Gramam, directed by Mohan Sharma, is set in Palakkad during the period when the nation was on the cusp of gaining independence. The world was in a churn and social norms were changing.
The canvas sounds interesting with big things happening in the bigger world outside having repercussions on a community that rigidly follows its own rules and customs.
It focuses on child marriage, widowhood and remarriage and the story is set against the backdrop of August 15, 1947.
Thulasi, who has just entered her teens, is married off to a guy who is just a couple of years older as there is a problem in her horoscope. Next thing we know, her husband is killed by a snakebite. The little girl is made to lead the life of a widow along with her grandmother (Sukumari), in a corner room.
There are other sub-plots like Mani Swamy (Mohan Sharma), a staunch conformist and Thulasi's maternal uncle with whom Thulasi lives.
Nedumudi Venu plays a school teacher who plays the narrator. Nishan is Thulasi's dimwitted cousin, who stands up for her against his own father.
Samvrutha, who plays the grown up Thulasi, makes an appearance halfway through the film and has nothing substantial to do.
Sukumari, who won the National Award for her role as the grandmother in this film makes an impact as the protector of the little girl.
The film tries to be perfect but there's a disconnect.
The overall experience of watching Gramam is like reading something that is grammatically correct but not emotionally stirring.