The article discusses how Pa Ranjith's 'Kaala' is a deliberate rewriting of Mani Ratnam's 'Nayakan' from a Dalit-Bahujan perspective.

Writer-filmmaker Rajesh Rajamani wins RedInk Award for Kaala article published on TNM
news Awards Saturday, June 29, 2019 - 11:36

Writer and filmmaker Rajesh Rajamani on Friday received the prestigious RedInk Award in the 'Lifestyle and Entertainment' category for print/digital media. He won the award for his article on the 2018 movie Kaala written for the The News Minute.

The RedInk Awards for Excellence in Indian Journalism are annually given by the Mumbai Press Club in India to recognise excellence in journalistic achievements. Rajesh Rajamani shared the award with Bibek Bhattacharya of Mint.

Rajesh Rajamani is a writer, filmmaker and also the man behind the popular ‘Inedible India’ comic page on Facebook. His film commentary titled ‘The Dharavi story in Tamil cinema: HowKaala inverts the Nayakan gaze’ for TNM, focused on how Pa Ranjith's Kaala, starring Rajinikanth, was a deliberately crafted response to Nayakan, rewritten from a Dalit-Bahujan perspective. Kaala, written and directed by Pa Ranjith, was released in 2018, while Nayakan, directed by Mani Ratnam with Kamal Hassan in the lead, was released in 1987.

Rajesh's article draws comparisons between the two Tamil movies which are set in Mumbai’s Dharavi and discusses how Pa Ranjith has made an attempt to invert the Brahminical Savarna gaze. The article is a brilliant analysis of how both the directors have used similar elements in completely contrasting ways to narrate their stories decades apart. From colours to the landscapes in Dharavi, to addressing the pertinent question of caste, Rajesh Rajamani established how Kaala is a carefully crafted re-writing of Nayakan.

The RedInk Awards are given for excellence in journalism in the categories of politics, science and innovation, lifestyle and entertainment, sports, women empowerment and gender equality. 

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