‘Ozhimuri’ is based on the story of the book ‘Uravidangal’ by veteran bilingual writer B Jayamohan, which is, the matrilineal system that prevailed in the Nair community in the erstwhile southern Travancore. The advantage of the matrilineal system was that the property was enjoyed by successors of the women in the family. The women were educated and bold. They enjoyed freedom in all respects. The mother in the family was stronger than the father. But by the end of this system, in the 1940s, women lost all their powers and soon became ‘slaves’ in the hands of a feudal male-dominated society. The movie exposes the complexities of a period of transition from matrilineal to patrilineal.
“Ozhimuri” means ‘divorce record’ in both Tamil and Malayalam. In the matrilineal system, women were free to divorce their husbands if they were not having a sound relationship. The ‘ozhimuris’ or small palm-leaf pieces recording divorces of couples still stand testimony to the freedom, which women enjoyed those days. The movie lays open the ego clashes and complexities of a period through the eyes of its lead character Thanupillai, who witnesses the tale of three women, his mother, wife and son’s wife.