The face behind the abuser

What is a bit of honey in poison called? asks the 23 minutes long film released by Saina Movies.
Ayyappan Ramachandran
Ayyappan Ramachandran

Though society is increasingly discussing gender equality and women empowerment, are women actually safe? People always criticise her dress, and manner of speaking and some even tag her self-reliance as over-smartness and ‘being single’ as flirtatious. The new short film Nirbhayayum Vethalavum, directed by journalist and film aspirant Ayyappan Ramachandran, tells a story of an independent woman and the dangers she faces. While society names victims of abuse as Nirbhaya, what do they call women like her before such tragedies? How does our world fail women?

What is a bit of honey in poison called? asks the 23 minutes long film released by Saina Movies. The film puts the evil nature of a man who is considered sensible and gentle by others. The film opens with a character - a renowned war photographer - creepily staring at a woman. She is a journalist and they are at a dinner get-together with their mutual friends. The man begins stalking her soon. He follows her with her camera, without her knowledge. 

His ego cannot take a no from her and refuses to listen to a mutual friend who finds out about the stalking. Devi Krishnakumar and Sajeesh Mohan as Nirbhaya and Vethalam have done justice to their roles. Devi with her acting and Sajeesh with his wide eyes. 

“The subject was in my mind for a long time. I was always interested in filmmaking. This short film is a result of much research to understand the technicality and process of movie-making. Sajeesh is also a journalist and when I conveyed the subject to him, he came up with his own ideas to portray the role. He also compared the plot to Ravana and Seetha,” says Ayyappan.  The abuser in the short can be found in our society, who appears normal to everyone except their victims. Ayyappan’s quest was also the same - to portray the different shades of human behaviour. He later saves a girl of his daughter’s age in the story. However, the film proves that though he has some goodness, he is still poisonous. 

“There are similar people in our society. They will be family-loving, good at work, and gentlemen in front of the world. But they have a hidden toxic nature. So this creepy man in the short film is not an an unfamiliar face. I tried to portray what actually makes him abort his insidious plan. But in the end, he remains a stalker and an abuser. He is a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” says Ayyappan.

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