Kaathal - The Core, which stars Mammootty and Jyothika and is helmed by Jeo Baby, is slated to hit theatres on November 23
The much-awaited release of director Jeo Baby's Kaathal -The Core, starring Mammootty and Jyothika, is scheduled for November 23. The film, which will mark the first collaboration of Jyothika and Mammootty and the Mozhi actress' comeback to Malayalam cinema after 13 years, however, has hit a setback in two Middle East countries due to its content, as per reports.
Kaathal - The Core banned in Qatar and Kuwait?
As the release date approaches, there are reports indicating that the film has faced a ban in certain Gulf countries. The censor certificate for Kaathal has reportedly been denied in Qatar and Kuwait, with the content of the film cited as the reason for this. Speculations about Mammootty portraying a homosexual character in the movie may have contributed to the ban.
Mammootty's latest film, like Mohanlal's Monster, faces a ban in Gulf countries
Earlier, Mohanlal’s 2022 action thriller Monster, which was helmed by Vysakh, faced a similar roadblock when several countries banned the Mohanlal-starrer over LGBTQ content. Later, the ban was lifted in Bahrain after the censor board asked the makers to trim 13 minutes of the film.
Nevertheless, we will need to await further updates whether the ban on the Mammootty-starrer will be lifted, following a potential re-evaluation and necessary edits suggested by the Gulf censor board.
Mammootty to play a closeted gay in Kaathal – The Core?
As per the leaked IFFI synopsis of the film, the veteran actor is set to portray a retired co-operative bank official, named George Devassy, whose political aspirations face obstacles due to his sexual orientation. Two days after George decides to contest the panchayat elections, Omana (Jyothika) decides to file for divorce. The film follows the complex story of the couple in this upcoming drama.
Apart from the lead actors, the Jeo Baby film also features Lalu Alex, Muthumani and Chinnu Chandini. Salu K Thomas handles the cinematography, and Mammootty is producing the film under the banner of Mammootty Kampany. Adarsh Sukumaran and Paulsen Scaria are its writers.
Representation of homosexuality in Malayalam cinema
Malayalam cinema, like other film industries nationwide, has not majorly showcased fair representation for the LGBTQIA+ community. However, there are indications of change, with some attempts being made towards inclusion.
Few of the Malayalam stars have portrayed homosexual characters in Malayalam cinema, the most noted being Nivin Pauly in Geetu Mohandas’ Moothon and Prithviraj Sukumaran in Rosshan Andrrews’ Mumbai Police, with both movies winning critical acclaim and the latter also working well at the box office.