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Kodiyettam (Ascent)
Kodiyettam poster.jpg
Directed by Adoor Gopalakrishnan
Produced by Kulathoor Bhaskaran Nair
Written by Adoor Gopalakrishnan
Starring Bharath Gopi
K. P. A. C. Lalitha
Cinematography Mankada Ravi Varma
Edited by M. Mani
Distributed by Chitralekha Film Society
Release dates
  • 12 May 1978 (1978-05-12)
Running time
128 minutes
Country India
Language Malayalam

Kodiyettam (Malayalam: കൊടിയേറ്റം, English: Ascent) is a 1978 Indian feature film production written and directed by Adoor Gopalakrishnan. It is in Malayalam. The film notably does not feature any kind of film score.


Bharath Gopi as Shankaran Kutty in Kodiyettam 1977

The film captures the ascent of the protagonist, Shankaran Kutty, from a carefree individual to a mature responsible adult. The opening sequences, canned by the director himself, shows Shankaran Kutty- attending a temple festival. The film proceeds to show the irresponsible and often nomadic life style of Shankaran Kutty. Shankaran Kutty, though seemingly at the beginning of middle age, spends most of his time playing around with children, joining political processions and helping the villagers when he is not attending temple festivals. He is provided for by his younger sister who works as a house maid in the city of Thiruvananthapuram. His sister in an attempt to get his life organized arranges a marriage for him. But to the dismay of his new wife, Shankaran Kutty continues his life style often staying away from home for weeks. The already pregnant wife soon leaves him, and Shankaran Kutty does not make any attempt to have her back at home.

Shankaran Kutty's life takes a turn from there on. His sister starts living in their family home with her new husband and slowly he finds himself out of place. Shankaran Kutty's coming of age is also shown through another sub-plot in the movie. He realizes the hard realities of human life, when the widow who used to act as a patron for him commits suicide after being cheated in love. He reaches a turning point in his life when he joins a truck driver as an assistant. Though he finds the job too much to handle at first, he slowly adapts to the new responsibilities of life. He starts making amends with his wife. The film ends when Shankaran Kutty has a happy reunion with his wife and newborn son.

The film has a structure that resembles a typical Kerala temple festival. The title itself is an allusion to the first ceremony in the temple festival where a flag is hoisted to mark the beginning of the proceedings. The director commented that the film's most important connection to the festivals is the fact that in both nothing really happens; the only notable thing in both is the very presence of the people and events.



The film won the following awards:

National Film Awards - 1977 [1]
Kerala State Film Awards - 1977[2]


Gopi was hitherto a relatively unknown actor, though he had appeared briefly in Adoor's first movie, Swayamvaram. Kodiyettam catapulted him to such a popularity that he became known as Kodiyettam Gopi. He won the national award for the best actor (also known as Bharat Award) for his performance in Kodiyettam. He started being known as Bharath Gopi thereafter, and even legally adopted this name.[citation needed]


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