Varathan: An Outsider among Toxic Masculinities
The loud posturing of macho heroes from 1970s-80s cinema survived the much-touted return of romance in the 1990s. Today, Indian cinema offers heroes who unabashedly shed tears before their girlfriends and wives, who are not the benevolent bosses of the women in their lives, who are open about their vulnerability or at least do not compensate for displays of such emotion by letting their fists fly or by bullying women into falling for them. With Varathan, Mollywood witnesses the deconstruction of the masculine patriarch and its toxic traits. The paper is an attempt to register the change in notions of masculinity. The aim is not to argue that one notion or one kind of gender is better than the other rather that both masculinity and femininity is always in a state of transformation.