news Wednesday, July 01, 2015 - 05:30

 

 
Like mainstream entertainment in other languages, Malayalam’s most popular television soaps revolve around some of the worst stereotypes about women. 
 
Sample this: Two sisters, one dark, the other fair, are always battling each other in a convoluted plot that involves their husbands. Or this serial in which two women, the daughters-in-law of the family, are main protagonists. Naturally, they can’t be regular women. One is a divine angel, and the other a vamp, and this is the point of the whole serial.
 
Is it this scenario that the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA) has decided to venture into the big,bad world of television soaps. But will AMMA make a difference?
 
On Sunday, AMMA announced plans to venture into production of television serials with a dual objective: one, to provide opportunities to struggling veteran actors and two, to raise funds for various schemes already undertaken by the organization, mainly that of a pension scheme for veteran actors. According to information on its official website, AMMA spends around Rs 50 lakh annually on pensions to 105 artists. 
 
Speaking to reporters after AMMA’s general body meeting in Kochi on Sunday, President of AMMA Innocent, said that the association will organise a stage show to raise funds for the production of the proposed serial. Innocent, who is also an MP from Chalakkudy constituency, added that the TV show would be organised in association with the Film Employees Federation of Kerala (FEFKA).
 
The announcement comes a month after Malayalam actor Mammootty visibly upset the television entertainment industry with his remarks that serials telecast on Asianet are sub-standard in nature. Mammootty, who is also the general secretary of AMMA, was the chief guest for the Asianet Television Awards 2015 held last month said that Asianet were given to “make everyone happy”, regardless of their calibre.
 
After its public criticism of the fare served up in the name of entertainment, AMMA’s decision to enter the television serial industry will be an interesting one.
 
If AMMA’s earlier attempts at fund raising are any indication, money at least will not be a problem. Most have been successful, the most notable one being acting for free in the 2008 film Twenty:20.
 
Will AMMA’s production be different from the rest of the serials, a majority of which are heavily criticized for a lack of plot, terrible scripts, over dramatisation and “faithful adaptations” from other language serials? If the organisation brings with it money to invest in better writers, and directors who can break away from the stereotypes and regressive storytelling, then perhaps AMMA will do Kerala a big service.
 

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