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Hey Imtiaz Ali, don’t feel hurt because this one’s a mirror for you. I will be totally blunt in saying you have really left the woman in me (as well as the women around me) too upset with your latest film Jab Harry Met Sejal.
No, I am not here to discuss how silly the script is, how bad the storyline is, how difficult it was to sit through the time it rolled off or for that matter how a certain superstar is trying really hard, yet failing to stay the king of romance.
I am here to list points why a woman MUST NOT watch your film! Yes, because it projects us in a bad light. How? I detail…
The loose script is based on a female protagonist Sejal whose fiancé did not bother to stay back with to help her find a missing ring. She was left behind alone in an unknown land. Well, I wonder why Anushka Sharma who gave us the gem NH10 agreed to sign this movie. But what women viewer friends who watched the movie have opined was, why the hell do you have to always show a woman rejected by a man, running after him. Why?
Saira Begum, a home manager from Old Delhi says, “Be it Kareena Kapoor in Jab We Met or Anushka as Sejal, why do you project your protagonist as a week, meak, having-no-say character? Are you trying to say we women are silly? What learning do we take back from your film? To chase one guy who leaves you behind and fall for another one? Why not dump him in the first go when he demeaned your love and then go for a new life?”
Sejal takes a bold step to get back her ring. But then in flash of a second she is this helpless woman blackmailing Harry, her tour guide to help her find the ring. Well, Imtiaz Ali, if you had to weave a romance between the two, couldn’t you find a better idea to make Harry accompany her? You think a woman can get her way only by blackmailing, as the last resort?
Simran Kaur, another viewer from New Delhi says, “Whether showing a heroine using her tears or her words to get her hero to do what she wants, it is pretty sad how even the new-age, educated and so-called modern filmmakers are following an old patriarchal pattern to make their films work. Imtiaz Ali, I thought is an ‘our generation director’, and will give us a gem. But this film is a disaster the way a woman’s image has been built.”
Harry is shown comparing Sejal to ‘gandi’ aurat all the time, saying you aren’t like them, you are better. Well, so a pole dancer making her living or the various women whom he enjoys the bed with through his 10 years of life in Europe or for that matter other pictorial or verbal comparisons….Harry considers all these women ‘gandi’.
Afsaan Ali an IT professional asks, “Imitiaz Ali ,you really had your mind in place when you went through this script? Sejal is shown trying die-hard, attempting to be a ‘sexy’ woman who can attract Harry’s attention, so much so that she reaches a pub, a kind of red-light area where Harry picks up women for one night stands. Harry tells her, no you can’t stay here, as you aren’t like these ‘women.’ What the hell did you mean? Do you know under what circumstances a woman resorts to working as a pole dancer? Disgusting.”
I do agree with Afsaan. Just making Harry say ‘Main ek Ganda Aadmi hun’ won’t make your sin wash off, Imtiaz…because he again uses examples related to women to prove his point.
“A woman does not need your certificate, Imtiaz Ali. Anushka Sharma, you have really let us down by being a party to this low mentality,” says a sad Susan Charles from Mandir Marg, New Delhi.
Yes, why couldn’t Sejal be just herself? It is people like you, Imtiaz Ali, who pit one woman against another and then make the saying ‘A woman can never be a friend of another woman‘. Sad. Especially, coming from an educated man like you.
All in all, it is difficult to believe that the man who gave us Highway with Alia Bhatt standing out as a youth icon, gave us this shoddy film projecting women in such a bad light.
Nevertheless, with a bad rating and reviews across various media, I hope the lesson will be learnt…though the hard way. All the best for some sensible work next time, Imtiaz Ali and Team.
Last but not the least, dear Shahrukh Khan, please understand that “ab Kuch Kuch NAHIN Hota Hai!” We are happy with your inspiring works like Chak De India and others. Hope your films touch hearts rather than just cash registers.