Who is PK Rosy?
Rosy was born in the year 1903, as Rajamma in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. The actress had to overcome several obstacles in her time. Apart from being a woman in the industry, she faced stiff resistance as she belonged to a particular community. Her parents were daily wagers and she herself engaged in jobs such as grass cutting for living.
She was also an actress in folk theater in Kerala which blends both Tamil and Malayalam. In her debut movie, Vigathakumaran (The Lost Child, 1928), she portrayed Sarojini, an upper caste girl. She faced a lot of backlash once the movie came out, and during the premiere, people even threw stones at her.Due to the backlash, her hut was set on fire and Rosy had to flee. She was condemned and opposed by the orthodox communities.
“Acting was not typically a woman’s occupation back then, and women who thought of it as a serious profession were stereotypically portrayed”, said Kunal Ray – a cultural critic, from FLAME University, Pune, wrote in his review of ‘The Lost Heroine’ by author Vinu Abraham based on the actress. The film’s director and her co-star, JC Daniel, were forced into bankruptcy as a result of the opposition. While Vigathakumaran, her film, has no known copies.
In 2019, the Women in Cinema Collective (WCC), in the intention to restore the actress’s name, had launched a film society in her name. Their statement read, “This act of naming our film society a PK Rosy Film Society is a humble attempt to be sensitive and to take note of all those who have been excluded from dominant cinema histories through their gender, caste, religious or class locations and our own imagination, and have been brought to light by many scholars, historians and activists.”
“In an era when performing arts was discouraged in many areas of society, especially for women, Rosy broke barriers with her portrayal in the Malayalam film Vigathakumaran (The Lost Child),” Google honored the icon and remarked on her love for acting. Her tale continues to inspire and motivate people even today.