December 5, 2021

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Netflix’s ‘Meenakshi Sundareshwar’ Is Being Called Out For Stereotyping And Appropriating Tamil Culture. Again!

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Meenakshi Sundareshwar starring Sanya Malhotra, Abhimanyu Dassani has found itself in the eye of the storm. Again. After upsetting and offending South Indian viewers, especially the Tamil populace with its tokenistic representation in the teaser and trailer, it seems like the makers didn’t bother to run a quality test. Because the film is here after releasing on November 5 and it’s worse. Set in Madurai, the story is about two an arranged-marriage couple who juggle long distance relationship and an impractical conflict. And while at it, it harps on many stereotypes that mainstream cinema has infamously packaged for North-centric cinemagoers over the ages.

Not just that it also appropriates Tamil culture with fluent Hindi-speaking actors and a script that thinks five Tamil phrases sprinkled around will do the job. Even though almost all the pivotal characters in the film are Tamil. That and Rajinikant worship which one would have put up with if they bothered to spell Thalaiva’s name the right way.

SEE ALSO: Stereotyping At It’s Worst’! Tamilians Are Not Happy With Teaser Of Karan Johar’s ‘Meenakshi Sundareshwar’

Needless to say, Twitter is livid and frustrated for the above-mentioned reasons and are expressing their disappointment about the film that wastes it actors and the opportunity to cast Tamil actors for the part. See for yourself.

If you’re not in the know, Meenakshi Sundareshwar marks the digital debut of Dassani of Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota and the directorial debut of Vivek Soni who has also co-written the film with Aarsh Vora. It is produced by Karan Johar’s Dharmatic Entertainment.

The filmmaker had recently addressed the noise around the film and had said that the film doesn’t stereotype Tamilians. Talking about the Rajinikant reference Soni was quoted saying, “I know there are a lot of great actors down south, like Ajith, Surya, Vijay, but for me personally, after MGR, there is no bigger superstar than Rajinikanth. He is my personal favourite, and that is the reason we chose Meenakshi to be a fan of Rajini sir as such.” He added, “Apart from that I don’t think there is any stereotyping in the film.”

“We have made a Hindi film set in the south, eventually it is a Hindi film. I could make a Tamil film, then it would become a regional film, which wouldn’t be a bad thing either because we have some fantastic films there. But, I essentially wanted to make a Hindi film. We could have kept an accent too, but we didn’t want to do that, because that would be stereotypical. We didn’t want to do that, because then it would look like we are making fun of the language. We have only used a few words to add flavour,” he added.

Unfortunately, that’s all there is in the film that tries too hard to be cute. Faint flavour just for the sake of aesthetics.

Cover artwork by Bhavya Poonia/Mashable India



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