Fire directed by Deepa Mehta, the path breaking movie and one of the first mainstream films in India to explicitly show homosexual relations, released in 1996 created a huge controversy and uproar among political and Hindu groups, the reason being it was ‘a film against Indian tradition and culture’. Starring Shabana Azmi and Nandita Das, it revolved around the romantic relationship of two women.
Two decades later, noted Malayalam filmmaker Thulasidas has attempted with the same subject of lesbianism in his bilingual titled Thiraikku Varaadha Kadhai (TVK) Tamil and Girls in Malayalam. Though the story has been kept under wraps, DC found out that the film’s main plot revolves around a girl falling in love with another girl who is her roomie and its repercussions.
TVK is a murder mystery with an all-women cast which includes Nadia Moidu, Iniya, Reshma Pasupuleti, Aarthi, Kovai Sarala, Eden, Archana besides 20 women characters. The latest we hear is that the film has been cleared with U/A with a few cuts from Censors and is competing with the biggies like Kaashmora and Kodi for this Diwali. But the director and producer tell us that they have handled the subject with sensitivity and hence don’t anticipate protests or moral policing from women’s organisations.
“I do agree that it is a subject which has not been touched by any of the Tamil filmmakers so far. But when Tulasidas sir narrated the subject to me, it had a strong message to the society. Initially, I also had apprehensions whether to make it for its unconventional theme and there’s no hero or for that matter any male character in the movie. But all said and done, the script doesn’t support this unnatural relationship and a twist in the tale takes place. I can’t give out much about the story,” reveals producer Manikandan.
“In fact, I took inspiration for Thiraikku….. from a television programme that was aired on a Malayalam channel. Although a few Malayalam and Hindi films had the hardcore theme of lesbianism, here in Thiraikku Varaadha Kadhai, I have not sensationalised it and made it a murder mystery. I have made the screenplay in such a manner that it imparts the message that these relationships are against our culture,” the director affirms.
But he is tightlipped when we ask him about which two actresses play the sensitive characters. “That’s suspense! You have to watch it on silver screen. But there will be a culture shock for the audience.”
While Nadia Moidu essays a police officer, Aarthi, Iniya and others play Film Institute students. While renowned musician M.G. Sreekumar has composed the tracks, multiple Kerala state award winner Srinivasan has edited the film....