On just another day at work my friends, started off a debate on the recent Kasaba controversy and I was shocked that my rather feminists guy friends, were not in support of Parvathy.
Their main argument was that the movie was an art, a story — and Parvathy’s claim is like censoring the movie — thus restricting the freedom of an artist. Yes I agree, an artist has the right to tell the story he/she wants to. And it was totally okay if Kasaba was an art house movie, where the actors are seen only as characters. It was okay if people only saw it as a story of a police officer, but not a hero who is celebrated — a superstar, who thousands of people look upto and whose character is portrayed as the epitome of ‘The man’ or the ‘cool guy’.
Society influences cinema and cinema influences society.
Its a two-way chain. Cinemas tell stories of the people in our society and they also shape the way people live, love, think and act. Movies like this are just boosting the misogynists in these people. It is telling them it is a ‘cool’ and a ‘man’ thing to silence women with rape threats. And the same is evidently seen all across social media — people abusing Parvathy and giving her rape threats!! What more evidence do you want to know that movies like this are doing real harm to the society! And this is not just the movie Kasaba, there are many Dileep movies (like king liar) where nashipikaling (molesting) your sister is shown as a joke and is a means of taking revenge on a guy.
Or the recent blockbuster movie, Arjun Reddy (became popular all across the south and is going to be remade in Bollywood) which is making stalking cool and on the more telling young men that the girl will ultimately ‘fall in love’ if you stalk and disturb her long enough. You will yourself know of at least one girl in your life who was stalked and disturbed incessantly. And in many cases, when the girl doesn’t turn around — it leads to violence, including acid attacks and even killing.
Well some actors, realized this early on. Actor Prithviraj, has regretted doing misogynistic roles in the past, apologized and sworn that he would be socially responsible henceforth. It’s high time that the superstars realize the ‘power’ they have on the people and use it responsibly.
And to the government, we don’t need you to take away condom ads or lovemaking scenes, but rather do something about movies like this! At least put out a warning sign that this is wrong – like what is done for scenes with smoking and alcohol consumption. Otherwise, you are just gonna make living more difficult and scary for girls like me.
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