One international film award winner wonder, Malayalam actor Parvathy, has landed three misogynists in a soup one of whom only acts misogynist because he is a director’s actor and the director told him to “give it the best shot you can.”
So, Malayalam superstar Padma Shree Mammootty gave it his best shot and the film with the small town title Kasaba hit screens in 2016 with no woman in 100% literate Kerala taking him to court for mouthing dirty dialogues in the script. It was just a movie role.
People identified the dialogues with the character in the film he played to sleep off the effect.
In Kasaba, Mammootty’s 2016 Eid release, rogue cop Rajan Zachariah walked up to a female police officer, and barked out a below the belt dialogue to the effect that he could make her miss her menstrual cycle with a single shot.
Parvaty seethed over this “misogynist” dialogue for one year plus. Then it was Take Off! The outrage simmering under the thin skin boiled over. In a seemingly choreographed ‘You say it, I’ll listen’ double-team act it spilled out to nail the film and the Malayalam superstar.
Mammootty’s fans were not idiots. They got the drift and they twittered and Facebooked. Of course, these were the not refined oil sort, they were the crude oil kind. They trolled Parvathy mercilessly and the cops hauled two of them off the net.
Was it not telling that Parvathy had all the journos and Shashi Tharoor behind her and Mammootty had all the fans? The two arrested fans were out in 48 hours and they became local heroes.
Kasaba’s producer Joby George offered one of them going by the printable name of Printo – a publisher’s dream– a job (what else, the guy’s name is Joby!) on Facebook: “Mone (son), if you can contact me or come to my home or office, you have a job till I die, in India, UK, Dubai, Australia or drop in your number, I will call you.”
At an open forum at the International Film Festival of Kerala earlier this month, Parvathy bracketed Kasaba with misogyny. “I was disappointed to watch an actor par excellence mouth dialogues to a woman that were not just derogatory but saddening. Cinema reflects society, many say. But the line to draw is whether to glorify a hero like this or not.”
Filmmaker Geethu Mohandas asked her to name the movie and Parvathy mouthed Kasaba. That was enough for Mammootty fans to go all-out Pongala (slang for trolling) on Parvathy. Printo’s brother-in-arms, Kollam student Rojan, sent three direct messages to Parvathy on Instagram, one of which said: “We are planning to rape you. Be ready.”
Parvathy was ready, but not to get raped. Rojan-who-wanted-to-rape landed behind bars. Offended journos and Parvathy and Shashi Tharoor wanted Mammootty to get out of the skin of the character he played in Kasaba and spell the real himself – Are you Rajan Zachariah/Rojan-the-rapist or Gentleman Mammootty?
Who is hounding whom? Parvathy, if she did not like the dialogues in the film, should have taken a forget-tablet and taken off to better climes. But no, like Karni Sena, who have taken off after Sanjay Leela Bhansali for his Padmavati, Parvathy has taken off after Mammootty for Joby George’s Kasaba.
“One statement at the time from Mammootty would have settled the issue once and for all,” wrote an I-stand-with-you-lady journo. But why brother, why should Mammootty do a “one statement” act? He has better things to do than get into a slanging match with man-eaters. Parvathy must also have better things to do, 2017 has come to a close and 2018 looms.
Misogyny is a weapon used far too easily against men these days and every man – even the ones who do not mouth dirty dialogues in films – is at mortal danger. Parvathy won the international award for the movie Take off. Now, it’s time to Layoff.