This year, we feel the jury take root for films with female protagonists who forcefully claim their rights.
The rewards, by their models, often send a message, although those who distribute it dismiss it rather as a coincidence. Over the past few years, there has been a conscious shift towards rewarding non-superstars while choosing Best Actor at the State Film Awards.
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This year, we feel the jury take root for films with female protagonists who forcefully claim their rights. That the jury chose Great Indian cuisine because the best film is perhaps the biggest indicator of how it has brought gender politics to the fore, as well as artistic merit.
With a narrative centered around a drab and mundane kitchen, with the mundane, everyday activities that would occur in such a kitchen taking place during a considerable portion of its execution, Great Indian cuisine did not initially find the favor of the big OTT platforms. Yet when it was released on a new, lesser-known platform word spread, triggering the kind of discussions that have not been seen for any film in recent years.
Talk to The Hindu after winning the state award, its director Jeo Baby said he always wanted awards and festivals, but never expected the kind of reception the film received.
“Not in our wildest imaginations, we did not expect such a reception. We knew it would spark discussion, but not such a broad debate. It was the pathetic condition of women inside the homes that led to it. making such a movie. I thought of making this movie only after going through the drudgery of cooking day after day. Many men have a passion for cooking, but they only need to cook when that’s fine with them, but the majority of women who run a household don’t and I have to do it 24 hours a day, ”Jeo explains.
In several mainstream films of the past, this work had been lauded as something that complements the woman. Here, the film places him as something imposed on him by the men around him. Men, including her husband and stepfather, are not portrayed as angry or violent characters, but as soft-spoken characters who calmly impose their will on the woman, like slow, sweet poison.
The storyline also takes head-on the regressive notions of impurity associated with menstruation and places them firmly in the context of the Supreme Court’s verdict on women’s entry into Sabarimala.
Incidentally, the verdict and its consequences appear as a plot point in Senna Hegde’s film. Thinkalazhcha Nishchayam, which won the award for second best film. He also has the choice of a woman at his center.
This year, the Chalachitra Academy also instituted a special award in all categories for transgender people or women. He went to Nanjiyamma for the song ‘Kalakkatha’ by Ayyappanum Koshiyum.