From Mammootty madness to Vijay worship: Check out Kerala's women fans' associations

These associations hold exclusive screenings for women and participate in film releases with as much enthusiasm and celebration as their male counterparts.
From Mammootty madness to Vijay worship: Check out Kerala's women fans' associations
From Mammootty madness to Vijay worship: Check out Kerala's women fans' associations
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Men celebrating the movie release of a favourite hero by dancing, whistling, shouting or pouring milk on his giant cut-outs, is a common sight in first day first shows. Women are seldom seen in these celebrations. But not so in Kerala.

On 21 December 2017, Mammootty's film Masterpiece had a special show for the actor's women fan's association in Chengannur of Alappuzha district. More than 65 women, all of them hardcore fans of the superstar, booked a screen in the C Cinemas theatre, and watched the first show. 

“We formed our association 1.5 years ago with about 30 members. The All Kerala Mammootty Fans Association gave us all support to start the ladies' unit. We actually have a meeting for all members once in three months and we arrange activities. That was the first time we decided to celebrate the release of an Ikka (Mammootty) movie by booking a screen exclusively for us women fans,” Suja, secretary of the association told TNM.  Homemakers as well as employed women form the majority of the association.

“We admire and love Mammookka as an actor and as an excellent human being. We are really proud about the social activities he is involved in. According to us, he is ideal,” says Suja, expressing her intense admiration for Mammootty.

Suja was in the news recently during the Kasaba controversy. She'd written a post defending Mammootty and slamming actor Parvathy who had called out the misogyny in his film at the IFFK during a panel discussion. Although Suja's post was celebrated by Mammootty fans, it was also criticised by many for its highly patriarchal nature and the condescending tone it adopted towards the woman actor.  

But Suja and team were not the pioneers to form a women fans' association.

Five years ago, a women's unit for Tamil actor Suriya was formed in Thiruvananthapuram. The association comprises more than 50 women - a vibrant group including students, employed women and homemakers. Their presence is very much known in the capital city as they take part in celebrations during a Suriya movie release as well on his birthday and anniversary. They now have branches in ten other districts of Kerala and have more than 250 women fans of Suriya in their association officially.

“Each movie release is a huge celebration for us. We cut cakes outside the theatres, decorate the flex boards, whistle, dance and welcome the first shows. We will do anything for Anna (Suriya),” says Parvathy R, a second year graduation student and Secretary of Suriya Fans Association, ladies unit in Thiruvananthapuram.

These enterprising women have also held an exclusive show for the ladies for the film Thana Serndha Koottam at New theatre in Thiruvananthapuram in January 2018. 

“We had been planning the show for Singam 3 but we could do it only for Thana Serndha Koottam. Earlier, we booked seats for about 70 people but many girls showed interest and finally we had to book a screen with 220 seats. We welcomed the release with all the celebrations that we could manage. At the end of the movie, the theatre played the song 'Sodakku mele', just for us to dance,” Parvathy recalls.

However, the celebrations were not limited to the confines of the theatre. The large group of women did all that their male counterparts are known to do outside the theatre as well. 

“We shouted, whistled, expressed all our happiness for our Anna,” she says.

Parvathy adds that they also do activities that other fans' associations are doing.

“We celebrate his birthdays in orphanages, by giving donations and providing other services,” says Parvathy.  “Apart from his acting, look at the activities he does and how he leads a good family life. Nobody can replace Suriya when it comes to humanity," she gushes.

Not just Suriya, Ilayathalapathy Vijay also has a strong women fans' association named Idayam Vijay fans in Thiruvananthapuram. The association was formed five years earlier as well.

 They are yet to arrange exclusive movie shows for women, but they do a lot of activities only for Vijay. 

“We have been conducting blood donation camps, donations for orphanages and many other activities fully dedicated to him (Vijay),” says Soumya, a college student and President of Idayam Vijay fans' association.

“We don’t miss any of the first day first show of his movies. Along with the men, we too go and celebrate. Why shouldn’t girls celebrate, we have all rights to express our happiness in the way we want,” Soumya says.

She adds that Vijay is worth a thousand fans organisations as he is supposedly an actor with "no black marks in his personal and professional life". She also expresses her deep love towards the actor.

“We will do anything for him. His movie releases or any events in his life are a celebration for us," she says.

All images provided by the respective fans' associations.

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