In a recent interview, Malayalam director and writer Renji Panicker revealed he regrets every gender or caste insensitive line that he wrote for films. In a response to a question about his film The King (starring Mammootty), where the character is seen being insensitive towards a woman, Renji said, “I feel I shouldn’t have written it. When I wrote it, I never thought of belittling women or even degrading the gender, it was just contextual for the film. Those who clapped for those lines have later found it disturbing.”
He continues, “If I knew what I was writing based on a situation will have a different interpretation in the future, I wouldn’t have written it. Definitely, I regret it.” He further added that it wasn’t his objective to make women ‘uncomfortable’ and that due to the closer scrutiny, he is more careful about what he writes now.
His honest interview with TOI has brought in praises from all quarters, with Rima Kallingal leading from the front. The actor who has been vocal about patriarchy and sexism in cinema took to Facebook to laud Renji’s statement. “This is the beginning of a new wave❤️ It takes immense courage to unlearn what you have been told all along and to bring about a new perspective. Kudos and cheers to Renji Panicker. And yes, like he said, all art will be scrutinised again and again in history. All art reflects the times we live in. Let’s make art that stands the test of time. Let’s make art that will be revered by generations to come,” she wrote in her Facebook post. The actor ended her post with three hashtags #sense #sensitivity #sensibility, a reference to a famous dialogue from The King.