Check out these 8 Government Loan Schemes That You Can Benefit From As A Woman In Business.
Raazi has been well received by audiences is earning glowing reviews from everywhere. This superbly crafted spy-thriller also goes on to break a number of stereotypes.
Raazi has been well received by audiences and is earning glowing reviews from everywhere. This superbly crafted spy-thriller also goes on to break a number of stereotypes.
Meghna Gulzar’s latest directorial venture Raazi has been earning rave reviews and is slowly but steadily heading towards the coveted 100 crore club. The espionage thriller, which is based on Harinder Sikka’s book, ‘Calling Sehmat’, is a true story of a Kashmiri girl who goes undercover for India, and marries a Pakistani army officer.
While the film firmly establishes Alia Bhatt’s acting prowess as the protagonist Sehmat Khan, it also goes on to shatter a number of stereotypes and leaves us pleasantly surprised, as it does not include any of the usual tropes that we are generally conditioned to expect in a Bollywood movie, as also in a patriotic thriller.
Let us see how how Raazi broke a number of stereotypes and stood apart:
It would have been easy to make Raazi an aggressively nationalist, anti-Pakistani film. But, the filmmakers avoided this trope, creating well-rounded Pakistani characters who were not inherently bad because of their nationality, and instead have emotions, beliefs, and interests like any character would have.
The protagonist, Sehmat Khan, is a strong woman who can keep her nerve in a crisis and take tough decisions, and is smart and resourceful to boot. However, she also has emotions and shows them freely. It’s only too common for creators to write cold-hearted women of steel (or at least women who pretend to be) when trying to write a strong female character.
The premise of this film is that Sehmat Khan marries into a Pakistani family so that she can relay inside information to the Indian Intelligence from there. You’d except there to be some amount of saas-bahu drama, or rivalry between her and her sister-in-law.
There is none of that. There is no saas in the picture at all, and Sehmat’s sister-in-law is the first friend she makes in her new family. Sehmat later helps her sister-in-law to get out of trouble for something she has not done – an expression of the healthy female friendship they have, the type which is hardly ever shown in popular media.
I had expected (and had hoped I would not see) some kind of abusive family, with maybe just one person being friendly towards Sehmat. But, the family accepts her completely, with only the cook being hostile towards her. Family drama plays no part in this story, even as a side plot, and I am thankful for that.
The man who Sehmat marries, Iqbal, is a shining example of how to ask for consent, even in a marriage.
On her first night in her new home, it is clear that she is fully expecting him to take advantage of his ‘marital right’ to her body. Instead, he says that it would be better if they got to know each other first, specifically saying that he would like to get to know her, acknowledging that she is a person in her own right, and worth getting to know. Even later, when they do get more intimate, he takes her consent before making any advances.
This film showed a romantic relationship that did not include dances or running around in fields of grass and flowers. There was no stealing of chunnis and no hiding and peeping out at the other. There was no stalking and no coyness, as is seen in so many Bollywood movies. The relationship was built on mutual trust and respect for each other’s likes, dislikes, personalities, and national sentiments. It is a deep and beautiful relationship and I was so happy to see it in a Bollywood movie.
In so many stories in which a woman does spy work, she uses her body to get favours or information from others. This movie has none of that. Sehmat does get into a situation in which she is able to spy on Pakistan by marrying into a Pakistani military family, but nothing more. All the actual spying involves the usual things you would expect a male spy to do.
Sehmat really falls in love with her husband, a Pakistani whom she is supposed to spy on. She is never shamed for these feelings, which are unrelated to her spy work in any practical sense. Her love for her husband instead shows the human cost of war.
By breaking these sterotypes, Raazi joins a league of classics as it refrains from the usual ‘larger than life’ portrayal of characters. Also, it does not not meander into the zone of ‘hyper nationalism’ and ‘jingoism’ to bring out the patriotic fervour in the audience.
Hats off to the entire caste and crew of Raazi for making a film that will be remembered for a long time to come.
Header image is a still from the movie Raazi
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views. Individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times. If you have a complementary or differing point of view, sign up and start sharing your views too!
Zefeni. A teenager curious about the world around her, a book lover, poet, and dreamer. read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
Stay updated with our Weekly Newsletter or Daily Summary - or both!
Mostly Normal is a book of innocence, longing, filial love, angst and acceptance, encapsulating a gamut of human emotions within its lightweight edifice. The book touches the human heart and will stay with you.
Some books enthral you till the last page, and then there are those that you stop reading after turning a few pages. Some books are a one-time read, while you carry some books with you long after you have read them. Then, once in a while, a book hits you so close to home that you find it difficult to slot into any category.
I will put Priyadeep Kaur’s Mostly Normal (BookSoul Reads, 2022) in this last bracket.
At a little less than hundred pages, Mostly Normal is a testimony of the power of words to inspire, irrespective of their length.
Most women do not get to live their lives the way they want, on their own terms. So why should they be tied down in their old age?
Every morning, while dropping the kids at the bus stop, I find a grandfather waiting with his granddaughter. I see him again when I fetch the kids. This has been the pattern for the last few years.
He is seen actively participating in his granddaughter’s activities, from morning and evening walks to attending her parent-teachers meeting, sending her for extracurricular activities to even planning her birthday party. He is admired by all. He is appreciated for making himself useful in his old age. People rave that the doting grandfather is doing his duty towards his children and grandchildren. The much-admired grandfather is also a widower, having lost his wife years ago to chronic disease. It’s also to be noted that both his son and daughter-in-law are working parents.
Every day, the onlookers appreciate his sense of duty and dedication. They say that this is how the elderly should keep themselves occupied. They should bring up their grandchildren while their children go off to work.
Please enter your email address