Stories of incest and trauma are not unfamiliar to Malayali audience who are well accustomed to tales of female abuse. ‘Street light’, the directorial debut of V R Sankar, is an account of the life of a girl in her late teens who is subjected to brutal sexual exploitation by her father. The search for livelihood pushes her into the octopus hands of flesh-trade. Despite losing herself to the world of exploitation and debauchery, she finds her way out and becomes a leading light to others left in the endless gloom. “The crux of the movie revolves around the victory of a woman who has been looked upon with contempt by society not for her fault. The film is entirely built upon realistic events without casting a figment of imagination.” Sankar says.
It would be wrong to call the film an adaptation of the novel ‘Oru Pennum Parayathathu’, written by the director. He penned the screenplay first, five years before started with the book to be precise. The long search to find a producer was the major hindrance and it took four-and-a-half years for the movie to materialise.
The film is based on a real life incident he happened to witness exactly half-a-decade back. A hunger-struck street girl wanders through one of the busy streets in the city in the wee-hours of a snowy day. A ‘kind-hearted’ auto rikshaw driver offers her a food-packet and a free ride in his vehicle. Few minutes later, the director spots them together some distance away, where the man is sexually abusing the child. The screaming girl doesn’t let go of the food packet and keeps eating from it though blood gushes out of her mouth continuously. On sensing the presence of someone, the driver throws her into the huge open drains and escapes. While making the movie he included a number of similar incidents.
“Until then, my aim was to take a commercial film. After watching this incident, I thought of making a non-commercial flick which could make an impact on at least a few viewers,” Sankar says.
The film explores the possibilities of symbolism and dialogues make few interferences. Images like jasmine flowers, electricity, chair, coffin and tomb make an integral part of the narrative.
Aparna Nair, who has donned notable characters in ‘Nivedyam’, ‘Cocktail’ and ‘Beautiful’ plays Hima, the lead character. Prof Aliyar, Ishad, Praveen, Krishnan Balakrishnan, Krishna and Maya Viswanath handle key roles in the movie.
‘Street light’ is produced by R K Kurup under the banner of Ridge Event and Media Private Limited. Anish Lal wields the camera. Lyrics have been composed by Kaithapram Damodaran Namboodiri. Yesudas, Madhu Balakrishnan, Anu Kadammanitta and Jinsha K Nanu have sung the songs.
The 98-minute long film shot in various parts in the city is undergoing post-production work at present.