Fasten your seat belts, ladies and gentlemen for we are going on a rough ride.
And my dear reader , who is peering into the screen, let me settle your confusion by stating this:
I stand by Parvathy not because she happens to be my favourite actor but because I understand the gravity of her statements.
Okay calm down. Now before you go and call me” feminichi” and “kochamma”, I’d like to engage in a peaceful discussion with you. Now, I’m writing this article after a long and deep meditation on what exactly the problem is. I’ve listened to both sides and there are a number of reasons why I stand by Parvathy. Let’s dive right in.
“What right does a newbie have to criticize an actor who has been in the industry after much hard work and struggle?”
My dearest reader, the right she has is the same as the right you and I and your friend and your sister and your mother and your father and your neighbor… basically it’s the right every human is born with- The freedom of speech. Last time I checked, this country was still a democracy. I wonder, since when stating an opinion has become such a horrendous crime?
Yes, yes..you have the same right to criticize her too. But listen, there’s this thin line between exercising your freedom of speech and abusing it.
Calling her names and verbally assaulting her is abusing your freedom of speech. Got it?
Still not satisfied with my answer?
Ok, do you think that it was stupid of her to take a movie so seriously?
Well, you see…I’m sorry to tell you but cinema is probably the most influential medium around. Okay, well let’s put it this way….
It was not just one movie. This is not an isolated case. From TV shows to movies, well let’s just say the list is long. Very long. So you still believe that cinema doesn’t influence the society but, surely what is seen in a movie is what sprouted in the writer’s mind and which the director decided to portray on screen. You agree?
So, if there had been so many movies with misogynistic undertones , it means there had been an equal number of people nursing such ideas. You with me?
In short, it doesn’t matter if you think cinema is influential or not. The very fact that there have been countless misogynistic movies should be enough to unsettle you. Why?
Because, as I said before, it is a pointer to that many number of people who have upheld strong prejudices against women. And, stay with me here, they actually went through the complete production process because they thought this was okay.
And it is not. Oh wait, do you think it’s okay? Aw, do you think women are being utterly sensitive by not taking it as a ‘joke’?
Well, my dear reader, as per Census 2011, the population of India comprises 48.5% females. I’d say that it’s a large number plus this becomes a problem because we have enough negativity and problems surrounding women. We don’t want films to add to it.
And if you think that comedy only works by bringing down an entire gender…time to start being creative.
Since I’ve engaged in countless arguments defending Parvathy, I’d like to call myself an expert when it comes to this topic.
“Irrfan Khan asked Parvathy in a video by Filter Copy regarding the hotness of Malayali women. My oh my, where was Parvathy’s rage then???”
My good reader, did you not watch that video? Okay let me remind you.
The video was titled “Types of Men you meet on a Date” and it is clearly evident from Parvathy’s expression that she is disgusted and she even leaves right after.
It means, that the video and Parvathy is NOT GLORIFIYING the creep. ( The role played by Irrfan for that video)
And this brings us to a very important point. What exactly did Parvathy say? She was showing us how the misogynistic scene(s) in Kasaba has been glorified. And oh no, she was not asking for a total ban of such characters, she was just talking of how films tend to glorify such behaviours when it shouldn’t.
There are a lot more arguments brought forward by the public. My line of defense following their line of charges would probably add up to a book.
The point is,this is a serious issue.We have come a long way from female roles being played by men to films of depth by female film makers. But we have some more miles to go. It’s an issue of how we see our women. While there have been plenty of movies that have shown women in good light, the fact still remains that tropes such as Manic Pixie Dream Girls , the evil seductress, girls hating on girls and the overly sensitive clingy girlfriend, the insensitive girlfriend betraying the good, ‘pavam boyfriend’ and more exist to a great extent. While they may seem innocent and harmless on the outside, we should keep in mind that what is shown on screen is a misrepresentation of the real world. No, we don’t need all realistic films but when we have a history of a world that once psychologically degraded women to the point of feeling subhuman , we should be careful of what we’re portraying because Cinema is a cultural activity powerful enough to have a say in our lives. That being said, keeping women up on a pedestal is an equally grave problem too. Extremities are dangerous. What we should seek for in movies is a harmonious balance of the good and the bad.
This is to all the people out there. Next time, you see a woman offering constructive criticism about a field she is familiar with, do not bring her down.
Listen. Grasp the gravity of a female perspective. Be kind even if you disagree. Opt for discussions not wars.
Kindness always wins.