Young filmmaker Don Palathara’s Shavam (The Corpse) is a monochromatic portrait of a funeral. The film peeks into the interiors of a lower middle-class Malayali household where the after-death rituals of a young man is underway.Lack of budget was one of the reasons why Don chose to shoot Shavam in black and white medium. “I wasn’t going to have extravagant colours, but at least, the power to choose the required colours would have been there (with proper budget),” he told Silverscreen. in.
Vith, which is still doing its film festival circuit, was screened at Kazhcha Indie Film Festival, Independent & Experimental Film Festival Of Kerala, Malabar International Film Festival, and International Film Festival Of Thrissur.If Don Palathara’s directorial debut, Shavam, had a camera that intimately engaged with its subject, it is a distant observer in Vith, his second film that’s still touring film festivals.
In a scene from Don’s previous film, 1956, Central Travancore, an old man at a toddy parlour rebukes a youngster who said he wanted to live like ‘the birds of the sky’ who don’t sow or reap, “You cannot interpret the holy book the way you like! ” Here, the title Joyful Mystery is a playful reference to the Bible, the part where Virgin Mary comes to know of her pregnancy.
Friday releases this week comes with a huge vacuum at theatres – no new Tamil films are releasing owing to the ongoing film theatre strike. At a time when online streaming platforms such as Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Hotstar put out movies merely months (or weeks) since its release, things don’t look so bad for film buffs.