Saturday, June 26, 2010

Thoughts sparked by: Sadayam

"Let us not put these faces through change"

These are the words of Sathyanath (Mohanlal, in a brilliant performance), in the pivotal murder scene in the film Sadayam (1992)

The evanescence of what one is, is arguably one of the more tormenting aspects of the human condition (flavor du jour for me for a while now). There are those blessed few who seem comfortable in a bulwarkless existence. But I can't help suspecting them of ignorance. How can change not be scary to anyone?

As the cliché goes: 'We become what we despise'. But that by itself is not scary. What is is, we do not strongly despise what we have become, because what we see depends on what we are.

A story - by getting meta on everyone it shows - seems to delude us into believing we can see ourselves as others see us. But, apart from temporary indulgences, memory doesn't yield to this. It has a survival function written into it by evolution.

Which is why judgement is always the luxury of the third person. And who are we judge the judgement?

And what is the point delaying judgement? Why wait for choices to be made for the choices to be judged on a moral scale? What if one were to choose between morality and choice itself? What if the only way to prevent change is to deny the capacity for change?

Would one have to - as ol' Bill put it - be cruel only to be kind?

And last and most important the deuce did they manage to raise these questions in a bloody mainstream film?

PS: I concede it was a tad too slow and the last half an hour or so could have been snipped lean and all that. But all that is eminently forgivable considering Mohanlal's performance, particularly in that breathtaking murder scene!


  1. Did the dvd have subtitles? Is the quote in verbatim. Watched the film long back, but I think the line comes as Lal kneels down to the "two angels" on the bed and just before he kills the men.

    The upper portion of the poster (the knife in that frame dissolved by lower half) is the scene where the younger kid gets murdered right?

    "bloody mainstream film?"
    Except that you're forgetting Mallu mainstream cinema in 80's and 90's rocks. Oh lastly, MTV (not the channel, the scriptwriter) rocks too!

    - WSS/Muppet

  2. Muppet/ WSS(?)

    I was aware of the 90s-90s Mal films being highly sensible and engaging. But this theme is more than that. The core is so chronically pessimistic. We are successfully made to empathize with a man who thinks corruption is inevitable in some form or the other and is only matter of time. That is what stumped me.

    The DVD didn't have subtitles. So I was guess understanding the lines. But I think I managed to catch the quoted line right.