Swayamvaram is credited with being the pioneer of the Malayalam New Wave Cinema. It is co-written and directed by Adoor Gopalakrishnan. The film shows the life of a couple-Vishwam (Madhu) and Sita (Sharada) -who have married against their parents’ wishes and want to start a new life somewhere else. He starts looking for a job , and aspires to be a writer and publish his own novel while Sita looks for small jobs. Financial pressure leads to vishwam and Seeta moving out of their home and seeking a cheaper place to stay. Eventually they both end up in a slum with a prostitute as their neighbour. Vishwam finds a job as teacher in a junior college but soon loses it and finally ends up working as a clerk in a small factory.
Adoor Gopalakrishnan made his debut with this film. Swayamvaram is an ancient tradition in which the girl was given a choice to choose her groom as she liked. In the words of Adoor , this film is all about choices; the protagonists could have chosen any one of them but they chose what they had conviction in. An important aspect of the film is its cinematography which aids the director in creating haunting beautiful images. There is creative use of sounds as letitmotif to create unique musical notes, something which was quite new to indian films then. The great Bharat Gopi made his debut here in a very small role at the end. An impressive debut by Adoor.