Remembering One and Only G Aravindan through Kanchana Seetha – Jacob Abraham


In an age of ‘Passive Cinema’, the films of G. Aravindan has stood for an ‘Active Cinema’, which demands an active participation from the viewer” said the award winning film critique C S Venkiteswaran, in his preface talk to the cinema Kanchana Seetha on 75th birth anniversary celebrations of G. Aravidan conducted by Kerala State Chalachitra Academy at Kalabhavan Theatre, Thiruvananthapuram

Apart from his stature as a master filmmaker, G. Aravindan also is known as an intellectual cartoonist, visionary humanist and theatre activist for the connoisseur Malayalee. Kanchana seetha, Vasthuhara, Chidambaram, Esthappan, Kummatty, Pokuveyil …the cinemas of Aravindan has struck a chord of Malayalee Sensibility with its powerful cinematic experience and visual rendering.

When entering its 34th year of making, Kanchana Seetha still enjoys the stature as a rare piece of celluloid art which reveals lots of new perspective in each viewing. One can watch Kanchana Seetha as a cinema narrative of folkloric-Ramayana tradition which spans in the sub-continent, an example of nature-woman twin hood of expression or deconstruction of King Rama itself.

Based on the cult-drama of C. N. Sreekandan Nair’s Kanchana Seetha, Aravindan has made the film with a unique visual language which was unknown to Malayalam Cinema till that period. Portraying the mythical Rama and his angst in forsaking Seetha through the Aswamedha Yaga, Kanchana Seetha explores love and longing of dutiful Rama. Seetha is represented as the all encompassing nature ( prakirthi) in Kanchana Seetha.

While the play, Kanchana Seetha is rich with its literal dialogues, the film differs with the text with minimal dialogues and rich cinematic mood with music and visual text as a dedicated plan of the master director. A unique cast-line includes aborigines from Andra Pradesh, who believes themselves as descendants of Mythical Rama.

Certain visuals of Kanchana Seetha will remain steadfast in the visual library of any active movie-buff, the running of Rama with a wailing of ‘Seetha…Seetha’ will remain forever. With its all inimitable qualities Kanchana Seetha would stood as an active cinema which demands active viewing. Through Kanchan Seetha and other master works, the maestro of Malayalam Cinema G. Aravindan will remain forever where Malayalam Cinema lasts.


  1. An active cinema is not one filled with action, but one that sets into motion a silent inner transformation in the viewer… through sheer expression of beauty. Aravindan conjures up this beauty by the conceptual depth of the themes handled, his unique witty treatment of those themes, visual brilliance of frames along with a devastating musical chord integrating each element of his art piece into a harmonial whole. A genius incomparable ! When rest of the cinema is in prose, Aravindan’s cinema is pure poetry !


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