• Thursday, June 20, 2024

Entertainment

Mammootty harassed online over a role played in 2022 film

Mammootty has not yet responded to the controversy.

Mammootty in a still from the film Puzhu.

By: Mohnish Singh

Malayalam cinema superstar Mammootty finds himself embroiled in controversy once again, this time over his portrayal in the 2022 film Puzhu.

Despite his celebrated career spanning decades, Mammootty’s role in the 2022 film has sparked fierce debate online, with some netizens accusing the film of being anti-Brahmanical and propagandist in nature and insulting the upper-caste Hindu community.

Puzhu, directed by debutant Ratheena, explores the complex dynamics of caste and identity in contemporary Kerala. The film follows the story of an upper-caste Brahmin family whose lives are disrupted when their daughter elopes with a man from a lower caste. Mammootty essays the role of the patriarch, whose traditional beliefs are challenged as he confronts the realities of caste discrimination and societal prejudices.

The backlash gained momentum after director Ratheena’s husband, Sharshad Baniyandi, said in a recent interview that Puzhu aimed to insult the upper-caste Hindu community.

Baniyandi questioned Mammootty’s decision to take up the project and asked if the actor had read the script before doing so. He also claimed that one of the scriptwriters of the film, Harsha, was an “extreme Islamist”.

Right-wing online trolls were quick to target the actor and even went on to address him by his original name, Mohammed Kutty and some also called for a boycott of his upcoming films.

However, many fans, politicians, and people from various backgrounds have come out in support of the actor.

Kerala Education Minister V Sivankutty defended Mammootty and stated on Facebook that such attacks wouldn’t work and called Mammootty a pride of Kerala.

Minister A K Rajan criticized the right-wing attacks and said such attacks have a history of targeting actors with communal narratives.

He said Mammootty is “the pride of Malayalees, and he will always remain so”.

“The Sangh politics of calling Mammootty Muhammad Kutty, Director Kamal as Kamaluddin, and Vijay as Joseph Vijay is useless here. This is Kerala,” he said.

Mammootty has not yet responded to the controversy.

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