India is a land of rich cultural and spiritual heritage. Traversing through this mystical land of yogis and mahapurush in search of inner truths of one’s existence is a subject that has always intrigued the sense and sensibilities of many. And capturing into celluloid a journey of spirituality is M Sukumarji’s Malayalam film Kandethal. “Kandethal is not a commercial movie. It is a spiritual interpretation of life’s many unanswered questions. As the name suggests, it is a search for truth of one’s self,” he says.
Through the 115-minute-long film, Sukumarji sheds light on the close-knit familial tie ups of Indian families. The love and bonding that was once strong when joint families existed has started to diminish with the trend of nuclear and micro-nuclear families. “Our ancestors have showed us the way of karma, yoga, bhakti and knowledge to maintain unity among members in the family. By bringing all these values together one equips oneself to face even the most difficult of life’s situations. How by adopting the path of spirituality, one can overcome the darkest hour of life, is portrayed in the film,” says Sukumarji who has penned the script for the movie which is his debut directorial venture.
The film revolves around a family who lose their only son. The parents do everything possible to bring back their missing son but in vain. Eventually, his mother finds an inner peace through meditation and spiritual discourse with a ‘poorvikan’. “Recordical data show that in every 30 second, a boy of the age of 13-18 years leaves his parents for no particular reason. In the film too, the child grows up in a happy and prosperous family atmosphere but he leaves his parents. This might be because of the inner calling that he hears from his real mother with whom he has a spiritual bonding with,” explains Sukumarji.
“Whatever happens in life, people always seeks answers outside but this film is a search within the inner self and and an attempt to find the answers for these questions that plague the inner self. There are many means through which these questions can be answered like karma, yoga, bhakti and njana,” he adds. In this movie, though the family lose their only son, when another boy unexpectedly enters their life, the mother accepts and loves the boy like her own son. “She feels that if she loves this child like her own, her real son too will get the love of some mother in some other part of the world. And with this contentment she finds her inner peace,” says Sukumarji who earlier penned the script for Vineeth-Samvrutha Sunil starrer film Kalchilambu. The film was selected in the Indian Panorama in 2010.
For Sukumarji there are two types of films made. “One type is that which gives an inner peace and the other is the one that destroys it. And Kandethal is the film that will give peace to its viewers,” he says.
The film is made in the backdrop of India’s ancient vision and knowledge. The spiritual film is produced under the banner of Pranamam by Mandyath Krishnan and Mandyath Sukumaran. The film will see renowned dancer and Padmabhushan winner V P Dhananjayan donning the role of ‘Poorvikan’. Devendranath, Sunil Raghavan, Geetha Poduval, Master Abhinav are the other actors playing other key roles. Background score is composed by Kaithapram Viswanathan and cinematography is by Shaji Jacob.