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Movies that centre men (like the recent Sanju) let them make 308 mistakes and yet live full lives. Women on the other hand, are rarely allowed to make such mistakes.
I have not watched the movie Sanju but one scene from the trailer was interesting. It was the scene with one man and two women. The man confesses to having slept with 308 women and is debating on whether to add to the number while the two women look at him as if he were an endearing little boy who is blurting out the truth in a hurry. It doesn’t help that one of the women is his wife.
I wondered how this scene would be received if the genders were reverse – one woman and two men and the woman confesses to the same crime with one of the men being the husband. Forget 308, let’s just begin with her confessing to a number under 10. I couldn’t even visualise the scene and I realised that this would probably not be an A grade movie and least of all, a Rajkumar Hirani movie. The Indian audience have liberated themselves enough to go from ‘Ek Hi Bhool’ all the way to ‘308 Bhools’ – at least where the man is concerned. (Bhool = mistake).
Another annoying aspect is that Indian movies with male protagonists have such varied content, they are shown to lead such full lives, the content is treated with so much love and care that as an audience you experience the full range of emotions from laughter to sadness to drama to self actualisation. Compare this movies that have female protagonists – in these, there is a thick cover of gloom hanging over their heads until the end, when they breakthrough and find their place in the sun. It is inspiring, but there will be very few people who will gladly exchange places with the characters on screen, which is the exact opposite of what happens when you watch movies with male leads. I have not watched Ocean’s Eight or Veere di Wedding so I am not sure if the narrative has changed. At least for the latter, we know that it involves four women, all of them either considering or grappling with marriage which is a very narrow lens to view a woman’s life through.
Why don’t Indian movies capture the woman’s journey with the same love and care? It would be wonderful to watch a movie where female characters have the same number of highs as lows in their lives, where unimaginable hardships are not thrown at them every two seconds and marriage and family are shown as important chapters in their lives instead of being the central aspect from which they derive their strength. A film where the woman is a born winner (just like the movies with male leads) and she overcomes her struggles without a hair out of place, with a good dose of humour and wit and goes back to her happy family with a final hurrah. Now that’s a movie I would love to see!
Till then, I will just wait for ‘Ek Hi Bhool’ with a woman protagonist. 308 Bhools is a pipe dream.
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Roopa Prabhakar describes herself as a mother, a working woman, a closet feminist and blogger. read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, indivisual posts do not necessarily represent the platofrom's views and opinions at all times.
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My house-help asked excitedly, “I am going for wedding. Can you let me wear your red & black saree? To be honest I was stumped for a moment; I didn’t know what to say but I still said yes.
I lent a gorgeous saree to my house-help for a wedding in her family. Soon I stated getting questions if I would wear that saree again or if I was okay to be seen wearing the same saree my house-help was wearing?
We are all so conditioned to give our used clothes to our house-helps but are we okay to wear the clothes they were wearing?
A few days ago she came excitedly to me, “I am going for a family wedding. I want to wear your red & black saree, Ill wash and give it to you after the function. Please can you let me wear it?”
Beauty is a very clever, very evil capitalist tool. It traps those who have it into hanging on to it for dear life and those who don't into mutilating, torturing themselves to achieve the unachievable.
I recently wrote a piece about MP Shashi Tharoor’s tweet in which he had shared a pic with six women parliamentarians tagging them and saying “Who says the Lok Sabha isn’t an attractive place to work?”
There was a rash of comments on the post shared on Instagram, which ranged from “chill, it’s just a compliment” and “stop overthinking compliments”, to (worried) men lamenting about “these feminazi”.
Here’s my answer to all those comments.
A wonderful analysis of 3 recent movies where a woman's body is at the centre of the politics of the movie.
A wonderful analysis of 3 recent movies where a woman’s body is at the centre of the politics of the movie.
Lately, there is a surge in the movies centered on women. Don’t ask why there is no such thing as men-centric anything. Men are by default everything.
However, the more relevant phrase to describe the so-called women-centric has to be “women-body-centric politics”.
One comment by my city-bred woke peers was - "The kind of family shown in the movie doesn’t exist in today’s time!" Here's demolishing this belief.
One comment by my city-bred woke peers was – “The kind of family shown in the movie doesn’t exist in today’s time!” Here’s demolishing this belief.
This movie which was released in January on a relatively new regional streaming platform made waves across the country. There were several social media feeds mostly from women stating highly recommending the movie.
This had gotten me eager to watch it but the procrastinator in me kept pushing the idea of looking into one more streaming platform and figuring out the subscription. Yes, the platform worked on a pay-per-film model, but laziness gets the best of us at some time.