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Research Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences
Year : 2018, Volume : 9, Issue : 1
First page : ( 114) Last page : ( 118)
Print ISSN : 0975-6795. Online ISSN : 2321-5828.
Article DOI : 10.5958/2321-5828.2018.00020.7

‘Male Gaze’ in Malayalam Cinema: a reading of K.G. George's ‘Adaminte Variyellu’

Vasudev Archana*

Research Scholar, Department of Journalism and Communication, University of Madras, Chennai

*Corresponding Author Email: archanavasudev@gmail.com

Online published on 24 May, 2018.


The theory of male gaze was first introduced by British film maker, scholar and theorist, Laura Mulvey in her 1975 essay ‘Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema.’1 According to Mulvey, cinema reflects the oblivion of patriarchal society and reinforces the notion that women are the subject of heterosexual male control and desire.2 Mulvey states that most of the popular Hollywood films respond to number of pleasures offered by cinema, particularly known as scopophilia. This process of gaining pleasure by taking people as objects and subjecting them to a domineering gaze is gendered and eventually establishes women as objects of scopophilia and men as bearers of the look. The function of the cinema, according to Laura Mulvey, is to serve as a voyeuristic medium that encourages the audience to take pleasure from looking upon. Many Hollywood movies, especially the ones of Hitchcock and Stemberg were widely studied on the basis of this version of psychoanalytic theory. The purpose of this paper is to analyse the Malayalam movie, ‘Adaminte Variyellu (Adam's Rib) directed by the veteran film maker, K.G.George in the light of Laura Mulvey's essay. Adaminte Variyellu, the 1983 movie, talks about the travails of three women from different socio-economic sections of the society. Content analysis was used to determine whether Mulvey's argument of ‘male gaze and female spectatorship’ was applicable to Malayalam films of the 80’s. This papertakes as its starting-point the way a Malayalam movie reflects, reveals and works on the socially established notions of sexual difference which apparently controls images, erotic ways of looking and spectacle.



Male gaze, Laura Mulvey, Feminist theory, Psychoanalytic theory, Adaminte Variyellu, K.G. George.


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