Directed by Khalid Rahman and starring Kalyani Priyadarshan and Tovino Thomas in the lead, ‘Thallumala’ became a huge hit after it released in the theatres last month.

In a dark street lit up by a few shop lights stands Tovino facing Kalyani who is in a light gown
Flix Mollywood Monday, September 12, 2022 - 19:03

A day after the Malayalam film Thallumala released on the streaming platform Netflix, the team that worked on its English subtitles said that what was published was a “substantially edited, watered-down, butchered version” of the subtitles. The movie, with Kalyani Priyadarshan and Tovino Thomas in the lead, became a huge hit after it released in the theatres last month. Directed by Khalid Rahman, the script of the film, an action comedy, is written by Muhsin Parari and Ashraf Hamza.

After the OTT release, Anju and Shyam Narayanan TK of the Fill in the Blanks Subtitle Artists expressed their displeasure on social media at having their words edited without their consent or approval. Saying that the English subtitles delivered for the Netflix team were reviewed “line-by-line” and approved by Muhsin Parari, the subtitle artists added that they are “deeply saddened” by what was eventually published.

“Several nuances we included in the subtitles are missing. Especially the songs! They've heavily toned down the songs' subtitles to their literal meanings and made them soulless. Subtitling, being a creative work, must consider the culture, humour, connotations and local nuances of both the source and target languages. Moreover, we find it unfair and unethical to edit the subtitles without the consent of the subtitle artist / writer / director. We kindly request Netflix and other OTT platforms to abstain from doing this,” the note by the subtitle artists says. Muhsin Parari has shared the note.



Read: Thallumala review: This Kalyani-Tovino starrer is loud, cartoonish and fun

Subtitle artists, as it is, do not have it easy, TNM has earlier reported after talking to a few of them. Despite the popularity enjoyed by Malayalam cinema, subtitling as an art form was not often seriously taken. This has, however, changed a lot in recent years, with a chunk of films finding space on OTT platforms and requiring smart translations that convey emotions across borders.

Read: Time constraints to convincing film makers, subtitling Malayalam films isn't easy

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