Vanaprastham: The Last Dance (English: Pilgrimage) is a 1999 Indian-French-German co-production Malayalam language drama film directed by Shaji N. Karun. It stars Mohanlal, Suhasini Maniratnam, Mattannur Sankarankutty Marar, Kalamandalam Gopi, and Venmani Haridas. The film's music is composed by Zakir Hussain. The film follows the tale of a lower-caste Kathakali artist Kunhikuttan (Mohanlal) during the 1940s era in Travancore. Subhadra (Suhasini), a member of an aristocratic family, falls in love with the character Arjuna played by Kunhikuttan. She views Kunhikuttan and the character he plays as separate individuals. Their affair eventually leads to the birth of a son, who is hidden away by Subhadra from Kunhikuttan for almost a lifetime.
|Directed by||Shaji N. Karun|
|Screenplay by||Shaji N. Karun|
Raghunath Paleri (Dialogue)
|Story by||Pierre Assouline|
Mattannur Sankarankutty Marar
|Music by||Zakir Hussain|
|Edited by||A. Sreekar Prasad|
Euro American Films
|Distributed by||Pranavam Arts(Kerala)|
|25 December 1999|
The film premiered at the Un Certain Regard section of the 1999 Cannes Film Festival on May 1999, and was theatrically released in India on December 1999. The film was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the American Film Institute Los Angeles International Film Festival (AFI Fest) in 1999. The film won three awards at the 47th National Film Awards: Best Feature Film award, Best Actor award (Mohanlal), and Best Editing award (A. Sreekar Prasad). IBN Live ranked the film #9 in its list of greatest Indian films of all time. The film was screened retrospective, during the 2014 International Film Festival of India in the Celebrating Dance in Indian cinema section.
The story revolves around a male Kathakali artist Kunhikuttan (Mohanlal), an admirable and respected performer but a member of a lower caste. He struggles to come to terms with the rejection and estrangement of his father, a member of an upper caste who denies his son. Poor, unhappy, and stuck in an arranged marriage that provides no relief, he gets by for the sake of his daughter.
One night, whilst performing as Putana from Poothanamoksham from the epic Mahabharata on stage, his performance is witnessed by Subhadra (Suhasini), an educated and married upper-caste women, niece of the Dewan and an aspiring composer. Impressed by his performance she invites him to play Arjuna in her adaptation of Subhadraharanam. Defying the norms of India's rigid caste system, the two have an affair which results in a son.
But it soon becomes clear that Subhadra loves the character Arjuna from his stage performances, and not Kunhikuttan the artist. More in love with the valiant, noble hero of the Mahabharata, than the lower-caste dancer Kunhikuttan, she rejects him and refuses to let him see his son. Denied access to his son, and rejected by his father, Kunhikuttan returns to the stage, leaving behind his hero roles to play demonic characters, reaching within the dark corners of his mind, becoming increasingly resentful and full of anger, until one last dance which brings the feature to a stunning end Subhadraharanam.
- Mohanlal as Kunhikuttan
- Arun as Child Kunhikuttan
- Suhasini Mani Ratnam as Subhadra
- Mattannur Sankarankutty Marar as Raman
- Kukku Parameswaran as Savithri
- Venmani Haridas as Vasu Namboothiri
- Kalamandalam Gopi as Kunju Nair
- Venmani Vishnu as Pisharadi
- Kalamandalam Kesavan as Thirumeni
- Bindu Panicker as Bhageerathi
- Sindhu Shyam
The film has been nominated for the following awards since its release:
1999 AFI Fest (United States)
- Nominated - Grand Jury Prize - Shaji N. Karun
- Won - Special Prize of the Jury - Shaji N. Karun
1999 Bombay International Film Festival (India)
- Won - FIPRESCI Prize - Shaji N. Karun
- Won - Golden Lotus Award - National Film Award for Best Feature Film
- Won - Silver Lotus Award - National Film Award for Best Actor - Mohanlal
- Won - Silver Lotus Award - National Film Award for Best Editing - A. Sreekar Prasad, Joseph Guinvarch
- Won - Best Actor - Mohanlal
- Won - Best Director - Shaji N. Karun
- Won - Best Editor - A. Sreekar Prasad, Joseph Guinvarch
- Won - Best Sound Recordist - Lakshmy Narayana, Bruno Tareere
- Won - Best Processing Lab - Prasad Colour Lab
- Won - Best Make-up Artist - M.O. Devasya, Saleem
1999 Filmfare Award
|Arjunavallabhayallo||Manoj Kuroor||Zakir Hussain||Venmani Haridas|
|Bhavatheeya Niyogam||Kottayathu Thampuran||Traditional||Kalamandalam Sukumaran|
|Dark Melody||Zakir Hussain|
|Enanka Dinam||Irayimman Thampi|
|Inimelil Janikunna||Ittiraarisa Menon||Traditional|
|Kaaminee Mama||Manoj Kuroor||Zakir Hussain||Kottakkal Madhu|
|Kallinodu Thulya||Kilimanoor Cherunnikoyi Thampuran||Traditional|
|Kandu Njan Thozhee||Manoj Kuroor||Zakir Hussain||K. Omanakutty|
|Medoorabhakthiyulla||Muringoor Sankara Potti||Traditional|
|Pushkara Vilochana||Muringoor Sankara Potti||Traditional|
|Sodara Balin||Kottayathu Thampuran||Traditional|
|Subhadra 2||Zakir Hussain|
|Sukumaara Nandakumaara||Aswathi Thirunal Rama Varma||Traditional|
|Thaal Manthra||Zakir Hussain|
First film in India made in panavision film with dolby stereo.
- "Festival de Cannes: Vanaprastham". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 10 October 2009.
- Awards (IMDb)
- "'Mayabazar' is India's greatest film ever: IBNLive poll"[dead link]. IBN Live. 12 May 2013. Retrieved 24 May 2013.
- "IBNLive Poll: Vote for India's greatest film of all time". IBN Live. 26 April 2013. Retrieved 24 May 2013.
- "45th International Film Festival of Goa" (PDF). iffi.nic. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 March 2016. Retrieved 16 September 2016.