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Poster designed by Gayathri Ashokan
Directed byAdoor Gopalakrishnan
Produced byK. Ravindran Nair
Written byAdoor Gopalakrishnan
Music byM. B. Sreenivasan
CinematographyMankada Ravi Varma
Edited byM. Mani
General Pictures
Release date
  • 1 October 1987 (1987-10-01)
Running time
125 minutes

Anantaram (Thereafter: Monologue) is a 1987 Malayalam feature film production written and directed by Adoor Gopalakrishnan. Ashokan, Mammootty and Shobhana star in the lead; the film is structured like a monologue. It develops through a commentary by the protagonist about himself in the first person; the attempt of the protagonist is to narrate how his undiagnosed psychosis led him where he is now. The film was an experimental film for its time as it did not have a linear narrative.[1]

The film won three National Film Awards, it was included in IBN Live's list of 100 greatest Indian films of all time.[1][2][3]


The film develops through a commentary by Ajayan (Ashokan) about himself in the first person. Later he tells another story about his life with the same background. Finally both these stories fuse together.

Ajayan is born an orphan, he is brought up by a doctor. A brilliant child, Ajayan grows up as a reclusive person and a confused youth; the beautiful Suma (Shobhana) arrives at their house after marrying Balu (Mammootty), his foster-brother. Ajayan at the very first sight of his sister-in-law is sexually attracted to her; this creates internal conflict within him and ultimately he leaves the house.

In the second story Ajayan narrates his confused youth and about the beautiful girl, Nalini who enters his life. Ajayan's mind shifts often between reality and an imaginary romantic world. Finally both these stories converge to a point where both Nalini and Suma become a single entity.



In Anantaram, the theme of perception is dealt with through the protagonist, a youth who, like Adoor, has a bipolar character. In an interview, Adoor said, "Anantaram is basically about perceptions. About a young, impressionable boy who lacks some sort of functioning. Though, my life was not very familiar, but I was searching for the familiar experience of growing up, struggling with life and relationships. What is in the frame and what is juxtaposed to it just outside the frame... or let us put it this way, it has to do with attuning to the reality just beyond perception. Actually this is part of daily experience though we don't analyse it."[4]

Critical reception[edit]

The film is considered Adoor's magnum opus by a few critics, however the overall reaction was mixed.[4]


The film has been nominated for and won the following awards since its release:

1987 FIPRESCI Prize (Karlovy Vary)

1987 National Film Awards (India)


  1. ^ a b "100 Years of Indian Cinema: The 100 greatest Indian films of all time". IBN Live. 26 April 2013. Retrieved 24 May 2013.
  2. ^ "'Mayabazar' is India's greatest film ever: IBNLive poll" Archived 4 February 2015 at WebCite. IBN Live. 12 May 2013. Retrieved 24 May 2013.
  3. ^ "IBNLive Poll: Vote for India's greatest film of all time". IBN Live. 26 April 2013. Retrieved 24 May 2013.
  4. ^ a b Gowri Ramnarayan. "A constant process of discovery". Frontline. Archived from the original on 10 February 2010.

External links[edit]