Kollywood actor Athulya Ravi who is known for Kadhal Kan Kattudhe, a small budget romcom which did well at the box-office, was in a storm in a teacup situation recently.
This, after the teaser of her upcoming film Yemaali, which also stars Samuthirakani, was released. The teaser of the film, which appears to be an adult comedy, speaks of the varying expectations that men have had from women over the years – from wanting the woman they marry to be a virgin, to accepting same-sex relationships as long as they don't do that "nasty" business in front of them. This makes no sense whatsoever – "modernity" has nothing to do with sexual orientation but since when has Kollywood thought it necessary to make informed representations?
The teaser does have Samuthirakani asking if men consider women to be their property, so one may hope against hope that the moralistic tone will find a counter in this VZ Dhorai film.
Meanwhile, a section of the online population (mostly men) is supposedly upset because the teaser has Athulya smoking, riding a bike and – horror of horrors – includes a brief shot of her back as she takes her top off. It's unclear what's really bothering these men, considering Tamil films routinely objectify women. Is it that the character seems to be an assertive woman in charge of her sexuality rather than someone passively dancing around the hero in a barely there costume? Also, do they expect her, an actor, only to play characters that they approve of?
After they expressed their "disappointment" in large numbers (the unemployment crisis is for real, people), Athulya posted that she was sorry and that the shots they saw in the teaser would not feature in the film.
This is not the first time that a woman actor has been trolled for her "lack of morals". Even top stars like Trisha, Nayanthara, and Amala Paul have been subjected to moral policing for their clothes, lifestyle and/or past relationships. Amala Paul, especially, has become something of a troll magnet after her divorce.
In Bollywood, Priyanka Chopra was recently in the news after she gave it back to those who trolled her for the attire she wore when meeting PM Modi. Fatima Sana Shaikh, better known as the Dangal girl, too, came under fire for wearing a swimsuit during the month of Ramzan.
However, though Athulya apologised to the "disappointed" folks, some of her fans have taken it upon themselves to defend the actor – making memes and even comparing her smoking scene to Rajinikanth in Annamalai.
Watch the teaser here: