Agnisakshi (1999 film)

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(With Fire As Witness)
Agnisakshi (1998).jpg
CD Cover
Directed by Shyamaprasad
Produced by V. V. Babu
Screenplay by Shyamaprasad
Based on Agnisakshi
by Lalithambika Antharjanam
Starring Rajit Kapur
Madambu Kunhukuttan
Music by Kaithapram
Cinematography Alagappan N
Edited by Beena Paul
Srishti Films
Release date
  • 1999 (1999)
Running time
100 minutes
Country India
Language Malayalam

Agnisakshi (With Fire As Witness) (Malayalam: മലയാളം) is a 1999 Malayalam film directed by Shyamaprasad based on the acclaimed novel of the same name by Lalithambika Antharjanam. The film premiered at the Soorya Festival on 14 September 1998. It stars Rajit Kapur, Shobana, Srividya, Praveena, Madhupal and Madambu Kunhukuttan. Agnisakshi received numerous accolades, which led to many controversies as the film glorifies spiritualism and Hindutva.

Plot and themes[edit]

Unni accepts Devaki as his wife and brings her into the fold of his Namboothiri illam. Bound by a plethora of traditional beliefs, customs and rituals that constitute life within four walls of the joint family, Unni is unable to be the husband that he would have liked to be. Yet, they understand and love each other immensely. Guarded by the fortress of tradition, the family remains oblivious to the winds of change sweeping through society. Though Unni is aware, he shuts the door to everything that his family will never be able to comprehend or accept. But Devaki, who is essentially of a different mould, longs to step out into the world — and is finally forced to do so.

Set in early 1930s, the story develops within walls of a Namboothiri Illam, in the South Indian state of Kerala, against the backdrop of the struggle for freedom from the British rule. The film opens in Haridwar, a holy city, where Thankam, Unni's younger half sister (of same father; Unni's mother was Namboothiri and Thankam's mother was Nair) has come to immerse Unni's ashes in the Ganga and trace Devaki, who now is an ascetic. The story is revealed through the reminiscences of Thankam, a mute spectator who is caught between these characters and the complexities of their relationship — complexities that can never be relegated to the realms of right and wrong.



Kerala State Film Awards[edit]

Kerala State Critics Awards[edit]

  • Best Film
  • Best Director - Shyamaprasad
  • Best Lyrics - Kaithaprom
  • Best Actress - Shobana
  • Best Cinematographer - Azhagappan
  • Best Art Director - Premachandran


Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]