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Last Updated 02.12.2021 | 12:36 PM IST
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Meenakshi Sundareshwar director Vivek Soni addresses criticisms of stereotyping South Indians; says there are no funny accents and ‘aiyyos’ in the film

Bollywood News
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Netflix is celebrating the season of love with the newest and refreshing pair in the tinsel town, Meenakshi and Sunderashwar. The teaser of the film was released earlier this month to introduce the audience to the lead pair- Meenakshi and Sundar portrayed by Sanya Malhotra and Abhimanyu Dassani. However, the teaser faced criticism of the inaccurate representation of Tamilians. The film is set in the backdrop of the cultural capital of Tamil Nadu- Madurai.

Meenakshi Sundareshwar director Vivek Soni addresses criticisms of stereotyping South Indians; says there are no funny accents and ‘aiyyos’ in the film

On Thursday, the trailer of Meenakshi Sundareshwar was launched in the presence of the cast, director, and producers. The film is helmed by debutant Vivek Soni who revealed why they chose to show a story based in Madurai as Hindi films rarely have stories set in the Southern part of India. “The story organically blends into the setting of Madurai because the film is called Meenakshi Sundareshwar and the basic incident which happens in the family, the reason the both of them get married is because of the fact that both their first names together make the famous temple of Madurai. In order to make it visually stand out, that is also one reason. Hindi films are not often set in South India, its great to visually explore that landscape that has not been milked before much,” Soni said.

The teaser of the film had also shown Meenakshi’s love for superstar Rajinikanth and worshipping him and saying his dialogues. Netizens pointed out that it is a stereotypical trope used in Hindi films to represent South Indians and expressed their displeasure. Addressing the same, Vivek said, “I know that there are many iconic stars down south like Ajith and Suriya but for me, personally after MGR if there is someone, it is Rajini sir. He is my personal favourite as well. So that was the reason we chose to keep him in the film, like how Meenakshi follows Rajini sir.”

Vivek and other team members also pointed out that there are no funny accents and Aiyyos in the film. Further elaborating on the same, Vivek said, “Eventually we are making a Hindi film set in Madurai. Now there are two sides to it. If I make this entire film in Tamil, it becomes a regional film and there is nothing bad about it, those are good films and I love them. But I essentially wanted to make a Hindi film. So either we go all out and make a Tamil film or you keep an accent, which we did not want to do, then it becomes stereotypical. Then it would have looked like you are making fun of the language. So we have made it a Hindi film and few Tamil words were spoken by the characters to give a flavour.”

Meenakshi Sundareshwar will be released on Netflix on November 5 and is produced by Dharma Productions.

ALSO READ: Meenakshi Sundareshwar Trailer: Moving away from cliches, the film promises to show a refreshing love story featuring Sanya Malhotra and Abhimanyu Dassani


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