Glimpse of the Light of a Firefly / Oru Minnaminunginte Nurunguvettam

Glimpse of the Light of a Firefly / Oru Minnaminunginte Nurunguvettam

Dir : Bharathan / India / 108 minutes / Malayalam / 1987


The film narrates a sad story of a Malayali couple. Ravunni Nair and Saraswathi Amma were colleagues teaching in the same school, who eventually got married, when the former was 45 and the latter was 40. The greatest sorrow of their life was that they were childless. After retirement from school, Maya comes to stay with them. She was a friend’s daughter with whom Saraswathi Amma had stayed with during her earlier teaching career. Maya had got admission into a local college and she was in search of a place for boarding and lodging as well as guardians. Maya, motherless for long, brings with her some cheer.

The old couple almost adopts her as their daughter and Maya reciprocates. Ravi was in love with Maya. He returns from the United States to meet her. Maya’s father Bhadran Nampoothiripadu did not approve of Ravi. However, Ravunni and Saraswathi Amma bless Ravi and Maya and get them married. Ravi has to go back to USA; and he leaves Maya with the couple as she is now expecting. She gives birth to a baby boy but dies at child-birth. The couple loses a major prop of their lives. They are left with the baby, who they look after like their grandson. One day, Ravi returns to get his son and now the other prop is also gone. They console each other and comfort themselves to live the rest of their lives.

Nedumudi Venu’s performance as Ravunni Nair received great critical acclaim and public appreciation. He won the state award for best actor for this role.


Kerala State Film Award for Best Actor-1987-Nedumudi Venu
Kerala State Film Award for Best Film with Popular Appeal and Aesthetic Value-1987-Bharathan, Babu Thiruvalla, Gopinath Panthalam

Directors Biography and Filmography:

Bharathan (November 14, 1947 – July 29, 1998) is widely regarded as one of the most prolific filmmakers of Malayalam cinema. At the time of his passing, at the age of 51, he had directed more than 50 movies in several languages. Director, artist, sculptor, poster designer and art director, all rolled into one, Bharathans success graph reached its peak in 1982 when he won four Kerala State Film Awards. While his film Marmaram fetched him awards for the best film, best director and best art director, his film Ormakkayi was chosen by the jury as the second best film the same year.

After completing his diploma from the School of Fine Arts he entered the world of Cinema as an art director for Vincent, an accomplished director of the time and the movie was Ghandarva Kshetram. He got the inspiration from his uncle, P. N. Menon — a veteran film director. After working as an art director and assistant director for a few movies, he made his directorial debut on 1974 with Prayanam, based on Padmarajan’s script. The movie received the national award for the best regional film in that year. It also marked the rise of two early proponents of middle-stream Malayalam cinema. Bharathan rode to fame with his off-beat Thakara, a film about a dumb-witted idiot who falls in love with a village beauty.

Bharathan’s films were experiments in which the director introduced new situations culled out of commonplace occurrences. The director showed a penchant for brilliantly portraying rustic and far-removed communities as in Vengalam, in which the life of brassware makers is depicted. His experiments also included Aaravam, more an art than a commercial venture, Kaattathe Kilikkoodu, a detective story, and Nidra, a film about the plight of a girl who is in love with a mentally deranged man. Some of his other memorable films include Rathinirvedam, Chamaram, Paalangal, Amaram, Patheyam, Vaishali and Alolam.

In Oru Minnaaminunginte Nurunguvettam, he is telling the story of a childless couple in their post retirement life. The audience is made to leave theatre with a heavy heart when the couple is eventually alone in their life again and vanishes on the screen in beautiful grass covered valley. It is still a mystery in the realm of creativity when art excels the artist. In case of Bharathan it was Vaisali. It was the masterpiece from the craftsman -acclaimed as a classic painting on a wide canvas. Scripted by the well known writer M.T.Vasudevan Nair, it was an adaptation of a sub-story told in the epic Mahabharatha.


Producer – M. G. Gopinath (Pandalam Gopinath)/Babu Thiruvalla
Scriptwriter – John Paul
Music – Johnson
Cinematographer – Vasant Kumar
Editor – Bharathan


Nedumudi Venu, Sarada, Parvathy, Devan, M. S. Thripunithura, Innocent, Sankaradi, Master Vinu