In a show of unity, members of the movie artistes’ association say no to Innocent's request to be relieved of the post of president

For all their multifarious roles on the silver screen, artistes of Malayalam cinema do not seem to be great fans of a change of role in real life.

So, in a show of unity that would put any other organisation to shame, the Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA) felt that its president Innocent’s services for the past 13 years were far too valuable to give up despite his additional burden as Member of Parliament.

Scenes from the general body meeting of the association held last week played out almost like a film.

Innocent pleaded to be let off wanting to give up the obligation to AMMA at the altar of his constituency, Chalakudy.

But rumour has it that more than a show of faith it was the concerted efforts by lead actors to quell rumblings from within, against the association being run by a coterie.

No guesses about who will be in the driver’s seat with Innocent keeping himself busy.

His chieftain and AMMA secretary Edavela Babu will enact the role of the second-in-command as general secretary Mohanlal too remains busy with his work.

Edavela Babu remains widely accepted thanks to his public relations skills to keep the who-is-who of the association in good humour.

Slug fest all over again

For all his manoeuvring skills in the Assembly, Minister for Cinema Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan may not have seen it coming.

The moment he declared the government’s intention to curb unhealthy practices in Mollywood, a slug fest got under way.

For comrades-in-arms Film Employees Federation of Kerala (FEFKA) and Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA), the sole unhealthy trend plaguing the industry is the dictum by P.V. Basheer Ahamed, president of the Kerala Film Exhibitors Federation, and not the age-old crooked practices of coteries and lobbies trampling upon those unfavourable to them.

And for Mr. Basheer, the only curse is the alleged attempts by FEFKA to belittle him with the backing of AMMA and to sideline directors and technicians who speak against the leadership.

A fragile truce

The past week witnessed a rare occasion of unity among the fans associations of the various stars, from the ‘golden’ oldies to the youngest of the lot, some of whose first films are yet to hit the screens.

The forced unity, accepted grudgingly by the fans, was caused by an attack from ‘outside’.

The administrators of Kannada film page in Facebook put up a post making fun of some of the Malayalam superstars. They hit where it mattered the most – their age, and even went on to brand them as ‘uncles’.

All hell broke loose and the aggrieved fans came together to target Kannada film stars.

Hate comments were showered aplenty and before long it turned into an ugly slugfest.

To control the damage, the administrators of the Kannada page came out with an apology post and said that they were provoked by a post making fun of Kannada film stars, put up by a Malayali.

But the fans were in no mood to listen and the page itself was closed down within two days, after a flurry of ‘report abuse’ requests was sent to Facebook.

Mission accomplished and things were back to normal, with the fans splitting up and calling each others’ idols ‘uncle’, ‘grandfather’ and a few other unsavoury words.

The online mercenaries had just a few days of rest, before they pounced on Maria Sharapova, with abuses in Malayalam.