|Edited by||Sreekar Prasad|
Chinthavishtayaya Shyamala (English: Shyamala lost in thought) is a 1998 Malayalam black comedy film written and directed by Sreenivasan, starring Sangita, Sreenivasan, Thilakan, Innocent, Nedumudi Venu, Sudheesh, and Siddique.The film is about an irresponsible husband and his neglected family. It won the National Film Award for Best Film on Other Social Issues. The film is one of the classic family dramas in Malayalam.
The film was remade in Tamil as Chidambarathil Oru Appasamy
Vijayan, the village school teacher, believes that his degree in economics is sufficient for him to succeed in the business ventures he undertakes. Taking long leaves of absence from work, he roams around with his schemes, all of which turn out to be downright failures.
The movie opens with a light portrayal of the misery of his wife Shyamala and their two daughters, with Vijayan away on his latest venture — an attempt to shoot a short ad film. It ends, predictably, with Vijayan taking to his heels when it is apparent that he has never seen a film being shot in his life before. Karunan "Mash," Vijayan's father, as a last resort to reform his son, suggests that Vijayan undertake the annual pilgrimage to the Hindu hilltop temple Sabarimala. Despite his initial protests, Vijayan undertakes his pilgrimage, by observing the customary 41-day fasting and abstinence.
Sabarimala changes him. On his return from his pilgrimage, his family discovers to their dismay that matters have swung to the other extreme. Vijayan takes faith to his heart, embraces vegetarianism and adopts a life of prayer, frugality and abstinence, eventually forsaking his debt-ridden family for a life at an ashram. His version of ashram life is one of round-the-clock prayer and an escape from daily responsibilities and work — which doesn't go well the other residents. He soon finds himself unwelcome there and returns to his home, to discover his family now reasonably well-off from a small business his wife started soon after he left. The film ends with Vijayan returning to his job as school teacher and going with his wife and children to his home through a road where Communist leaders and Sabarimala pilgrims are marching.
- Shyamala -Sangita
- Vijayan - Sreenivasan
- Suku - Sudheesh
- Karunan - Thilakan
- Achuthan Nair - Innocent
- The Headmaster - Nedumudi Venu
- Usman - Mamukkoya
- Johnnykutty - Siddique
- Swamiji - Unni Mannanur
- Divya - Kripa
- Kavya - Shafna
Sangita won the Kerala State Film Award for Best Actress for her role Shyamala. It was Mohanlal who suggested Sangita for Shyamala. The character still remains one of the best female charaters in Malayalam cinema.
The title and plot of the film are inspired by Chinthavishtayaaya Sita, a celebrated work by Malayalam poet and social reformer Kumaran Asan. The poem describes the philosophic musings of Sita and her confrontation with her husband Rama, towards the end of the Ramayana epic. As in the poem, the film portrays the silent struggle, sacrifice, and finally the emancipation of the character Shyamala. It was remade in Telugu as Avide Shyamala by Kodi Ramakrishna. This film was later remade into Tamil as Chidambarathil Oru Appasamy by Thangar Bachan in the year 2005. It was also remade in hindi as S.R.K with Vinay Pathak but it remains unreleased.
This was Sreenivasan's second directorial effort and won critical and commercial success and further established his position in Malayalam cinema as a gifted comedian and screenwriter. The film won the National Film Award for Best Film on Other Social Issues in 1999. It won the Kerala State Film Award for Best Popular Film in 1998.
- National Film Award for Best Film on Other Social Issues
- Kerala State Film Award for Best Film with Popular Appeal and Aesthetic Value
- Kerala State Film Award for Best Actress
- Filmfare Award for Best Feature Film in Malayalam