Thiruvananthapuram: Controversies are never far away in Kerala during movie awards season and this year has been no different.
A day after Celluloid, a film based on the life of JC Daniel and directed by Malayalam filmmaking pioneer Kamal, won the state award for the best film of 2012, the movie was dragged into controversy.
It picked up a stunning seven state awards on Friday, but allegations are now being raised about the movie attempting to cast former chief minister K Karunakaran and writer Malayatoor Ramakrishnan in a bad light.
JC Daniel was the producer-director of the first Malayalam movie, Vigatakumaran, and the allegation is there are many who contrived to deny Daniel his rightful place in movie history, including Karunakaran and Ramakrishnan.
“My father was the one who did all he could for the benefit of Malayalam movies, and even thought of a film studio in the state capital and instituting pensions for the film fraternity. A thousand Kamals cannot tarnish his image”, K Muraleedharan, Karunakaran’s son, said on the portrayal of his father as a villain.
Part of the controversy about the film was that the heroine in the movie was a Pulaya girl, considered ‘untouchable’ in that era. That had prompted some people to prevent screening of the movie in the state capital.
Kamal’s film Celluloid does not name anyone who allegedly denied Daniel his due, but observers feel that the theme of the film does not leave anyone with a doubt as to who had injustice to Daniel. The film producer is considered to have been neglected by the authorities in Kerala, including the state government.
However, the director of Celluloid, Kamal, argues that the script is based on two books on Daniel, and that there was no uproar over the contents of the books which included the same allegations.