Dileep gives a staggering performance as an earnest family man who can’t catch a break. But when a stroke of good luck reveals a hidden side to his personality, it’s the people who love him who have to face the consequences.
Veteran Malayalam filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan made a welcome return to the festival circuit at the Toronto International Film Festival last year with his new gripping drama ONCE AGAIN.
In the first half of the film, Dileep plays Purushothaman, an earnest and humble man who has been unable to find a job for the past eight years. His wife, Devi, is a teacher, and she and her family have supported him all this time. Though the family members recognize Purushothaman’s diligent attempts to find work, they seem to also resent his bad luck. But everything changes when a well-paying job in Dubai suddenly comes through that changes the family’s fortunes.
However, when Purushothaman returns, his plan to permanently provide for his family transforms Gopalakrishnan’s naturalistic drama into an unpredictable film noir. The head-spinning mid-film tonal change exemplifies the best of Eastern cinematic storytelling, a kind of narrative boldness rarely scene in mainstream Western films. Thanks to Dileep’s staggering performance as a mild-mannered man with uncharted depths, IFFLA audiences won’t be able to predict the twists and turns in store in ONCE AGAIN.
Q&A to follow with director Adoor Gopalakrishnan
- Adoor Gopalakrishnan
Adoor Gopalakrishnan has written and directed 12 feature films. He has participated in all major film festivals around the world. The International Film Critics’ Prize has gone to him six times successively. He has received the National award for best director five times; the Dada Phalke Award, India’s highest national honor for cinema (2005); the BFI award for the Most Original and Imaginative Film of 1982 for ELIPPATHAYAM; the French government’s honor Commander of the Order of Arts & Letters (2004); India’s top civilian honor, Padma Vibhushan (2006); and lifetime achievement awards at the Cairo, Denver, New Jersey, Colombo and MAMI film festivals.