Vignesh Shivan responds to Kaathuvaakula Rendu Kaadhal criticism, says ‘Don’t know much about feminism and sexism’

Director Vignesh Shivan, whose latest film Kaathuvaakula Rendu Kaadhal has attracted criticism for its perceived problematic portrayal of women, responded to the criticism in a new interview. Kaathuvaakula Rendu Kaadhal stars Vijay Sethupathi as a man who is cheating on two women simultaneously, but is still being fought over. The two women are played by Nayanthara and Samantha Ruth Prabhu.

In an interview on Galatta Plus, the filmmaker was asked how he avoided pushing the film into a ‘sexist zone’. Citing the example of Netflix’s Sex Education, he said that he avoids showing his scripts to others before making his films, because he believes that too many opinions might distract him from the goal.

Vignesh said, “I don’t know much about (subjects) like feminism and sexism. I just make movies to entertain. I faced backlash even with Paava Kadhaigal. For me, entertainment is the main goal, and I move the story towards that. Even when we write a song, the first priority is to make it a hit. 90 percent of my thoughts are about whether the scene is enjoyable. And other things come within the remaining 10 percent. I don’t know if I am mature enough to balance the fun (and social issues).”

He continued, “I am satisfied when I know that the scene will be enjoyable. For example, there is a Netflix show called Sex Education in which a mother, who is sex therapist, gives tips to her son. If you ask the question whether you can portray a teenager like that, you can’t move the story further. That’s why I don’t discuss even my scripts with anyone because I know these questions will stop me from taking the story forward. I have done this film with conviction. I wanted this to be in this flavour.”

“I saw the movie in theaters, and it has everything I expected it to be. There was no unexpected reaction. I expected people will clap during the scene in which they (characters) debate about almonds and pistachios, and that’s how the audience reacted to the scene. This is all I want,” he concluded.

Previously, Samantha had said that she only wants the audience to have a good time with the movie, and not overthink it. She said during a Twitter AMA, “I wanted to be a part of a film that made people smile Not think .. not over analyse…not dissect .. Just take a break from our day to day issues and laugh a little.”

Kaathuvaakula Rendu Kaadhal has attracted negative reviews. For the Indian Express, Manoj Kumar R called the film ‘a colossal mess’. He wrote, “It’s unclear why either Kanmani or Khatija would wish to be locked in a romanceless relationship with Rambo. He can’t even look into the eyes of these women properly while speaking with them. And he’s very bad at romance or romantic gestures that sweep a woman off her feet. And yet, Kanmani and Khatija compete against each other for Rambo’s affection.”

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