An open letter to Annapurna Sunkara, who bashed Baahubali movie and Telugu movie industry!


Over the past few days, there has been much talk about the video that someone uploaded voicing her opinion about two issues: objectification of women and the general lack of respect and courtesy for people, in the Telugu film industry. She also quoted a bunch of examples from the movies and programs that she opined were offensive. Here’s my two cents about it.

The speaker has commented about the poor quality of Telugu programs and lack of original thought in them. She also commented about the kind of nonsense that the audience finds entertaining. Both of which are extremely valid and I believe a lot of people agree with. It is unfortunate and some times appalling even, that uncomfortable remarks made in movies, in audio release functions and TV programs in general, are considered humorous and some actors and directors do over do it. Her effort in urging filmmakers and audience to be a little more sensible, to tone down on the salacious aspects and to focus on quality is laudable. She did her part. After all, cinema is a very effective medium.

Having said that, I wish she had stuck just to those aspects. What she did however, was to attack actors, directors and very specific aspects of certain movies. She raised the issue about the concept of constant abuse and that being construed as comedy. She said that when an actor slaps/ abuses other actors, it is abominable considering the impact it creates on impressionable people. This I think is a bit of a stretch. As far as I recall, the Pavan Kalyan’s movie being quoted was about an extremely rich and arrogant-by-nature boy. I would love for the speaker and all her supporters to notice how out of context that comment was. The actors were perfectly happy slapping and being slapped and everyone got theirs because the movie made money. And as for the message being sent across, I think we can negate that with Nani’s Pilla Jamindar movie where rich boy abuses old man servant and then realizes his mistake. I am sorry if this explanation sounds absurd but so was the accusation. If kids watch these scenes and think that they can abuse their elders, then I think the responsible party in that scenario would be parents not movies.

Another comment was about Mahesh Babu calling Samantha dark. Now this is just nit picking. Umm.. aren’t we still talking about India? I agree that discriminating on color is intolerable. What about all those Ponds Fairness creams that almost every single average woman buys? What about all those matrimonial ads that start with “…wanted a fair girl”. The concept was not started by this movie or movies in general nor does using it in passing in any way imply that they are encouraging it.

And the anecdote about the crazy lover boy pulling an awful stunt like that being a direct result of portrayal of a seemingly similar scene in a movie is unfair. What threw me off completely was the comment about the romance between the lead actors in the movie Bahubali was definitely, absolutely, and undoubtedly an insult to women and that it was just sad if you couldn’t spot that. Speaking for the sad lot, I have to ask. I am sorry, but how do you get to degradation of women from an admittedly badly shown romance? That romance wasn’t even the central plot of the film. In the same movie, Ramya Krishna was the Godmother and Anushka was treated like dirt and Tamanna, well, just flaunted beauty. I think this portrayal has got to do with this trivial thing called script. The tattooing from Sye in 2000(god knows when) to Bahubali in 2015 does not indicate that women are being objectified. And you cannot draw that conclusion of this ritual happening over a decade’s span. Things more unpleasant than Prabhas undressing and re dressing Tamanna have hit the silver screen. “Do not make a mountain out of a molehill” is all I have got to say.

In summary, it looks like her attempt has garnered more hostility than it deserved. She did make some extremely valid points but I wish she did that without accusing or berating with passion, very specific people and movies because most of us have completely ignored the point she was trying to make and focused on how she got there instead.

And whilst the debate goes on, movie lovers are saying, “excuse us, we don’t care. We are being entertained”!

– This article was written by Ramya Valiveti, one of the readers of StoryGAG



Another Response by a YouTuber:

For the people who are too lazy to read the letter, here is a video by an Youtuber named Kunaal on the same issue. But the video is in telugu though!

