First Birthday at 27: Njan Marykutty â€“ A Story of Resolution and Resilience
Keywords:Transsexual, Transgender, empathy, marginalized.
The representation of transsexual persons and transgender individuals in mainstream cinema in India is arguably for comical purposes; the humour is predominantly obscene and insulting to such sexual minorities but the Malayalam film Njan Marykutty portrays a very bold and determined transsexual woman who conquers her prejudiced family, challenges bureaucratic red tapism, fights social discrimination and finally fulfils her ambition by becoming a police officer. In most parts of the world sexually diverse people face apathy and often become victims of violence in domestic and social spaces; consequently, a considerable number of the alternately sexed groups are scared to venture out of the closet, leave alone acquire education or strive for dignified career opportunities.
Njan Marykutty narrates the transformation of Mathukutty, played brilliantly by actor Jayasurya, into a transsexual woman, Marykutty, despite stiff resistance from family members. The protagonist Marykutty was born a male and named Mathukutty by his parents. Throughout childhood, Mathukutty tried to dress as a girl and was frequently reprimanded and beaten up by his father. When he finds that he will not be accepted as a girl, Mathukutty gets educated and also aquires a well-paid job. When the topic of his marriage is raised, Mathukutty leaves home to consult a doctor for his reassignment surgery. Through the surgery Mathukutty becomes Marykutty and establishes her true identity. She strives to accomplish her goal of joining the police force but has to face corrupt policemen who reiterate that she cannot be given her due.
The film proves that through education, empathy and social support, marginalized persons are able to break free of their closeted lives and lead meaningful lives and contribute to society.
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