Thursday, 28 July 2016

Fans divided about whether ‘Kabali’ depicted ethnic Indians in Malaysia accurately

Fans divided about whether ‘Kabali’ depicted ethnic Indians in Malaysia accurately
A scene from the movie ‘Kabali’ starring Tamil film superstar Rajinikanth. ― Picture courtesy of YouTube/Kabali official movie trailer - See more at:

KUALA LUMPUR, July 27 ― South Indian blockbuster  continues to be one of the most discussed topics among the Malaysian fans of the movie’s star Rajinikanth.
Arguments about whether the movie accurately portrayed the plight of ethnic Indians here, or deliberately played up certain issues to put the community in a bad light continue on various social media platforms.
Ardent Rajinikanth fan K.Thanesh feels that the National Film Censorship Board should not have censored certain scenes in the movie which he says is the reality faced by many ethnic Indians here.
In particular he mentioned the scene where Taiwanese action star Winston Chao insults Kabali (Rajinikanth) by calling him a “Tamil keling.”
“The word keling isn't something new, we all know some have been calling us Indians that. It is better to portray the reality then denying the actual issues.
“If they had left it like that, then it would be better. It would be an acknowledgement that such issues are here and by censoring, you are only going to cause people to question if the authorities are trying to deny the truth,” he said.
Another fan R. Vishnu also expressed similar sentiments and pointed out another censored scene towards the end of the film were a student laments about the plight of ethnic Indian students, saying they have fewer opportunities despite having good academic results.
“In India, they have embraced the whole corruption issue among others, but in Malaysia, some authorities are in denial mode and this necessitates the censorship.
“Indians here are still the most marginalised. Go to the estates and witness for yourselves. What was portrayed inacccurately?” he asked.
Aaron Raj, however, felt that the while the movie portrays the realities of struggles faced by the ethnic Indians here, it can also be a lesson about the importance of education and development.
“When they talk about crime in Malaysia involving Indians… dropouts from schools who later get into drugs, gangs etc… this is very real and it is still happening.”
Another fan who only wished to be known as Rashita felt the movie had inaccurately created a bad stereotype of the ethnic Indians here.
“I  really did not enjoy the movie much because of gangsterism linked to Indians which portrays us in a bad light.
“The truth is the Indian community itself is not united, so merely showing Indians as being oppressed by others is wrong,” Rashita said, adding that she also did not agree with the ideology of the movie that one has to take the law into one’s hands for the greater good.
Local film director Shanjhey Kumar Perumal, the man behind the critically-acclaimed Jagatwhich also portrays the harsh realities faced by the Indian community here, also expressed his dissatisfaction with the content in Kabali, saying that there were many errors in the film.
“I guess the public expected too much from the publicity. I applaud the director for exploring the Malaysian Indian subject.The film has details about gang culture too but at the same time, there are so many errors about some historical elements… I don't like certain storytelling flaws ,the politics behind the film.
“I know it's hard to balance story and commercial aspect further using Rajinikanth,” Shanjhey posted on his Facebook page.
Patrick Lee, who has seen both Kabali and Jagat, said, “If I was looking for a movie that accurately depicts Indians in Malaysia, I probably wouldn't choose Kabali, I'd chooseJagat.
Jagat is real. Kabali has elements of truth, but just elements only.”

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