Broad Reflections #2: The misogyny in Rajinikanth’s cinema

Posted on December 19, 2014


This is a response by Rahini David to the review of Lingaa. It’s a counter to an accusation (by another commenter) that Shankar’s films are worse than the average masala-film in terms of the regressive concepts they put forth. Such good points here that, in my opinion (happy?), it deserved to be rescued from languishing in the comments section and become its own post. Here goes…

I agree with all the problem parts of Shankar movies but I have to disagree with “the problem with Shankar is that I find his scripts being even worse than the average masala-film in terms of the regressive concepts they put forth.” What average masala film are we talking about here? Let us just a few Rajini movies

  • Kai Kodukkum Kai – The wikipedia entry says “Revathi plays the role of a blind girl who is raped by the villain, and Rajini her husband forgives her for that and they continue to live together”. Nuff said.

    Thambiku Entha Ooru – Breaking into a woman’s house and kissing is a punishment. It teaches her a lesson.

    Maaveeran – She whips him. So he whips her. So she kisses him and asks for a kiss back. (That is how I remember this movie) But then again BSDM exists and apparently there is a market for it.

    Guru Sishyan – Rajini commands Prabhu to romance and seduce Sita so that they can later bully Sita’s dad. So Sita can fall in love with Prabhu but can’t fall out of love after she realises that he romanced her for manipulative reasons? She doesn’t even get offended. Is romance a cul-de-sac thing for women?

    Kodi Parakuthu – Isn’t this the movie in which Rajini bullies Amala to lick ice-cream off him? I can’t think of a strong enough word to discribe how I felt seeing that movie

    Annamalai – “You saw me naked. You will have to marry me”

    Mannan – Slapping to teach a lesson. And the movie he gets to say “Mothathula Pombala Pombalaya Irukanum”

    Yejaman – Rajini and Napolean fight over who gets to have Meena. Nobody asks her who she is interested in. This movie also had Aishwarya claiming to have slept Rajini just to say “The man can fuck”. It is of supreme importance in this movie.

    Valli – Rajini attempted a “why kill yourself instead of killing the rapist”, but the movie comes across badly as it fails to distinguish between Rape and just plain old premarital sex.

    Veera – Rajini is deeply in love with Meena and so plans to drop a goldfish into her blouse. He plans it out meticulously with a bunch of his friends

    Padayappa – Sitara is in love with Nasser and will remain in love with him even inspite of the fact that he is a dowry demanding what-not. Apparently falling out of love is just not done by women in tamil cinema. It is almost implied that it is not even possible

    And these movies provide the template for future Rajini-wannabes. I am not defending Shankar here. But he is not the worst one out there. That is unfair.