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Author: StoryGAG Official

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6 Comments

  1. 1

    In my opinion, Many girls might not even taught of the discrimination based on colour in the movie dhookudu. It is because we live in a society, which is mature enough to distinguish between comedy and discrimination. But after her video, many girls agreed with her. Why is it?
    As she said, movies has the potential to influence people. I Agree that, But people are mature enough to distinguish between the good and evil. And movies are made to entertain not to guide.
    IF movie acts as a guidance to people and if movies are to be pictured only in that point of view, then…
    All the movies should be banned.. Because of the following points..
    1. Movies contains violence. Means by watching movies people will take law into their hands and start killing people.
    2. Love stories should be banned because they create a impact on youngsters. And every teenage guy will propose every girl.
    3. IF elders are to be treated with respect in movies ( Which is just a drama ), Then i think Bhramandam garu will have no more movies. And his talent will be just kept aside.
    The girl just spoke in a view that women are treated inferior to men.
    For suppose about the colour. She took the example of mahesh babu comparing colour with samantha. She could have given the example of mahesh babu calling his friend “karrioda” in the movie SVSC, But she did not, Moreover she said that its was good movie. How can the discrimination in one movie be okey in the other. almost all girls and many boys uses fairness creams, is it a discrimination to their own colour.
    To Annapurna Sunkara Garu: The comments you passed about bahubali movie, the romantic scene between prabas and tamanna. It was not a rape scene my dear, its a romantic scene. Its not called seducing.
    Every Actor involving in any movie will be explained the scrip before they go on sets. IF not the whole scrip, then at-least their role will be described prior to shooting. Its only after the acceptance of the actor, they will picture. So In that point of view its not the director but the heroine, responsible for that scene in the movie. But you wont comment her. Why?
    Prabas was also shown without shirt. It can influence men to build bodies and go around shirtless in public. Why not comment on it? is it because you enjoyed it?
    You Said that elders should be respected. You said that this should be followed in movies also. My dear, movie is a act, not something done in real. Do u think bhramandam garu was really slapped by pawan kalan. You know once the camera is off, the senior actors gives guidelines and suggestions to the young actors and the junior actors always keep learning from the seniors
    .
    The sad thing is that, you said elders should be respected in movies also irrespective of the role in the movie , but you failed to respect the elders in real life, by using bad words to the directors and actors who were elder than you.
    Every individual go to movie for entertainment only. They are designed for that purpose only. The movies are released after the censor certification only. IF the censor board feels something inappropriate, they will definitely cut the scenes. The censor board has women also.
    The cutouts you have mentioned about: The movie makers releases banner only. The cutouts are mainly put by the fans. The banners released by the movie makers has almost all the important characters in it. In the banner, the actor playing the lead role is usually in big size followed by other important characters. IF you are a fan of a particular heroine then, Go ahead and put a cutout. No one stops you.
    Ya, I support you about Ali’s Stage Behavior. But you shouldn’t have use those words against him. Its always true that many of the conflicts are due to the tone of voice. You may be correct about Ali garu but, ur tone changed the whole thing.
    To all the feminists: Girls are not something precious. They are just humans like the men.
    Divide and rule was used in British India by the Britishers. Division based on caste, religion, colour, Gender, region etc.
    It is so powerful that the traces of it are still found in today’s society. We can see politicians using it. We see people using it. The person implementing it may has success, but its never good for the society.
    Annapurna Garu, the reason you have many female followers is because, you could successfully divide into male and female categories. You may also have some male followers who think you are right. But before targeting Telugu industry think about other industries. The hollywood, From a developed country, but do you like the whole content in their movies? definetly no. Its a good that your industry is trying to reach their technology only.
    We gain nothing by dividing each other into Cast , Religion, Gender.
    IF a female has been done injustice by a men. Please do not generalize the crime to the whole men. Keep it only to the person who did it. Fight for justice and ensure that the accused is punished and men will also fight along with you.
    India is a great country with good law. But the problem is we break it.
    And, Its not that being a women, you should only fight for women issues.There are many issues in India, like corruption. Raise your voice for that also.
    As the old saying says… Where there is unity there is victory..
    I am sorry if i have hurted you by my words.. I never give special respect to women or to men. Both are equal and i respect them equally.

  2. 2

    Guys keep aside your fan following. This has nothing to do with fans. This is common among most of movies. Please understand the essence of what she is saying. I personally had to take my child outside the theater when that scene started in bahubali. No offence to any specific person. This is a common problem. She mentioned about the role of heroine in movies, that’s the fact. Dont mention about kartavyam, rudramadevi etc. We are talking about the general movies and heroine shoudl have a role to play (not just coming in songs). Dont segregate movies as hero oriented and heroine oriented. Also the example of pavan kalyan beating ms narayana, many people posted that a person owning 1 lakh crores does that. that’s not the fact, have you heard of Lakshmi Mittal or Bill gates beating their workers? Cinema should be watched as Cinema. I understand, but kids watching along with us are not in a situation to understand that. Another issue regarding that DOCTORATE misbehavior in audio functions, just check youtube to see his character. In the past comedian Krishna Bhagwan misbehaved in public function, he apolozized as well. We are talking about the character of the person and not his experience in tollywood or his DOCTORATE degrees.

