A look at Adoor Gopalakrishnan’s cinematic brilliance

Adoor Gopalakrishnan is a South Indian auteur, renowned internationally for revolutionizing the world of cinema. Gopalakrishnan is often referred to as “India’s most acclaimed contemporary filmmaker”, IMDB firmly believes the same. Explore his life and cinematic influence, you’re in for an undiscovered treat!

Gopalakrishnan’s extensive filmography often looks at the shift from feudalism to modernity within Kerala. It looks at the cultural, sociological and psychological circumstances of Kerala as a region. Here’s a timeline that traces his steps into filmmaking up until now.

Gopalakrishnan is the recipient of several awards from Kerala State awards, National Film Awards and international honours. Many of his films have travelled the world across film festivals including TIFF. He has 17 National Awards from Best Director, Best Feature Film, and Best Screenplay to Best Book on Cinema.

Here’s a look at a map that traces 5 of his most major international awards and honours.

During the shooting of his short film ‘Sukhanthyam‘, I had the pleasure of capturing a BTS video along with stills from on set. With veteran actors from the field and an atypical team of technicians, the film was shot in three days. Watch the icon in play and get a glimpse into his mind.

Director Adoor Gopalakrishnan through the eyes of his cinematographer MJ Radhakrishnan and Associate Director Meera Sahib
Adoor Gopalakrishnan and Meera Sahib

Gopalakrishnan has created films that have explored humanity in its most raw and unfiltered form. Women from his films have always played a central role, often shaping the narrative and plot structure.

‘Swayamvaram’ meaning ‘One’s Own Choice’ refers to a woman’s agency within the cultural context of strict arranged marriages. Sharadha, the iconic actress who played Sita in the film was recognized and awarded for her role in the film.

She is seen here from an iconic dream sequence scene from Swayamwavaram.


Gopalakrishnan’s film flows in poetic silence and visually caresses your mind. It’s a lonely day at amidst the waves or an awakening to one’s repressive societal norms. It informs you, challenges your beliefs and makes you laugh under your breath.

It’s reality as art, it’s cinema.

Written by
Malavika Anupraj

Malavika Anupraj is an audiophile deeply interested in films, fashion and guess what? Music!
She loves creating experimental videos and talking about Kendrick Lamar.

View all articles
Leave a reply

The Modern Post