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A mirror to society

Seelabathi

Over-exploitation of natural resources in the name of development. Sexual abuse of minor girls. These two themes from the social life of present-day Kerala run parallel in writer-director R. Sarath's Seelabathi.

Huge machines extracting water by boring deep into Mother Earth shatters the quietness of the village. This leads to scarcity of water in the village. Two schoolgirls go missing. One of them is found raped and later dies in hospital. The story of the film revolves around the experiences of two young people who come from outside the village.

One is Seelabathi (Kavya Madhavan), the computer teacher who involves herself in the problems of her girl students, and the other Dr. Jeevan (Sunil), the kind and caring doctor at the government hospital.

Sarath attempts to portray how the simple rustic life is being destroyed by the lustful and greedy ways of those who clamour in the name of modernity and development.

Kavya Madhavan gives a creditable performance as the main character, Seelabathi. Sunil acts with ease his role. C.K. Babu as the farmer gives expression to the sad plight of the farming community.

Indran's Bengal Basu is a dig at Leftist rhetoric. Lyrics by Prabha Varma are set to music by Ramesh Narayan.

A highpoint of the film is Anand Balakrishnan's camerawork capturing the charm of the scenic village. Radhakrishnan Nagavally for Rithu Films produced the film.

G.Jayakumar

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