Queer Ecologies – Research Paper [May 2021]: The Portrayal of Queerness in Malayalam Films


  • Ashika Ann Mammen




Queerness, LGBTQ, Gender, Sexual Minorities, Homosexuality, Discrimination, Malayalam, Films, Kerala


The term “Queer” mainly refers to anything which pertains to sexual behavior, identity or personality which does not conform to the conventional social or heterosexual norms, and assumptions. Being queer was and still is seen as an abnormality by multitudes in the society. Although it has been more than two years since the decriminalization of homosexuality in India, there are still plenty of societies which ill-treat, ostracize and look down upon the LGBTQ communities. The state of Kerala, having the highest literacy rate amongst all the other states in India, also happens to be one of the states which still look at queerness as an illness and an abnormality, which has to be dealt with and ‘cured’ through counseling and medication. However, in the midst of all these preconceived notions and social injustices against the LGBTQ communities, ‘Films’ stand as a strong medium of communication and a voice for the LGBTQ communities who are seen as ‘nobodies’ in our society. Films that have a theme of queerness tend to stand out from the cliché themes such as [heterosexual] love, patriarchy, hegemony, crime, and so on. The focus of this research paper is narrowed down to Malayalam films which stand as a solid foundation in order to show the portrayal of queerness and this is incorporated through a research question. Malayalam films aren’t just a source of entertainment, but it is also an emotion and an important part of life to the people of Kerala. The portrayal of queerness in Malayalam films have taken a bold stand, with exemplary performances in films like Randu Penkuttikal (1978), Deshadanakkili Karayarilla (1986), Chanthupottu (2005), Njaan Marykutty (2018), Moothon (2019) and more. This research paper throws light upon the various ways in which Malayalam films depict the theme of queerness, which is further carried out by a strong message with regard to the ill-treatment of the LGBTQ communities, the harsh realities and injustices faced by these sexual minorities who live a life filled with difficulties and hardships as they struggle to get a well paid job in a our stereotypical society, that labels them off as a bunch of “misfits.”


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Author Biography

Ashika Ann Mammen


MA ECS (English with Cultural Studies)

College: Christ (Deemed to Be) University

Bangalore, Karnataka, India


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Moothon. Dir. Geethu Mohandas. Perf. Nivin Pauly, Roshan Mathew, Sanjana Dipu. Mini Studio;JAR Pictures, 2019.




How to Cite

Mammen, A. A. . (2021). Queer Ecologies – Research Paper [May 2021]: The Portrayal of Queerness in Malayalam Films. SMART MOVES JOURNAL IJELLH, 9(5), 277–296. https://doi.org/10.24113/ijellh.v9i5.11066