Ulladakkam

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Ulladakkam
Ulladakkam film poster.jpg
Poster designed by Gayathri Ashokan
Directed byKamal
Produced bySuresh Balaje
Screenplay byP. Balachandran
Story byCheriyan Kalpakavadi
StarringMohanlal
Shobana
Amala
Murali
Music byOuseppachan
CinematographySaloo George
Edited byK. Rajagopal
Production
company
Sithara Combines
Distributed byBhavachithra
Murali Films Release
Release date
1991
CountryIndia
LanguageMalayalam

Ulladakkam (transl. Content) is 1991 Indian Malayalam-language psychological thriller film directed by Kamal and written by P. Balachandran from a story by Cheriyan Kalpakavadi. It stars Mohanlal, Shobana and Amala. The film, produced by Suresh Balaje features a soundtrack composed by Ouseppachan.[1] The plot follows a psychiatrist, Dr. Sunny (Mohanlal) and one of his patients, Reshma (Amala), who gets obsessed with him romantically, but Sunny is already engaged with Annie (Shobana). The film explores the phenomenon of transference.

Upon release, it received critical acclaim and was also a commercial success at the box office.[2][3] Ulladakkam is now regarded as one of the best films of Kamal.[4] The film won three Kerala State Film Awards, including Best Actor (Mohanlal), Best Director, and Best Dubbing Artist (Bhagyalakshmi). Amala won the Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Malayalam.

Plot[edit]

Dr Sunny is a psychiatrist who is engaged to his girlfriend Annie. One day a girl named Reshma is admitted to Sunny's hospital by her brother Roy, who is a close friend of Sunny. Sunny is led to Reshma’s room, where he catches a glimpse of the trashed-out room, with Reshma crouching in a corner, in a highly agitated state. She is later brought to the hospital, and we see her less agitated, but with a vacant expression, suggestive of a dissociation from her surroundings. While she is managed with tranquilizers, Sunny probes into her background. He discovers a few clues in her diary. There are traits of heightened emotionality in her writings- letters to her mother who passed away when she was ten. Her brother adds that she had a transient psychotic episode when their mother had passed away.

Sunny tries to explore the trigger for the current psychotic episode. From the placards he shows her, he gathers that there is a connection with the sea, for Reshma becomes highly agitated when she sees a placard depicting the sea. With further clues, he associates it to the mysterious disappearance of her boyfriend, Arun. He subjects Reshma to hypnosis and elicits the whole story of how a mafia group closes in on the duo at the beach, and kill Arun, whose body is washed into the sea, while Reshma watches helplessly. Reshma is made to narrate the event and she is also given a guarded exposure to the sea, which cures her of her sea phobia. And thus, we see Reshma gradually recovering from her dissociation. She focusses on her surroundings and develops a special bonding with one of the inmates (Sukumari), in whom she sees a mother figure.

Her recovery is complicated by her fundamental emotional insecurity and dependent personality. When Sukumari is discharged from the asylum, Reshma’s unconscious seeks a strong replacement for Arun and she clings to Sunny. Sunny’s personality and his degree of involvement with Reshma makes it easy for her to transfer her emotions for Arun towards Sunny. With an unconscious that refuses to come to terms with Arun’s permanent loss, and that refuses to acknowledge the loss of a relationship in which Reshma’s involvement was overt (with dependence), Reshma’s unconscious transfers the relationship to the receptive and reciprocative Sunny (the phenomenon of transference, described by Freud). And thus, her dependence shifts to Sunny. The movie takes a final turn when at Sunny’s wedding party, Reshma finds herself disturbed by the sound of the drums and the sight of the drummer (Arun was a drummer). In a fit of psychosis, Reshma murders Sunny’s wife, Annie. This also goes on to highlight that while the conscious stores the event largely in the form of verbal memory, the unconscious stores a memory as an assortment of multiple perceptions (visual/auditory/tactile/olfactory), each associated with a certain stimulus. All these are eventually integrated to form the final memory which is then fed to the conscious for processing. My outlook on this second bout of psychosis is that though Reshma is cured of her phobia with regard to the traumatic event she witnessed, she has not come to acceptance of Arun’s loss. Her mind continues to resist this fact, and any stimulus which is a reminder of Arun’s loss, sets off the psychosis. The psychiatrist has addressed her PTSD, but not the underlying insecurity and dependence that is part of her personality.

Cast[edit]

Other crew[edit]

Soundtrack[edit]

Ulladakkam
Soundtrack album by
Released14 July 1991 (1991-07-14)
Recorded1991
GenrePopular music
Length17:35
LanguageMalayalam
LabelRanjini Cassettes
ProducerSuresh Balaje
Ouseppachan chronology
Thoovalsparsham
(1990)
Ulladakkam
(1991)
Aavanikunnile Kinnaripookkal
(1991)

Ouseppachan composed the soundtrack for the film, to which the lyrics were written by Kaithapram Damodaran Namboothiri. The original soundtrack consisting four tracks was released by Ranjini Cassettes on 14 July 1991.[5]

Ulladakkam (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
No.TitleArtist(s)Length
1."Andhiveyil"K. J. Yesudas, Sujatha Mohan04:00
2."Maayatha Marivil"M. G. Sreekumar, K. S. Chithra04:49
3."Paathiramazha (Female vocals)"K. S. Chithra04:24
4."Paathiramazha"K. J. Yesudas04:22
Total length:17:35

Reception[edit]

Upon release, it received critical acclaim and was also a commercial success at the box office.[2][3] Ulladakkam is now regarded as one of the best films of Kamal.[4]

Awards[edit]

Kerala State Film Awards[6]
Filmfare Awards South
Kerala Film Critics Association Awards
  • Best Actor - Mohanlal

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rajitha (14 June 2000). "Gossip from the southern film industry". Rediff.com. Retrieved 19 February 2017.
  2. ^ a b Nazeer, Mohamed (20 December 2015). "An unsound trend in Mollywood". The Hindu. Retrieved 19 February 2017.
  3. ^ a b Thanveer (6 November 2016). "Amala Akkineni returns to Mollywood for Antony Sony's next". Behindwoods.com. Retrieved 19 February 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Happy man". The Hindu. 23 April 2003. Retrieved 19 February 2017.
  5. ^ Ranjini Cassettes (14 July 1991). "Ulladakkam (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) - EP by Ouseppachan on Apple Music". iTunes. Retrieved 11 February 2017.
  6. ^ Kerala State Chalachitra Academy (1991). "State Film Awards - 1991". Department of Information and Public Relations. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 11 February 2017.

External links[edit]