A lot of times when it comes to stereotyped and caricaturish characters who are frequently utilised as punching bags for comedic relief, Bollywood is pointed out. Whether it was the Gujrati mota bhai who only speaks in an incorrect accent or the Punjabi best buddy who can’t stop going balle balle at every other thing, representation was limited to copying and generalising cultures, and we have many examples of this. The South Indian Tamilian, for example, has been subjected to trope-treatment that has limited his or her identity to English-speaking, veg-eating, and Rajinikant-loving Brahmins.
There is, in fact, another example, according to Twitter. Because of the ‘gross stereotyping,’ the teaser for Karan Johar’s Meenakshi Sundareshwar has sparked the same discussion online. The Netflix film starring Sanya Malhotra and Abhimanyu Dassani is ostensibly about a long-distance relationship in which the protagonist couple falls in love in an arranged marriage, but it’s all tainted when the characters portray tired cliches that we’ve seen a thousand times. There’s even a Thalaiva connection.
Tamilians, understandably, are fed up with Bollywood’s attempts to pigeonhole them into the same outdated categories, and have resorted to social media to point out the various flaws in the trailer. Take a look for yourself.
As if Chennai Express didn’t do enough damage: what the actual fuck is this? https://t.co/vnM25J1KfU
— Krishna.K (He/They) (@kriiiiishhhhhhh) October 12, 2021
Better be not Chennai Express 2.0 https://t.co/qk7yNTwiYI
— Karthi 🌌👽 (@karthi_knn) October 12, 2021
Typical Shitty Stereotyping of Tamil nadu by Bollywood .
— Vimal வலிமை (@Valimai233332) October 12, 2021
Playing a kuthu song in the background doesn't make the trailer appear even remotely tamilian.
also what up with this talkin' bout rajnikanth with no context?
— dihurdeys (@Ruhid_Syed) October 12, 2021
Enough of repeating same stereotypes ra. South isn't just Idly Sambar and Rajnikanth movies! 🤦 https://t.co/joufePUgjT
— Kiran (@inquisitivekidd) October 12, 2021
— Bhavya Venkatesh (@bhavyavenkatesh) October 12, 2021
Hardly anyone speaks Hindi in Madurai
95%+ Tamils follow non vegitarian diet
Tamilnadu is not all about Rajinikanth
Nobody sells Idli in open at Madurai Railway station
These 100% imaginary characters of North Indian creators who absolutely have no knowledge about Madurai. https://t.co/POIlO5ckmQ
— Pazuzu (@Pazuzugallu666) October 12, 2021
Amongst all things that gets misinterpreted in Bollywood movies, Tamil representations got to be right up there. #MeenakshiSundareshwar
— Koushik Kannan (@KoushikKannan3) October 12, 2021
— bharathi (@VenkatBharathy) October 12, 2021
I dont know when will bollywood understand that all Tamil's are not brahmins. All Tamil's are not veg eaters. Even brahmins wont dress and talk like this now a days. And not all tamil songs are folk songs. And stop ur obsession with our superstar!#MeenakshiSundareshwar https://t.co/oSMamGPhO1
— Sandy (@dragondeenas) October 12, 2021
Bollywood people showing south is basically like Hollywood people showing India or Indian films..
No one has any clue, except for the generic things they think that represent the culture..#MeenakshiSundareshwar #HowJadedIsThis https://t.co/sJW8umPgcP
— Srujana Uppuluri (@srujau) October 12, 2021