Esthappan is a 1980 Malayalam film written and directed by G. Aravindan. Esthappan is a fisherman, who lives in a seashore colony. He, who was once a fisherman now does no work other than helping people. He is concerned more about getting into the hearts of people where lay the real problem. His story unfolds through narrations by other fishermen about his miraculous acts. For some he is a seer and healer, for others a thief, or a crook. He is the medium through which they explain and understand the ambiguities and injustices of life. Esthappan, who turns into a mythical figure in the minds of the local people, and weaves into itself local myths and legends.
There is something about him-his waywardness or maybe the look in his eyes which gives rise to stories. The stories about Esthappan contradict one another. The film makes creative use of the episodic cartoon format. Arivandan draws parallels with the Biblical story of Christ. Shaji’s camera captures soft contrasts of light, faint rubbings of the gold in the dark hall of the catholic church, the hazy blackness of a cave following upon the grain of sandstone walls.