  3. 3

    Response To Annapurna Sunkara

    The message conveyed by Annapurna is 100% true.But the way she told is a bit harsh.

    Baahuballi

    Since I gave 28$(Highest price for any movie) for each person and 15$ for kids so a total $100 for Baahubali movie. I think I have right to say about my opinion.It is a mile stone in telugu movie.
    I will give one small example about the director of this movie
    I work for big company in California.
    Me and my Chinese manager with the team went for a lunch meet. Discussion goes like below:

    Me- Have you ever seen any indian movies??
    Manager – Yes few
    Me: Which movies??
    Manager – That movie where he re borns like a fly and takes revenge he said
    Me- Really I was shocked that a chinese fully busy person saw Raja mouli garu’s Eega movie. Then i felt very proud about him.

    Now coming back to Annaporna’s point .It is fact what Annapurna has said.
    It was very difficult for me to see those songs with my 5 year old son.

    It was very nicely picturized. But difficult to see with the family. Since in US we cannot leave kids at any place we need to take with us. And we take them to movies with an intention that they will learn telugu and learn more about our culture.

    Message – please direct the songs with good lyrics and culture.
    Please dont make a formula to make item
    Songs.If any item songs to be made please make private albums and release.

    Even if there is no item song ,we will see the movie.
    If you want to make an item song for a movie please release it outside of the movie,so those who are interested will go and watch in youtube instead with the whole family in theater.

    Athari inti Daaredhi

    It is one of my favorite movie.
    Whenever I stay at home I usually see this movie.

    But what Annapurna said is true again
    Even I felt the same thing ,unneccessarily hero will beat MS Narayana.There is no need to beat him

    In the same movie the comedy track of Bramanadam also receives slaps.
    But that was felt genuine.
    Since it has some sense.

    Message – Even if that slapping thing is not there we would have seen the movie and it will be a huge hit

    Message to Telugu directors who want to release movies in USA

    As I already said I am a working telugu mom(2 kids) in California.

    The latest telugu movies we cannot sit and see with the kids because these NRI kids they see the movie with 0 knowledge.
    They take things so seriously

    Example

    Once we are watching some Allari Naresh movie. The song was going on and all of a sudden my 3 years daughter asked her 5 years brother that the aunty forgot to wear pant because she was wearing a shorts.

    3 years old have a notion that telugu wont wear bad dresses.
    So please dont spoil that repute in telugu
    movie.
    So please show telugu girls as telugu girls only though they might not behave like telugu outside

    No more violence please in the movies, because kids are taking it very seriously.
    Those who have kids in US can understand what I am saying.

    Recent Biggest Family hit Telugu movies in USA

    Bahuballi
    Ramayanam (Bala Krishna garu)
    Athari intiki Daredhi
    Godavari,etc

    All mentioned movies have some good roles for women.

    Please don’t raise the ticket price based on your inputs.

    Thanks
    Telugu girl

  4. 4

    The message by Annapurna Sunkara is 100% true.But the way that she conveyed is not good.

    All the best Annapurna.

    Thanks

    • 5

      Annapurna, you spoke my mind exactly. There is a pervasive culture in Andhra movies where women are shown as sex objects for at least 5 minutes of the movie. “Kadivedu palallo oka bottu visham”. Charlie Chaplin’s movies never hurt anyone’s feelings. Women, Don’t show skin for money and men, don’t get slapped for money. You don’t see one person slapping another person in any other south indian movies, only in Telugu movies, this trend started with Babu Mohan and the producers who want to make millions. Annapurna, please be safe. Your courage is so inspiring. We need more girls like you.

  5. 6

    I’m also completely agree with Annapurna. Some people are saying that it is just a movie. Maybe they are watching these movies and with that scenes with their parents and children and enjoying. Super….

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