Comments on the women of Nerkonda Paarvai by Tamil YouTube channel sparks outrage
After the widespread outrage against their statements, the video was taken down by the team, which also delivered a token apology
Ajith-starrer Nerkonda Paarvai, a remake of the 2016 Hindi film, Pink, deals with the concept of consent, and how blaming the victims of sexual assault or slut-shaming them is wrong. Unfortunately, three online reviewers of a popular Tamil YouTube channel failed to get this memo. In their online conversation after watching the press show of the Ajith-starrer, some of their comments were in extremely bad taste and have created quite an outrage on social media. Doesn't a channel, with a considerable number of followers, owe some sort of accountability to their audience?
Discussing the film, one of the reviewers said, "Considering the three women in the film are seemingly from an upper class, we don't quite feel sympathetic to their plight. They go to pubs, they drink, they talk about losing their virginity very early in their lives, and it makes us uninterested in the injustice meted out to them. This is the film's minus point." Agreeing to this pearl of worldly wisdom, another member of the panel decodes why such a film was a success in Bollywood. "This culture of women going to pubs, having sex, etc... is quite normal in the North. But Tamil culture and our way of life is drastically different, and this prevents us from feeling invested or sympathetic to them. Idhungalukku enna nadandha namakkenna nu thonudhu."
Certain members of the film fraternity were quick to reprimand these reviewers and express outrage on Twitter.
Singer and voice artist, Chinmayi shared the video, captioning it, "The everyday misogyny and justification of ‘They asked for it’ by three mainstream Tamil reviewers."
Irumbuthirai-director PS Mithran made a pertinent point in his tweet. He said, "'இதுங்களுக்கு...' the term used to identify objects is used to identify women in our common tongue. Most men do share this same regressive and insensitive thought of objectification. This only makes Nerkonda Paarvai a much more relevant and necessary film."
K-13-director Barath Neelakanthan also expressed his condemnation of the video on Twitter.
After the widespread outrage against their statements, the video was taken down by the team, which also delivered a token apology. While what these three reviewers said is downright bad, it is their brazen attitude that makes it all the more alarming. Why weren't they worried about the repercussions? Why weren't they the slightest bit aware of their inherently flawed beliefs? How did they think it was okay to say they couldn't care enough about women who they consider to be of "loose morals"? And wait, isn't this the exact opposite of what Nerkonda Paarvai is trying to drill into our heads.
Shraddha Srinath, in an interview to Cinema Express, said, "Everyone is an adult. You can’t categorise women who smoke/drink/have casual sex as loose characters. A girl can be as she wants to be. Consent is consent, regardless of whether you are married or unmarried. Through this film, I hope that such topics aren't talked about in a hushed manner anymore." Adhik Ravichandran, Arjun Chidambaram, and Aswin Rao, the men who play the primary antagonists in Nerkonda Paarvai, said the film must be watched by all, especially men, to understand the importance of consent.
Adhik said, "After they watch Nerkonda Paarvai, each man's consciousness will burst with guilt," and Arjun added, "We have drawn a circle around women. If they dare to step out of it, we assassinate their character. As a society, we have complicated the world so much for women. You will see just how much in Nerkonda Paarvai." Well, he's right. We just witnessed why a film like Nerkonda Paarvai is important, relevant, and all the more necessary.