K R mohanan

A graduate from the FTII, Pune, K R Mohanan is well known as the director of short films and documentaries, mainly for the Kerala Films Development Corporation, where he worked for several years. His first feature film Ashwathama was widely acclaimed. The film based on Madambu Kunjikuttan's novel, is the modern day version of the Mahabharata story. After an absence of almost a decade his second film Purushartham came out, which too was highly acclaimed. His third film is Swaroopam.

Notable Films:

Ashwathama - 1978 - Malayalam
(Wandering Soul)

K R Mohanan's debut feature film, Ashwathama is a modern day parallel of the story of the Mahabharata.

The film is about a man who is cursed to live on earth for 3000 years like the character Ashwathama in the Mahabharata. Kunjunni finds himself so frustrated by the prevailing customs and orthodoxies in his milieu that he becomes an alcoholic and begins to lead a dissolute life. Trying to reform and to become like others, he marries, but his wife turns out to be an epileptic and the man returns to his wayward life.

Direction: K R Mohanan
Screenplay: P Raman Nair
Cast: Madampu Kunjikuttan, Vidhubala, Vatsala, Ravi Menon
Cinematography: Madhu Ambat
Music: Anantha Padmanabhan

Purushartham - 1987 - Malayalam

The title refers to the four purusharthas, the goals of mankind according to Hindu ethical philosophy.

Bhadra, a widow returns with her son to her dead husband's village to perform the rituals. Her dead husband, whose death she may have caused, was an urban middle class executive. The story unfolds from her son's point-of-view as he estranges his mother, ending up throwing sacrificial rice balls at her and her new friend Ninan.

Direction & Screenplay: K R Mohanan
Cast: Sujata Mehta, Adoor Bhasi, Madampur Kunjikuttan, Jebin George
Cinematography: Madhu Ambat
Music: M B Srinivasan

Swaroopam - 1992 - Malayalam
(The Begetter)

Shekharan, an enterprising small-time farmer leads a life of modest ambitions with his wife and two young daughters. He has a surprise encounter with a strange oldman who introduces himself as some distant paternal granduncle and recounts vastness of their family fold and the legacy of its illustrious ancestry. Shekharan is haunted by it as an overriding passion. Engrossed in his own world, Shekharan's aloofness makes itself felt in the family. According to the old man, one ancestor-Muthappan-who is extolled in the ballads and whose glories are legion, is the guardian spirit and begetter of the entire family legacy. At the instance of the old man, Shekharan builds a chapel consecrated to 'Muthappan' and is seen all the time sitting entranced in front of it. In the mean time, word gets around about his divine powers, as he is now taken to be a god-man of sorts. Once, a rich gentleman comes seeking his help to perform black magic to annihilate a whole family. Being Shekharan's maiden attempt, he thinks, it would ensure the efficacy of the sorcery. In the dead of night, overwrought and dazed, Shekharan walks urged on by the gentleman to commit the wicked and clandestine deed. He realises that the object of his act is just another one like himself. Numb with guilt, he retreats into himself and into the 'chapel' where he locks himself up for days together until his wife looks inside and realises that worst had happened.

Direction & Screenplay: K R Mohanan
Cast: Sreenivasan, Thilakan, Sandhya Rajendran
Cinematography: Madhu Ambat
Music: L Vaidyanathan

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