Santhosh Pandit vs. Malayalam Media/Cinema

So much has been said and being said about Santhosh Pandit, an amateur movie director, actor, producer… (and so on). But nothing has been so abusive as the television show “Niyanthrana Rekha” on Manorama News yesterday. The program started with anchor Shaani saying that Santhosh Pandit’s movie has nothing to it’s credit and from there began the ‘show’ orchestrated by Shaani and Manorama News. Either Shaani has not cared to see the impact that Santhosh Pandit has made (negative or positive) in the Malayali society or she has chosen to ignore it completely. Whichever is the case, she has set a bad example for an anchor of such a show.

Santhosh Pandit definitely has something to his credit. His movie shows that the viral and social media marketing could help a lot in bringing people to theaters, provided it has something to hype about. The hype here was in a negative manner, but Santhosh has used it to the core to make money out of it. People wanted to see and cheer a clown and Santhosh Pandit happily let himself to be one. It is a fair trade and I think Santhosh is the ultimate winner at the end of the day. He’s got everything that an amateur artist could ask for – his video has lakhs of hits on YouTube, for which he claims that he gets Rs. 4/hit, he has appeared on all major Malayalam television channels, his movie is now showing in 14 theaters in Kerala though it was started with 3. The man is making money and he is (in)famous. Shaani of Manorama News chose not to see it.

But it did not stop there. The stage set by Shaani yesterday was taken over by someone called Adv. Baburaj who in all his 18 years of existence in Malayalam cinema was barely noticed until, ironically, he made himself to be a clown of a character in the hit movie Salt N Pepper. He made personally abusive remarks against Santhosh Pandit. He went on to ask if Santhosh Pandit has a mental disorder and made fun of Santhosh’s outfit. All this while the anchor, who is supposed to the ‘moderator’ of the show (someone please explain to her what responsibilities comes with a moderator title) stood silent (and probably smiling). Not an attempt to stop Baburaj or to remind him that personally abusive remarks on public television could not be allowed, particularly when Pandit has not hurled out any abuse against Baburaj.

What Baburaj has churned out with his 18 long years of experience in the Malayalam movie industry are the movies like ‘Black Dalia‘ and ‘Manushyamrugam‘. Both of them were box office disasters and won no critical acclaim and that man sat there rubbishing Santhosh Pandit who is a first time amateur in the industry.

I haven’t watched Santhosh Pandit’s movie “Krishnanum Radhayum” and I have no plans to watch it in the theatres. Just because I can tell from the trailers and clips of the movie I have seen on YouTube that it will be crap (just as I don’t watch Baburaj’s movies either in the theater or on television). Plus, I have no interest to go to a theatre to hurl abuse at someone who has not done any harm to me, knowing exactly what I would get out of it (most of the audience – particularly the young crowd – knew what they would get from the movie and paid to see it on screen). I do look for his latest interviews though, because I am curious to see if this man is consciously making a fool of himself or not. His rationale in many of the interviews are unmatchable and the current Malayalam cinema industry will have no option than being silent before the questions he pause in those interviews.

I think Santhosh Pandit has talent. If not in acting or direction, he would match the current industry standards with his music compositions and dialogues. I like the song “Raathri Subharaathri” or “Vachasaalum Vapusaalum“. I think if any of the ‘surviving’ superstars delivered the punch dialogues that Santhosh has delivered in his movie, they would be an instant hit among their fans. So these two areas are what Santhosh could genuinely work on and contribute to the box office industry.

And for Shaani and her types, I wonder if they would treat Mammootty or Mohan Lal the way they have treated Santhosh Pandit for their performances in the movies such as Vaamanapuram Bus Stop, Thuruppugulaan or such. I also wonder why did Manorama News bring a psychiatrist to the debate on a movie. Would they do the same thing to discuss a crappy movie of any of the leading stars in Malayalam?

Related: Kerala’s YouTube stars!