From the director of such award-winning films as Deshadanam and Kaliyattom, Thalolam is about violinist Sankaranunny and his friend Haridas, a gifted painter, who are both disciples of a famous musician, Ththamangalam Swamy. Haridas' wife, whom he had married against his parents' wishes, dies in childbirth. Haridas leaves for Paris, entrusting the newborn to Sankaranunny. But the child dies and Sankaranunny suffers from guilt feelings. When Haridas comes back after 16 years, Sankaranunny presents his own daughter as the child Haridas left behind. Soon the truth is revealed and a shattered Haridas leaves home again. Murali won the 1998 State Award for Best Actor for this performance, which the jury found "minutely structured and superbly controlled." The film was screened at the 4th International Film Festival of Kerala, 1999.
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