Malayalam actor Kunchacko Boban’s recently released film Nna Thaan Case Kodu has sparked a controversy after a tagline in the poster irked CPI(M) supporters. The tagline in the poster said, “Vazhiyil Kuzhiyunde. Ennalum Vannekane” (there are potholes on the road leading to theatres, but you should still come). The tagline particularly received backlash from Left supporters on social media since they felt that it was attacking the current government over the bad condition of roads and taking a dig at the state Minister for Public Works P A Mohammed Riyas, who is the son-in-law of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
However, the tagline refers to a crucial plot point of the film, in which the lead character (played by Kunchacko Boban) files a case against those responsible for a pothole on the road that led to a series of accidents and gives him a particularly painful dog bite.
Speaking to the media in the wake of the controversy, actor Kunchacko Boban clarified that the film was not made with the intent to attack or comment on the work of any political party in particular, but was trying to reflect on the problem of pothole accidents and deaths that are pervasive not just in Kerala, but also in other parts of the country.
“The issue of the bad condition of roads, making the life of commuters miserable, has been the case for ages. The situation is the same irrespective of which party is in power. It's sad we couldn't find a permanent solution to the problem,” the Nayattu actor told the media.
Kunchacko, as well as director Ratheesh, added that the difficulties caused by potholes is one of the central themes that the film addresses. “We never thought this would snowball into a controversy. The film is shot aiming to highlight the struggles of the common man,” the actor said.
Nna Thaan Case Kodu, which co-stars actor Gayathrie in the lead, hit the big screens on August 11. A section of social media users also opined that the poster and the controversy surrounding it was a publicity stunt by the makers of the film since the issue was given prime time coverage by leading Malayalam news channels on Thursday, August 12.
Meanwhile, PWD minister Riyas also clarified to the media that the issue of potholes has existed for long. “It is an advertisement for a film and it should be taken lightly. This is an issue that has been discussed by the Kerala government. We are trying to find a solution. The PWD department is taking necessary action.”