Kaliyattam does not eradicate non human agents however it brings in

Kaliyattam does not eradicate non human agents

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Kaliyattam does not eradicate non-human agents, however; it brings in supernatural elements and the natural world to relocate the enchantment of the handkerchief within the mythology of Theyyam. Repeated shots of Perumalayan and Thamara smeared with the former's theatrical make-up after love-making (figure 13) and of the pots shattering on the floor in the violence of their love evoke a supernatural or spiritual element to the tragedy, again in an attempt to wrest the enchantment out of the handkerchief. A shot of Thamara and Perumalayan looking at their own smudged reflections in a circular mirror turns their post-coital languor suddenly ominous (figure 14), an image that perhaps recalls a well-known moment in Welles's film in which Othello
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8 Borrowers and Lenders and Iago are mirrored back to themselves and to the viewer as Othello muses, "Haply for I am black . . ." (3.3.304; a still from one of the many shots with the circular mirror is reproduced in Stratford 2015). When the anguished Perumalayan calls out to the deities, they come to him on the mountain in full costume only to turn their backs on him ostentatiously (figure 15). After Perumalayan suffocates Thamara and Cheerma reveals the truth about the patta, Perumalayan hunts down Paniyan and beats him almost to death, after which Perumalayan immolates himself on the ritual purification fire of the Theyyam, with which the film has opened. There's no tragic loading of the bed; the lovers die apart. Omkara Bhardwaj's Omkara (figure 16) sets Shakespeare's play among rough gangsters in Uttar Pradesh, even down to deploying the distinct Khariboli language common amongst rural peoples of this area rather than the standard Bollywood Hindustani. Dolly, the beloved daughter of a high- ranking lawyer, falls in love with Omkara or Omi, a thug employed by a local politico to kneecap his opponents. Omkara kidnaps Dolly from her wedding to Rajju (the Rodrigo character) and, with the intercession of the politico, her father is reconciled to the upcoming wedding of Omi and Dolly. After a major coup, Omkara promotes Kesu (Cassio) over Langda (Iago), who vows revenge and convinces his wife Indu to steal a bejeweled kamarbandh (a cummerbund or waistband, figure 17), a piece of wedding jewelry belonging to Dolly, which Langda will use to convince Omkara that Dolly is having a clandestine affair with Kesu. Convinced by the kamarbandh and by an overheard conversation, Omkara kills Dolly on their wedding night, killing himself after Indu reveals Dolly's innocence. The film disenchants the handkerchief by making the token explicitly erotic (it features in nearly every scene in which Omi and Dolly are intimate) and is itself caressed and beloved by other characters. Moreover, it is valuable in itself — made of precious metals and jewels — and, like the patta in Kaliyattam , forms part of a trousseau or wedding set. At the same time, the movie leaves it mysterious how Indu/Emilia gets this kamarbandh. We see it on Dolly's body as the camera pans
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