Women and their struggle to live has always found a form onscreen. Many movies in different languages have etched her pangs and woes onscreen, some effectively and others with little success. But, ‘Akeldamayile Pennu’, the debut outing of director Jayaram Kailas, promises to portray their hardships in a realistic manner while shedding light on the ‘eternal fact’ that life, for the fairer sex, will always be a journey of miseries.
The movie is the tale of a widow, played by Shweta Menon, who after her husband’s death, is forced to take up a job that may not be a woman’s cup of tea. “The movie traces the tragic life of Agnes. She is forced to take up her husband’s job, associated with the church, after his death. Though her husband never wished anybody from his family to follow his footsteps, the wife is left with no option as she has to provide for her daughter,” says Jayaram. However, the director doesn’t divulge further details of what her job is. “It will be the suspense element,” he adds.
“The movie also zooms into how cruelly the society, of which she is a part of, responds to her choice of life,” says the director.
According to Jayaram, where and when the story happens is irrelevant. “Never in the movie is a time period or place mentioned. It is irrelevant as this can happen anywhere and anytime. It is a universal thing,” says Jayaram.
However, the first looks of the movie shows Shwetha Menon and Malavika, child artist, in a look that might seem ‘out of the world’ for the most. “It is intentional. I wanted an aura of the yore to pervade the movie. It is also a message that the life of women had been the same since generations,” he says. The movie also focuses on the lives of the next generation.
On choosing an unique title for the movie, the director says ‘Akeldama’ is name that has huge implications in a Christian context. “Akeldama is associated with Judas and his act of betrayal. It is also known as the field of blood. The title effectively indicates the intensity of the lives of a mother and her daughter,” says Jayaram.
However, the director claims that this is the first time in Indian cinema’s history that a movie of a similar content is being made. “I am sure this is the first time the life of a woman who does this job is brought to the limelight,” he says.
The movie relies on music even to reverberate the meaningful silence. Alphons Joseph has composed music to the lyrics of Anil Panachooran. The movie, shot at Wagamon, Peerumedu and Kuttikanam, will also be the comeback vehicle of Malavika, who was earlier seen as a child artist in many movies.
Jayaram Kailas says Shweta Menon fits Agnes to the bill. “She had to undergo a complete makeover for her character. The good actor that she is, Shweta Menon has enacted the role with ease,” he adds.