Adoor Gopalakrishnan is a National Award winning writer, producer, and director. Gopalakrishnan revolutionised Malayalam Cinema
. His first film Swayamvaram (1972) initiated the modern cinema movement in Kerala. Most of his films go to festivals around the world, and are released in Kerala
. Adoor Gopalakrishnan sees his work as an organic growth, each film starting from a point where he left the previous one and mixes lyricism and realism to reflect more or less directly the recent history of Kerala.
Early Life of Adoor Gopalakrishnan
Moutatthu "Adoor" Gopalakrishnan Unnithan was born to the parents Madhavan Unnithan and Mouttathu Gauri Kunjamma, on 3 July 1941, in Pallickal village, near Adoor, now known as Kerala. As a child, He acted in various amateur plays. In 1961, he secured a degree in Economics, Political Science and Public Administration from the Gandhigram Rural Institute. Later, he worked as a Government officer near Dindigul
, Tamilnadu. He quit his job to study film making from the Pune
Film Institute in 1962.
Career of Adoor Gopalakrishnan
His first feature film was Swayamvaram in 1972. It features Madhu, a famous actor of the 1960s as well as unknown actors. Here Gopalakrishnan has deliberately chosen a shocking subject on India and treats it in an unconventional form. A man and a woman passionately in love with each other choose to live together in a small village without getting married. The couple immediately faces hostility from the inhabitants but they have deliberately broken the traditional family patterns. In this somber film the director intends to highlight the crisis of the middle class and its compulsive nature to conform to the established social rules.
His next film was Kodiyettam (1977). It is often hailed as Gopalakrishnan`s best film. The film is set in the heart of rural Kerala, where humour, lyricism and realism are invoked to analyse human relations, between man and woman in particular. This film also stars Suresh Gopi
. He delivered a brilliant performance in this flick. Kodiyettam was a commercial success too. Elippathayam (1977) followed and according to the Malayalam director, this film is closest to his innermost convictions. The film was shown all over the world and it won Prize of the British Film Institute in 1982 as the most imaginative and original film of that year. This splendid film laced with striking close ups is an assessment of the social, political and psychological changes taking place in the society. The star cast included Sharada in the lead role.
Mukhamukham (1984) plunges into a period still present in many minds in Kerala and is recalled here through episodes of the life of a revolutionary union activist, Sreedharan.
His other films include Anantharam (1987), Mathilukal (1989), Vidheyan (1993), Kathapurushan (1995), Nizhalkkuthu (2003) and Naalu Pennungal (2007).
Awards of Adoor Gopalakrishnan
All the films made by Adoor Gopalakrishnan, have won national and international awards. He won several International Film Awards, National Film Awards almost fifteen times, and Kerala State Film Awards for seventeen times. He also received the esteemed British Film Institute award. In 1984, he was honoured with the Padma Shri
and in 2006, the Padma Vibhushan
. He also received the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Lifetime Achievement Award
in the year 2004.
He also received the following awards:
Legion of Honour (2003), the highest decoration in France
Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (2003)
National Film Awards: Swayamvaram, Kodiyettam,
Kerala State Film Awards: 13 Awards won in various categories for various films till date
International Film Critics Prize (FIPRESCI): won consecutively for five feature films
London Film Festival (Sutherland Trophy, 1982): Elippathayam
British Film Institute Award (Most Original Imaginative Film of 1982): Elipathayam