HEROES TO HUMAN BEINGS: A STUDY ON THE EMOTIONAL EVOLUTION OF THE LEAD CHARACTERS OF MAINSTREAM MALAYALAM CINEMA
Manukrishnan.k, K Varsha
For most part of the last three decades’ men in mainstream Malayalam cinema needed to be the torch bearers of “masculinity” and machismo. They were the saviours and never needed any saving. They were angry, brave, charming, but never vulnerable, scared or defeated. Men in main stream Malayalam cinema never learned to cry or to ask for help. They were immune to depression and mental illness. They considered stalking as the most charming and romantic act of love and wouldn't take no for an answer. They mostly catered to an audience who would reject any sort of vulnerability or flaws in their idols and would praise and then ignore films attempting to depicts real humans only to call them art house or intellectual. The paper will trace the evolution of mainstream male characters in Malayalam cinema from larger than life heroes to vulnerable, flawed human beings. The main focus would be the deliberate attempts from directors, writers and the audience to reject the templates and to be more honest to themselves and their attempt to depict characters’ male or female as flawed, vulnerable beings capable of mistakes and miracles. Selecting popular movies and failed ones, the paper tries to trace the slow and enduring journey of the characters from hero to human beings and the equally important journey of female characters from mere damsel in distress to heroes capable of revenge, mischief and independence.