This time I am back with another Malayalam film. If any of you are wondering what the word ‘Kottayam’ is-it’s a place in the southern state of Kerala, India. The title of this film basically implies that this is a story a 22 year old girl from Kottayam. This film had set a very different benchmark and it was something very different from what the audience was used to. So without much further ado.
Country of origin: India
Language : Malayalam
Directed by: Aashiq Abu
Written by: Abhilash S Kumar and Syam Pushkaran
Starring: Rima Kallingal, Fahadh Faasil, Prathap Pothen
Music: Bijibal, Rex Vijayan (BGM)
Released: 13 April 2012
Duration: 122 minutes
The story follows Tessa (Rima Kallingal ) who is a nursing student who wishes to go to Canada and work. She goes to a travel consultancy and meets Cyril (Fahadh Faasil) , who helps her arrange her visa and travel documents. Eventually the two get to know each other, fall in love and start living together.
One day while in a pub, Cyril gets into a fight with some influential people and is forced to flee and stay away from home. Hegde, Cyril’s boss comes over to their home to inform Tessa that he is in a safe place. However the situation turns for the worse, when Tessa realises Hegde’s intentions and in the ensuing moments, she is brutally raped after being knocked unconscious. Tessa is upset and tries to control an enraged Cyril who wants to kill Hegde. She convinces him that they can travel abroad and escape this fate. However, Hegde comes again, when Cyril is not around asking for forgiveness. But he rapes Tessa again resulting in her decision to not go abroad.
It is then revealed that these attacks on Tessa were actually planned by Hegde and executed by his minion, Cyril. Cyril pretended to be in love with her to create a chance for Hegde to assault her. Distraught at the fact that she is not leaving to Canada,the duo then executes a plan where they leak information that Tessa is carrying drugs ,to the police. They hide a batch of drugs in her bag, which the police discover when they seize and search her. While she is being arrested, a helpless Tessa looks on to see Cyril walking away, without a glance .
The remaining story is about how she comes to realise how she was cheated and how she takes her revenge on both Hegde and Cyril in ways we never imagined.
I had mentioned that this film was something different from what the audience was used to. Female leads facing such adversities have been a theme in many films. Mostly the women fought for justice, or their male counterparts did, or it was blended in as required to the story. This was the first time that such a theme, that involves rape and violence and it’s subsequent revenge were handled with a rather “harsh” reality.
We definitely have to acknowledge the performance all the three actors. While Tessa was helpless and dejected at her fate,her strong return and subsequent revenge gave her an almost powerful goddess like aura. Cyril and Hegde managed to give a performance that would make our insides curl in hate just at the sight of them. As the audience, I felt the director was able to help us relate strongly to the story and help us blend in.
Sexual harassment is increasing day by day. The surprising fact is that, in certain countries more men are victims to Sexual harassment and rape than women. Although we are often educated upon these things, certain things we overlook may sometimes lead to such problems. If a man catcalls a woman on a street or if men have their “locker room talk” , it’s considers not a big deal amongst men and women, because that’s how men are. To be a woman involves so many qualities, like being timid, shy or quiet. We do not seem to emphases how important is is to say “no” to things that shouldn’t happen. Although these things sound small and irrelevant, on the long run, this and so many more factors contribute to such kinds of increasing crime rates. A lot of improvement is happening, but I think we all need to put our little effort into it, to make sure than no man ot woman goes through such experiences which could lead a perfectly normal person to be scarred physically and mentally for life. The trauma associated wuth this is serious and life threatening and I think we should all be aware about it.
Many films such as this have exemplified the impact of harassment, protection of women, children etc. If you know any similar movies do mention in the comments! Also what do comment on what you felt about this post.
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