Kuttan, a down-and-out carpenter, lives in the hinterlands of Kerala, in one of the most remote places in the state. Having seen to the responsibilities he should discharge as a husband and a father, he decides to acquire a scooter of his own, a desire he has kept repressed for a long time. He buys the scooter against his wife's protests and his own better judgement. But a few months later, troubles catch up with him. The scooter meets with an accident and his wife's gold chain, the most valuable object in Kuttan's household, falls into a well. Expert assistance is necessary to dive into the depths of the well to retrieve it. The one who's known to Kuttan is bedridden, and he searches for another man. To top it all, Kuttan gets a notice from the bank that the repayments of his loan have not gone through, and they will initiate attachment proceedings. When Kuttan goes to the bank to negotiate a deal, the manager says an immediate payment of 35 grand is the only option to postpone the eviction. Now, the gold chain that lies deep in the well is his only way out of the mess.

  • Roshan Jameela Rahim
    Assistant Director: Thuramukham (Harbour), Liqour Island | Associate Director: Koon (Mushroom) | Art Director: Paka - River of Blood
  • Sobin George Ponnachan
    Assistant Director: Aashiq Vanna Divasam (The day Aashiq came), Art Director: Paka - River of Blood
  • Beesu Suresha
    Puttakkana Highway, Devara Naadalli, Uppina Kagada
  • Babu Annur
    Key Cast
    Ilayum Mullum, Ek Alag Mausam, Paadam Onnu: Oru Vilaapam, Oru Indian Pranayakadha, Iblis
  • Rajitha Madhu
    Key Cast
    Rani Padmini
  • Sathyan Kanai
    Key Cast
    Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum
  • Sausheel Thimbath
    Director of Photography
    Assistant Cinematographer: Thalaivi
  • Sharad Kaplingad
  • Shameer Ahammed
    Sound Recording and Design
    Location Sound Recordist: Sunny
  • Benny PV
    Art Director
    Irattajeevitham (Double Life), Eeda (Here)
  • Project Title (Original Language):
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    39 minutes 11 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    November 18, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    4,500 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Sony slog
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • SiGNS Film Festival
    February 21, 2023
    First premiere
    Short Fiction Focus (Non-Competition)
Director - Roshan Jameela Rahim
Director Statement

'Thottam' (Invocation) is the adaptation of the short story 'Swarnamala' (Gold Chain), written by Vaikom Muhammad Basheer, one of the most celebrated writers in the history of Malayalam literature. We placed the story in the northern hinterlands of Kerala, and everything in the film was designed accordingly. Referring to the cultural history of North Kerala, the film has an underlying layer of folklore element adapted from the popular ritual form of dance worship called 'Theyyam'. In Theyyam, there is a ritual called "Thottam Paattu", a vocal ballad sung just before performing the Theyyam ritual. The mythological belief of performing this ritual is that the vocal ballad will invoke the deity and the performer will be possessed by divine spirits. There are at least 456 types of Theyyam, and in most of them, the performer will jump into a fire pit after being possessed by the divine spirits. The intention behind naming the film as 'Thottam' has dimensions referring to this ritual. Kuttan's story comes about during a Theyyam festive season. The soundscape of the land majorly refers to the same. Announcements of festivals are everywhere and the surroundings are pervaded with the rhythmic beats of Chenda (a percussion instrument). Everything that happens in Kuttan's life acts like a vocal ballad invoking the frantic deity inside Kuttan, just like a Theyyam. The well is the apparent fire pit he is supposed to jump in.