How do we remember 2017? Was it the year of censorship when divisive voices grew louder than the voices of reason? Was it the year of trolling when hiding behind their virtual profiles, trolls issued death, rape threats to the women who spoke against their favourite male stars? Why do we continue to put these male stars on a pedestal – the ones who choose to keep quiet and not condemn the actions of their fans? Did the year belong to those films which did well, not because of the star cast or big budget, but for their honest characters and powerful storytelling? Was it the year of the women of the entertainment industry who came forward to talk about misogyny, gender disparity and nepotism? It’s of course hard to pin down a moment or a single film when there is a whole smorgasbord to choose from.
Here’s a look back at the top moments of 2017:
In 2017, celebrities were made on social media and new internet-breakers emerged while haters continued to hate. From funny jokes that lived and died, to several instances and stories that birthed LOL-worthy memes, here’s a look at some of social media’s best moments that truly make us appreciate the strange world of the interwebs.
J Jayalalithaa’s demise in December last year left a political vacuum with Tamil Nadu operating almost like a banana republic. A State that has created politicians out of cine-stars is again looking at silver-screen demigods to fill this void.
Over the past couple of years, the music of the Malayalam film industry has transformed in unforeseen ways. Many veteran composers with a robust background in Carnatic music have moved to the fringes, while a younger crop with a good grasp of technology and international music has moved to the forefront.
So, who are the composers who gave Mollywood the most outstanding playback music in 2017?
For Tamil cinema in 2017, Magalir Mattum represented the kind of startling liberation of womankind rarely seen in its films. For decades now, the industry had thrived on a skewed normal – the abject dismissal of the female gender through distasteful jokes and a generally poor depiction of characters. The men were the highlight of its movies, and the women rose into prominence – not entirely of the right kind – only when the men chose to shine light on them. And so, when Magalir Mattum, with four women protagonists who had no man to vouch for them, and who actually seemed to rise against daily oppression – a regular, normal occurrence across households – hit theatres, male audiences were baffled.
From Magalir Mattum to Aruvi, here are top 10 films of Tamil:
Compiling a year-ender in terms of films is usually a difficult exercise, especially when over a hundred films are released and there’s an array of content to choose from. But, 2017 has seen the average being celebrated – films with no plot or logic have joined the Rs 100-crore club and broken records for being the ‘Masala Entertainer Of The Year’. The year has also seen revivals and sequels of films that were best left to be remembered for their originals.
Read full story: Bollywood Films In 2017: A Few Sparkling Gems In A Sea Of Mediocrity
The year didn’t belong to the two male superstars, Mohanlal and Mammootty, who floundered with movies like Velipaadinte Pusthakam and Pullikkaaran Staara, but to the younger crop of stars, Dulquer Salmaan, Parvathy and Fahadh Fazil, and directors like Dileesh Pothan, Lijo Jose Pallissery and Soubin Shahir.
By now, many ‘best of 2017’ listicles have populated the Internet. But, a question remains – how do we define the year, really? Whether it was the Rohingya crisis, the Triple Talaq verdict, or the birth of a new Taylor Swift with her album Reputation, identity played a big part in shaping the year; and the discourse would not be complete without reflecting on the opinions and politics that played around gender rights.
Why was Athulya Ravi forced to apologise for her look in Yemaali? Doesn’t she have a choice? Jyothika swearing on-screen, is it such a big deal? Questions like how did Sivakumar and son Suriya “allow” Jyothika to do Naachiyaar were raised. The Karni Sena claims to uphold the honour of Rani Padmini while seeking a ban on Padmavati, and how do they do it? Moral policing and chastising women come easily in this patriarchal industry.
Sometimes, while compiling a year-ender, we tend to look at the best of things that year – the best film, the best song, the best actor/actress… but for some reason, when we think of 2017, we imagine Marty McFly and Doc Brown from Back To The Future paying us a visit and finding that while so much has changed on the surface, there’s still so little that has *actually* changed.
Censorship has perhaps been the most talked about and the most tweeted about subject in India this year. From Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati to Alankrita Shrivastava’s Lipstick Under My Burkha which was refused a certificate for showcasing ‘women’s fantasies’ and sexual scenes among others, it has led to raging debates all over the media – and rightly so. But of course, there are countries that have it much worse.