Thampu ★★★★½

Thampu a film about a brief stint of a circus troop in a small village in Kerala. One of the notable filmmaker of the parallel cinema, Govindan Aravindan operates on the aspects of realism. Shot with mostly non actors the people of the village along with the circus artists, G. Aravindan draws an observational portrait. It observes a few circus men and captures the ripple of excitement the circus creates among the people at the beginning. No surprise the film didn’t have a script, the dialogues were written and improvised on location, as Aravindan himself called Thampu a location film. This documentary style film was beautifully shot by Aravindan’s usual cinematographer Shaji N. Karun especially I liked the frequent close-ups showing the villagers reacting in wonder at the circus. Observational cinema is the forte of G. Aravindan and Thampu is one of his important work in that category.

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