Movie a lighter version of real situation: Jeo Baby

Discussion held on ‘fearsome kitchens’ of Kerala, triggered by the movie The Great Indian Kitchen

Published - January 29, 2021 08:04 pm IST - Kozhikode

Sexual division of labour and commercialisation of marriage form the foundation of domestic violence. Depicting these two aspects clearly is the victory of the movie The Great Indian Kitchen , said feminist activist K. Ajitha. Speaking at a discussion on the topic ‘Are kitchens in Kerala so fearsome?’ in connection with the movie’s theme, organised by Red Youngs and Manjadikkuru theatre fraternity in Kozhikode on Friday, she said the movie was something the feminist movement in Kerala could project to create awareness among people.

Director of the movie Jeo Baby said his experience in the kitchen was the driving force behind the film. “The male lead in the movie has shades of my character. The movie brought out the disgusting traits of myself,” he said, adding that the movie was just a lighter version of the real situation.

Moderator Shahina Rafeeque cited various criticisms that the movie had faced since its release a couple of weeks ago on an OTT platform. However, Jeo Baby said the criticisms were welcome. “There could have been shortcomings in the script. But it is just how I perceived the issue,” he said.

Walkout an option?

The female protagonist’s walkout from the house of her husband was applauded by many, as was also criticised. “I know that everyone cannot walk out from similar situations like that. My protagonist is an educated and privileged woman. She can afford to walk out. But not those women who she meets on the roadside doing day-to-day jobs. Hence I cannot suggest a walkout as a solution to the issue,” Jeo Baby said.

“The distance between her walkout and the stage where she applauds is too big, that many falter on the way. There is another movie waiting to be made on the hardships of a divorced woman,” he added.

Activist Kanakadurga, one of the two women who first entered the Sabarimala temple after the controversial Supreme Court verdict, was part of the discussion. The movie takes up the Sabarimala issue to highlight its effect on ordinary women. Directors Prathap Joseph and A. Shanthakumar, and activist Gargi H. also took part in the discussions.

Earlier, the crew of the movie, around 60 of them, and cast who are mostly theatre artistes from Kozhikode, including T. Suresh Babu who played the father-in-law and Kabani who played Usha, the servant, besides lyricist Mridula Devi Sasidharan and singer Niranjana were honoured.

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