Although many leading actors have portrayed roles that have had an overdose of misogyny in it, awareness is slowly increasing in the film industry. To trace this change in outlook, a good example will be the movies of actor Dhanush. If we look back at movies like ‘Pudhupettai’ where Kokki Kumar comments on the morals of women through dialogues like, “They’ll drink, they’ll put themselves out there after that and the men, poor guys they are drunk too. What would they do? It aroused them and they played. This is what happens when women compete with men,” after he was asked to kill the rapists that gang-raped a woman. He even had second thoughts about letting them go.
But, on the other hand, Kokki Kumar is free to have two wives because “He’s got a reason”!!
Starting from this extremely disturbing dialogue to ‘Mayakkam Enna’s’ most repulsive ‘Adida Avala, Odhada Avala, Vetraa Avala, Thevaye Illa (Hit her, Kick her, stab her, she is not needed anymore) song, Dhanush’s characters have been famous among the male masses for all the wrong reasons. Let’s not forget his film 3’s famous ‘Why This Kolaveri Di’ which made absolutely no sense that got famous worldwide. Not sure if they would have loved this song so much globally had they known the baseless and classless meaning behind the song.
After that, however, Dhanush’s films began seeing a welcome turn. Although VIP 2 had a strong waft of the very same misogyny where a successful woman was portrayed arrogant and the wife (who was a successful career woman in part 1) portrayed as nagging, atleast there weren’t dialogues against Kajol’s character that were misogynistic. Thank God there were no dialogues similar to ‘Ponnugalukku adakkam venum’ types.
The change in outlook is refreshing in his recent films like ‘Maari 2’. Sai Pallavi ‘s character asks Maari to marry her so she can cook for him, take care of him and have babies with him. But Maari admonishes her saying women are achieving great heights in so many fields and she shouldn’t be so backward in mind. Also, when a woman who was molested says “Enna Yaar Kalyanam Pannippa?”, Maari avoids the obvious victim blaming that happens in Pudhupettai and says that the accused needs to be ashamed for committing a crime and she mustn’t feel low.
And then his film ‘Vada Chennai’ was a complete evolution. The characters of Aishwarya Rajesh and Andrea were powerful and brought a difference in the film and surprise! There were no misogynistic dialogues at all. On the contrary, Andrea’s character Chandra was so classy that it was inimitable. Aishwarya Rajesh was also portrayed so courageous that we loved her character in the film!
Now, it’s time for all actors (most of them have walked the sexism path) to be more careful when they portray a character to an audience that takes films super serious. Because, we’ve got news for you, women are not safe in this country and a movie must be the last source to make it worse!