The online platform’s memes correlate ‘fashion’ quirks of memorable celluloid characters in Mollywood with contemporary style
Would you describe the style trends in Malayalam cinema as way ahead of its time? Going by a compilation of rib-tickling memes by online platform Pink Lungi, it certainly seems so.
The memes, which have gone viral on social media, juxtapose fashion quirks of some memorable celluloid characters in Malayalam cinema with contemporary examples. The captions explain the retro style trend and recalls the movie in which the particular character appears. Of course, the correlation is purely coincidental and drawn to tickle the funny-bone.
Aishwarya Gopinath, co-founder of Pink Lungi, says the idea was born because movies always had a dedicated following among Malayalis. “The humour in the memes is rather like self-satire. If you simply search in Google images, you get to see a lot of fashion trends. For the concept, we just checked if we could compare them with any characters in Malayalam cinema that we know of,” she explains.
Ideating for the memes were done by a five-member team from Pink Lungi that focusses on entertainment content dosed with humour. “Most of our posts are experimental and this particular one clicked,” she adds. The first set in Pink Lungi’s style trends series was uploaded in August, with the second one posted recently.
Govindan Kurumangattu, another founder of Pink Lungi, says all the brainstorming and discussions happen via a WhatsApp group, with the team of Malayalis spread out in many locations. “The style trends series is, of course, not meant to be taken literally. We also wanted to highlight the self-deprecating humour in them, whether intended or not,” he says. Remembering costumes of characters from movies that hit the screens decades back posed a “fun challenge”, says the Thrissur native, adding that “but our entertainment team members are walking encyclopaedias of Malayalam cinema.”
One among them is Shahbaz Mohammad, an architect from Ernakulam working in Dubai. “Some of the memes popped up in our minds instantly, like the man bun idea (featuring actor Mammootty as Chandu Chekavar in the classic Oru Vadakkan Veeragatha). For some ideas, it was mostly like reverse engineering wherein we looked up in Google for fashion trends and found a comic match, like John Honai (played by veteran actor Rizabawa in the comedy drama In Harihar Nagar) who wears spectacles with metallic eye-wear retainer,” he points out.
Another one hard to miss is the iconic comic roles of Vijayan and Dasan, played by Srinivas and Mohanlal respectively, in the satirical detective comedy Pattanapravesham. “This one is not particularly a retro fashion trend but we know that trench coats areoften the costume worn by detectives on-screen; so much that it has become a cliché of sorts,” says Shahbaz.
Being a movie buff, Shahbaz loved essaying the memes. “We came with quite a few and whittled down to whichever made us laugh the most,” he says.