ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Kaathal—The Core

‘Queer’ Malayalam Cinema?

Is the sensitive portrayal and mainstreaming of queerness in Kaathal—The Core enough to consider it a queer film?

When Kaathal—The Core, directed by Jeo Baby, was released in November 2023, social media was flooded with posts reviewing it as a “queer film.” The way that the heteronormative public sphere responded positively to this film and the debates about “coming out” as a queer person in contemporary Kerala were moving. The state has been called out for structural and casual homophobia by many queer activists and academics who had to move to other states or countries to explore and articulate their sexual preferences without har-assment or public humiliation. My reflections are not what is “the core”/within the plot of Kaathal; rather I focus on the audience’s response from an analytical perspective by examining Facebook posts by the audience and promotional material and activities by the crew available on YouTube, media interviews with queer people’s reactions to this film, etc. This is a “surface reading,” which as-sumes that a text’s truest meaning lies in what it does not say.

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Published On : 22nd Mar, 2024

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