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Based on the short story by Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai, acclaimed director Adoor Gopalakrishnan’s film version focuses on the lives of four women, each of whom is faced with a marital issue.
The first story, “The Prostitute,” features a young prostitute who has decided to give up her life on the streets to be with the love of her life. However, the couple’s happiness is disrupted when they are caught sleeping on the pavement by the police who assume they have been engaging in illegal sexual activity. Unable to prove they are married, the couple is threatened with imprisonment.
The second story, The “Virgin,” focuses on a woman whose parents marry her off to a shopkeeper. However, unable to bring himself to be intimate with his new wife, the husband sends the young woman back to her mother and father.
The third story, “The Housewife,” features a married middle-aged woman who is unable to have children of her own. A visiting classmate offers an idea to help solve her problem, but his solution implies dire consequences.
The final story involves a woman for whom her parents cannot find a husband. When her younger sister is offered a marriage proposal, the parents are faced with having to break tradition by marrying their youngest daughter off before their eldest.
Awards/Festivals: Golden Lotus Award, Best Director, National Film Awards, India, 2009; Seattle International Film Festival 2008.