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Pink, Dear Zindagi, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Badrinath Ki Dulhaniya – there is a string that connects these women centric movies. Treat women as people, with their own discrete idiosyncrasies, aside from social norms.
I feel a little less burdened as a woman and also reassured for my little girl’s future as I glean through these women centric movies.
Editor’s Note: This post originally cited Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhaniya as one of the movies under discussion. Since then, the author has updated us that she meant Badrinath Ki Dulhaniya and this has been updated accordingly.
As a mother to my eight year old, I have always questioned the wisdom of the social norms to teach to my little one. I wish that she will be self-reliant, yet enjoy the simple joy of being in a relationship and having a family; I wish for her to be simply and inexplicably happy. In today’s world, there is still a compartmentalisation of what makes a woman happy and what is expected of her. Being happy, it seems, is not the most important attribute expected of a woman.
There is a patriarch in each one of us, men and women alike. That is the hallmark of a patriarchal society. And so when I watched Pink, I found myself adjusting to the thought process introduced in the movie. A thought process I had not always adhered to, up until now! The idea that women have the right to say NO! The idea that a woman can’t be judged by her appearance or by her choices. She cannot be coerced when she says no. OMG, I thought, no one told me that!
When I watched Dear Zindagi, here was a girl, trying to control her life by suffocating herself. Completely tethered to social norms, yet believing that she did not care. Huh! That is the picture of a modern girl even today, just as much as it was for many centuries in the past. (Though, let me clarify, this is not the real purpose of the movie.)
Yet again, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil brought a different face of the same scared modern woman, taking life’s decisions under the sway of patriarchy. The female protagonist comes to believe that marriage is the cause of all problems in a woman’s life. She has no answer to it. So bingo! She chooses to keep away from marriage. This move portrays yet again that, while today’s woman has a better sense of self, she is also weary of fighting back for herself, so she chooses a middle path. She chooses to keep away and safe from relationships that can hurt. She has the guts to give herself up for love, but no answer to the society’s stereotypical approach towards her as the wife of someone! Why should she stay in a relationship that takes away her originality?
Therefore when I watched Badrinath Ki Dulhaniya, it turned out to be a treat of a different kind. This movie finally risks portraying the man too as human; not as a woman’s chaperone but as someone who needs love and protection as well. This movie portrays a woman’s insecurity as well, but then it finds a unique solution to her predicament. She is insecure because men want to wield her and to hold her in thrall. What if a man understood his need for her to be in his life, just as much as a woman feels the need for him to be in hers? What if the two appreciate and respect each other’s choices and therefore come together? Not just because the man needs a homemaker or as a source of security for the woman?
This movie finally brings out the man-woman relationship as just that. The husband is not a person to give up one’s being to and the wife is not an instrument to be used in the household. They are both just people to love.
What women centric movies in the last few years have you enjoyed the most? Share!
Top image of a scene from Pink via Youtube