Malayalam director Ranjith says, he doesn't have to apologise for the misogynistic characters he had created in films.
Ranjith, speaking to The Times of India, was asked about his comment on contemporary screenwriter Ranji Panicker apologising for the misogynistic dialogues and characters he had written in the past.
Ranjith, who was recently seen in 'Koode', argues that the line a character says in a film shouldn't be considered as the original thought of the writer--it is just the character, in his state of mind.
Ranjith goes on to quote how Mohanlal's character makes a rape joke at Kaniha's character in 'Spirit', which the latter dismisses with a laugh. He compares that joke to a different situation from his personal life.
He tells his wife that she gives 'false hope every time' when she is admitted into a hospital, but she will be okay soon. The director says that if the comment was uttered in a movie, it would be taken as misogyny, but his wife just laughed over it because she had the humour sense to understand the joke.
A scene from Mohanlal starrer 'Spirit':
"Everyone has the right to express their opinion. The writer might have the justification that a character who speaks crassly grew up in such circumstances," says Ranjith.
He cites the examples of Captain Thomas in 'Koodevide' and Chanthu in 'Oru Vadakkan Veera Gadha' to show that it is the character's experiences that made them misogynistic.
The 'Devasuram' writer also says that the younger generation lacks the ability to tackle high-intensity emotions. He also says that family relationships and romantic relationships have become less intense these days.
Ranjith made his screenwriting debut with Kamal film 'Orkkappurathu'. His first film as a director was 'Raavanaprabhu', starring Mohanlal.
Malayalam cinema has recently seen a review of past films, deconstructing them in terms of gender equality and representation of caste.
In another interview, filmmaker and 90s hotshot scriptwriter Ranji Panicker had expressed regret writing dialogues portraying women in poor light. In a scene in 'The King', Mammootty's character is seen telling Vani Viswanath's character, an IAS officer, that "you are woman, JUST a woman".
Panicker, whose movies are famous for high-voltage dialogues by lead characters, infused with toxic masculinity, said, "If a woman who sits in a crowd finds that my dialogues in the film is degrading her gender or has offended her, I agree that it was a mistake from my side. But I would like to make it very clear that I have never intended to demean anybody. I acknowledge it."