That the Malayalam film industry is blessed with excellent actors is no secret. But the public is increasingly learning just how skilled they are day by day. Ever since Dileep, a powerful actor, was accused of being the mastermind in the conspiracy to abduct and sexually assault a prominent woman actor in February last year, the Malayalam industry has been bending backwards to turn him into a saint.
The Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA) has been shielding Dileep all through - from refusing to remove him from the body till the time he was arrested and they had no choice, to reinstating him as soon as he got bail. Meanwhile, the organisation has also turned hostile towards the Women in Cinema Collective (WCC) which was set up by friends of the woman actor who was assaulted.
In its latest show of complete insensitivity and brazen defence of the accused, AMMA, represented by actors Siddique and KPAC Lalitha, put forth several bizarre arguments that are certainly meme-worthy. Their Monday's press meet, full of conspiracy theories and twisted logic, has inspired Internet humourists to come up with some gems to lighten the black mood that many of us in these times of #MeToo find ourselves in.
Dileep is labelled as "WCC which called for the press meet".
The middle panel says, "You did not stand by the survivor, we did not get justice from AMMA, you called us 'actors', you directly insulted the survivor who had been sexually assaulted, you stood by the accused."
The last panel has Kuthiravattam Pappu and the woman next to him labelled as "Media" and "Fans: "The President called them actors!"
This is a reference to the backlash that the WCC has received after their press conference on Saturday. While they made several important points about AMMA's conduct, the media and fans have latched on to their comment regarding the condescending behaviour of President Mohanlal.
This one is a dig at fans who've been incessantly abusing and trolling the WCC and their supporters. Panel 1 has Salim Kumar saying, "Is it them (AMMA) who look after your household expenses and daily affairs?" Panel 2 has the "cyber poraalis" or abusers saying, "Oh not at all!" Panel 3 has Salim Kumar retorting with, "Then why are you going to someone's page and randomly abusing them for their sake?"
This meme, showing Siddique and KPAC Lalitha, has the two actors saying: "Action will be taken against the actors who acted against the organisation and president Mohanlal while being in the organisation." To this, Thilakan responds, "Oh yes, that is the practice!"
For the uninitiated, Thilakan was ostracised and expelled from AMMA for raising questions about the partisan way in which the film body conducted its affairs.
This one has the other "superstar" of Mollywood, Mammootty, a prominent AMMA member. On one side are "Law and Justice", but this is clearly outweighed by the Rs 5.5 crores given by Dileep. This is roughly the budget of Twenty: 20, a film that Dileep produced to raise funds for AMMA's welfare schemes.
This famous scene from Nadodikattu has been turned into a meme to expose AMMA. The top panel reads, "Members who are coming for justice." However AMMA is only interested in asking, "Where? Where is the 5.5 crores?"
This one shows the WCC saying, "Action should be taken against the accused who assaulted the actor." AMMA coolly replies, "Of course, we will take action", only to turn around and say, "Here's the action for speaking against Mohanlal."
Is Dileep part of AMMA or not? The organisation has been hedging forever. This meme has the media asking Mohanlal, "Laletta, is Dileep in AMMA or not?" Mohanlal replies, "Isn't that something you already know? Undilla (Yes and no)!"
Much has been written about Dileep's "golden heart" as a PR exercise to rebuild the actor's public image. One point that's been repeatedly made is how generous he has been in lending money to his colleague. So much so that people are willing to excuse him for the crimes he's been accused of.
This meme says, "Which jerk groped the teacher's daughter? Hit him!" The response to this is, "Nobody should do anything. Nobody should him him." Why? Because, "He gave me Rs 5 lakhs and helped me!"
The face of expelled member Thilakan who found out how many hurdles had been there to remove him. For those who didn't understand, this is a reference to how easily he was removed while AMMA has been citing one reason or the other not to expel Dileep.
This one is for the press that has gone hard at the WCC but turns meek when questioning AMMA. Cochin Hanifa: Did your tongue not rise to ask questions with the same aggression you showed at the WCC meet at the AMMA meet?
Salim Kumar/Media: Have you ever understood anything said by the AMMA President? Why, do they themselves understand what they say? Then how will we alone understand what they say?
This one's for fangirl KPAC Lalitha who was most upset by the "disrespect" shown to "Colonel" Mohanlal. The text says, "Learn to respect the Colonel!"
Memes credit: ICU