The loosu ponnu (transl. Crazy girl) is a stock character in Tamil cinema, a girl who is portrayed as attractive but naive and unintelligent. It is regarded as the equivalent of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl and dumb blonde stereotypes in the United States.[1][2] The loosu ponnu trope became increasingly popular in 1990s Tamil cinema, when the masculinity of the hero became severely overblown. It has since received criticism for being misogynistic and regressive.[3][4]

HistoryEdit

According to critic Baradwaj Rangan, the loosu ponnu trope emerged in an era where Tamil filmmakers "began to get North Indian heroines who didn’t speak a word of Tamil. They wouldn’t move their lips according to the lines they were supposed to be speaking (and to be filled in later by a dubbing artist). They’d end up gesticulating wildly to make a point. Their emotional reactions would be a bit “off.” And all of this ended up making them look like mad people".[5]

CharacteristicsEdit

Loosu ponnus are typically depicted as being bubbly,[6] naive, childish, lacking professional ambition, having easily detachable ties with their families, and showing unquestioning devotion to heroic males once they fall in love with them.[1] They are also depicted as angelic, in need of constant rescuing, and incapable of doing even simple things in life.[3] Very often, their "cuteness" is directly proportional to how insane their actions may seem to viewers.[1]

ExamplesEdit

Known loosu ponnu characters in Tamil films are Mythili (Jyothika) in Manmadhan (2004),[7] Hema (Meera Jasmine) in Sandakozhi (2005),[8] Hasini (Genelia D'Souza) in Santosh Subramaniam (2008),[9] Anitha (Taapsee Pannu) in Arrambam (2013),[5] Yazhini (Hansika Motwani) in Maan Karate (2014),[9] Shakila (Samantha Akkineni) in 10 Endrathukulla (2015),[10] Sowmya (Kajal Aggarwal) in Paayum Puli (2015),[11] Priya (Motwani) in Uyire Uyire (2016),[12] Aarathu Aanandhi (Sai Pallavi) in Maari 2 (2018),[13] and Vandhana (Sayyeshaa) in Ghajinikanth (2018).[14][9] Keerthy Suresh has played such characters in films like Remo (2016)[15] and Thodari (2016).[16]

CriticismEdit

The loosu ponnu trope has received wide criticism for being misogynistic and regressive.[3][4][1] Actress Madonna Sebastian has expressed her dislike for it, saying, "I think it is disrespectful and when people endorse it, even heroines, it becomes a dangerous trend."[17] Aishwarya Rajesh has consciously avoided playing such roles, citing her preference for "sensible" roles.[18]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d Iswarya, V (29 September 2016). "What I Learned About Love And Women From Tamil Movies". BuzzFeed. Archived from the original on 7 December 2018. Retrieved 7 December 2018.
  2. ^ Dundoo, Sangeetha Devi (17 January 2018). "Women in Telugu cinema: Some common sense please?". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 7 December 2018. Retrieved 7 December 2018.
  3. ^ a b c "The 'loosu ponnu' in Tamil cinema and why she should retire". The News Minute. 30 September 2018. Archived from the original on 7 December 2018. Retrieved 7 December 2018.
  4. ^ a b Rajendran, Sowmya (13 July 2018). "CS Amudhan's 'Tamizh Padam 2' speaks the truth about female characters in Kollywood". The News Minute. Archived from the original on 7 December 2018. Retrieved 7 December 2018.
  5. ^ a b Rangan, Baradwaj (4 November 2013). ""Arrambam"… Mission to "mass"". Baradwaj Rangan. Archived from the original on 1 June 2017. Retrieved 7 December 2018.
  6. ^ Rangan, Baradwaj (19 July 2018). "Southern Lights: Are Tamil-Speaking Heroines Doomed In Tamil Cinema?". Film Companion. Archived from the original on 8 December 2018. Retrieved 8 December 2018.
  7. ^ "Manmathan". Sify. 14 November 2004. Archived from the original on 28 July 2019. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  8. ^ "Sandakozhi 2 movie review: This Vishal film is a lazy rehash". The Indian Express. 18 October 2018. Archived from the original on 3 November 2018. Retrieved 7 December 2018.
  9. ^ a b c "Genelia to Hansika: The 'loosu ponnu' heroines who have ruled Tamil films". India Today. 12 September 2018. Archived from the original on 7 December 2018. Retrieved 7 December 2018.
  10. ^ Rangan, Baradwaj (21 October 2015). "10 Enradhukulla: A slipshod road movie". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 18 December 2017. Retrieved 7 December 2018.
  11. ^ Srinivasan, Sudhir (4 September 2015). "Paayum Puli: A few good portions don't make a wholesome meal". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 13 January 2018. Retrieved 7 December 2018.
  12. ^ Rangan, Baradwaj (2 April 2016). "Uyire Uyire: Still life". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 28 July 2019. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
  13. ^ Srivatsan, S. (21 December 2018). "'Maari 2' review: An overlong yet entertaining sequel". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 28 July 2019. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
  14. ^ Purushothaman, Kirubhakar (3 August 2018). "Ghajinikanth Review: Interesting premise wasted by dull writing". India Today. Archived from the original on 7 December 2018. Retrieved 7 December 2018.
  15. ^ "Half-Yearly report: GV Prakash Kumar to Eswari Rao, best performances of 2018". The Times of India. 2018. Archived from the original on 7 August 2018. Retrieved 7 December 2018.
  16. ^ Pillai, Sreedhar (22 September 2016). "Thodari review: Dhanush's thriller is like a local train; it's slow and makes frequent stops". Firstpost. Archived from the original on 30 March 2018. Retrieved 7 December 2018.
  17. ^ Sekhar, Arunkumar (17 July 2018). "The Madonna Sebastian interview: 'I fell in love with music because of Tamil cinema'". The New Indian Express. Archived from the original on 7 December 2018. Retrieved 7 December 2018.
  18. ^ Rajendran, Sowmya (24 April 2017). "I was told a dusky, Tamil speaking woman like me can't become heroine: Aishwarya Rajesh". The News Minute. Archived from the original on 19 November 2017. Retrieved 7 December 2018.