise on tradition. It is set during the
freedom struggle and the director touches upon the social
reform movements of the period.
According to Shyamaprasad, Agnisakshi is more than a period
film and it tells the story of the transformation of a
society caught between two worlds, the past and future.
"This film was basically made to highlight the plight
of the common man and poses many questions about the nature
of happiness. It is not about the Namboodiri women alone.
It has a sense of timelessness about it", he says.
Shyamaprasad, after getting his masters degree in media
studies at the University of Hull, England, worked in
Doordarshan for 8 years as programme officer and made
many telefilms. On why he chose the Rajat Kapoor to play
the lead role, he said Rajat Kapoor had the right mindset
and fitted the role. "Anyway, many north Indian actors
have acted in Malayalam films like Om Puri, Naseeruddin
Shah, Smitha Patil, etc. Malayalam cinema is that way
not a closed cinema. We welcome outside talent",