There haven’t been too many Indian films that have represented enduring female friendships.

When women come together A look at the best female friendships in Malayalam cinema
Features Cinema Saturday, September 24, 2016 - 17:16

By Aradhya Kurup

Who says that diamonds are a girl’s best friend? There’s no one better than a female friend when a woman needs advice, a patient ear, or just someone to have lots of fun with. Women form close friendships and seldom hold back secrets from their girl pals. There’s no such thing as Too Much Information (TMI) or ‘oversharing’ when it comes to female friendships.

Curiously though, there haven’t been too many Indian films that have represented enduring female friendships. Here’s a look at a few Malayalam films that have done so:

Shalini and Ammu (Shalini Ente Kootukari, 1980):  A perfectly balanced friendship with one complementing the other. The impish Shalini (Shobha) and the shy, level-headed Ammu (Jalaja). Only Ammu knows that her friend’s boisterousness is just a decoy to hide her loneliness. Be it her dad’s indifference to her or her stepmom’s animosity, it’s Ammu who patiently hears out Shalini. When Shalini finally meets with her death, Ammu realises that her friend’s absence is a vacuum that can never be fulfilled.

Sally and Nimmy (Deshadanakkili Karayarilla, 1986): They are soul sisters. Both hail from dysfunctional families — their friendship is born out of a need to feel wanted and loved. Loneliness forces them to create a tiny world of their own. It’s clear that Sally  (Shaari) is the leader between the two. She is a tomboy (tellingly sports a boy cut later on). When they hatch a plan to run away from school, it’s Sally who bravely routes the escape plan. Once out of school, they get more drawn towards each other — living in a youth hostel, pursuing their hobbies, and learning to support each other. Though unexplored during the time of its release, there are subtle hints about the relationship being lesbian. When Nimmy (Karthika) falls for Harikrishnan (Mohanlal), Sally makes her displeasure known. Even in death, they are together.

Kochu Thresia and Kunju Maria (Manasinakkare, 2003): Together they are adorable — a bond that has stood the test of time. The hair on their temples has turned grey, but the humour is still intact. At church, the two women giggle like teenagers and are reprimanded by the priest. Kunju Maria (KPAC Lalitha), knowing her friend’s weakness for homemade delicacies, lovingly packs unniyappam, achappam, and ada whenever she visits her. When Kochi Thresia (Sheela) is required to visit her sons to look after her grandchildren, they have a teary-eyed final reunion — “Naley velupinu njan pokum. Nee aa vashathekkenganum vannekkaruthu” (“I will leave early tomorrow. Don’t you dare come see me off”).

Raziya and Ganga (Perumazhakaalam, 2004): Raziya’s (Meera Jasmine) husband kills his friend unintentionally in a scuffle. The punishment he faces in the Gulf country they live in, is the death penalty. The only way he will be pardoned is if the dead man’s widow, Ganga (Kavya Madhavan), is willing to forgive him. Despite the rawness of her grief, Ganga is able to understand Raziya’s pain and the two women develop a bond that others cannot understand. Risking her ostracism from the community, Ganga decides to sign the letter of pardon for Raziya’s sake.


(This article first appeared in You can read the original article here. The News Minute has syndicated the content.)

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