Jalaja walks Red Carpet at Cannes with her daughter

Jalaja Cannes Red Carpet Thamp

കാൻസ് റെഡ് കാർപെറ്റിൽ ജലജയും മകളും… കാൻസ് ഫിലിം ഫെസ്റ്റിവലിൽ എത്തുന്ന ആദ്യ മലയാള നടിമാർ…

Jalaja walked the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival on Saturday for the premiere of late G. Aravindan’s restored film Thampu (1978), now rechristened as Thamp.

Veteran actor Jalaja walked the red carpet at on Saturday for the premiere of late auteur G. Aravindan’s restored film Thamp, originally titled Thampu. The actor was joined by Prakash R. Nair, son of Thamp’s producer K. Raveendranathan Nair, and Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, archivist and movie director, who took the initiative to restore the film. The film, which has been restored by the National Heritage Mission under the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, was screened as part of the Classics in the ongoing Cannes. The movie “Thamp’ is at an international venue after four decades of its release.


Jalaja arrived for Cannes by wearing a traditional Kerala saree while Devi wore a gorgeous white lehenga. They expressed their delight in being the the first Malayalam actresses who reached the Cannes Film Festival.

Thamp, shot in black and white, offers a kaleidoscope of life in a small circus. In fact, the cast also included real circus workers, and Aravindan captured many scenes during actual performances and rehearsals – elaborating how these men enraptured simple village folk. The director gathered a bunch of circus artists, took them to the village of Thirunavaya on the banks of the Bharathapuzha River. When the tent was set up, it amazed the simple villagers, many of whom had never seen a circus before. For a few days, the performances are the centre of attraction, but after that the people move away to prepare for a local festival.

One of the most brilliant auteurs of Indian cinema, the late Aravindan, was part of what has been termed the New Indian Wave, which he along with Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Mrinal Sen and Mani Kaul among others heralded in the late 1960s and the early 1970s. Aravindan’s 1978 Thamp.

Jalaja was in the midst of her pre-degree, when Aravindan asked her to do a small role in Thamp. Jalaja once said of the film that since she had very few lines, she could concentrate on her performance.

Aravindan’s work is celebrated for its reflective silences and is known to be observational. His closeups in Thamp are as captivating as some of those we have seen in European cinema, especially in the work of the Swedish director, Ingmar Bergman.

Aravindan’s son Ramu said in a media statement: “Aravindan’s movies were seen and discussed widely in the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s as carriers of a unique but very specific kind of visual-poetic sensibility. That reputation endured even as a younger generation of viewers and filmmakers grew up. His reflective kind of cinema continued to be discussed. Only this time, it was mostly by word of mouth – good digitisations of these movies were hardly available. Quite ironic for a very visual filmmaker! “

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