‘Cinema is your experience, your vision of life.’—Adoor GopalakrishnanA couple living in defiance of society, trying to make ends meet; a rootless, rustic simpleton unaware of his responsibilities; a selfish, middle-aged man clinging to old feudal ways; an ex-revolutionary wasting himself, sleeping and eating and drinking, much to the disgust of his old comrades; a writer who finds the true meaning of love and freedom in prison; and a prostitute discovering love only to be separated from her lover by the guardians of society.
Adoor Gopalakrishnan’s characters are drawn from real people, real lives. His cinema manages to frame details that often escape our everyday glance, turning the mundane into the magical, the commonplace into the startling. Yet, very little is known about the auteur.
In Adoor Gopalakrishnan: A Life in Cinema, the first authorized biography of the Dada Saheb Phalke Award winner, Gautaman Bhaskaran traces the ebbs and flows of the life of this enigmatic director. From his birth during the Quit India Movement to his lonely childhood at his uncles’ house; from life at Gandhigram, where Adoor studied rural development, to his days and nights at the Pune Film Institute; and from his first film, Swayamvaram, to his latest, Oru Pennum Rantaanum, Bhaskaran’s lucid narrative tracks the twists and turns of Gopalakrishnan’s life, finding an uncommon man and a rare auteur.