Close Up

10 February 2017: The Bogeyman


The Bogeyman
G. Aravindan
1979 | 90 min | Colour | Digital

Made shortly after the quasi-documentary Thampu, this film adapts an age-old Central Kerala folk-tale featuring a partly mythic and partly real magician called Kummatty (played by the famous musician and dancer Ramunni in his screen debut) who comes to entertain a group of village children with dancing, singing and magic tricks. In a game, he changes them into animals. One boy, changed into a dog, is chased away and misses the moment when the magician breaks the spell restoring the children to their human form. The dog-boy has to wait a year until Kummatty returns to the village. Aravindan claimed the film to be his favourite and referred to the international legend of the bogeyman which parents use to frighten their children, except that, in Kerala, the bogeyman is often shown as a compassionate person.

Part of our season on Govindan Arivindan