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While Gully Boy is primarily about the struggles of rapper Murad Ahmed, it also spends sufficient screen time on a character like Safeena and highlights her struggles as a woman in the modern world.
[This article has minor spoiler alerts]
There are scenes in the movie Gully Boy where the heroine Safeena Firdausi (portrayed by Alia Bhatt) is shown engaged in conflict with her parents. Safeena tearfully points out the unfairness of her being forbidden to step out of the house to hang out with friends, talk to boys, wear lipstick – things that ordinary young girls do, which she tries to engage in by lying and sneaking past her parents.
Her mother, specifically, is the stricter parent who does not hold back in lashing out at her daughter with slaps and physical blows. She is also not supportive of Safeena’s decision to doggedly pursue an education in the medical field and wants her daughter to get married and settle down instead of opting for a career as a surgeon.
In a powerful scene that will moisten the eyes of feminists or women who have had to fight tooth and nail for basic rights, Safeena stands before her father, tears in her eyes, hands clasped together in a beggar-like gesture, imploring him to let her finish her education and achieve her dreams of becoming a surgeon. “I will marry whomever you want me to, just let me study, abbu,” she says with such feeling that it cuts like a dagger into the heart of any woman who has taken for granted the right to chase straightforward educational and career-oriented aspirations along with the freedom to choose her own life partner.
And yet there are countless women who have to wage such battles over these issues in a patriarchal society. Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale portrays a dictatorial regime fortifying its power over society by beginning with the curtailment of women’s rights, including taking away their ability to handle money and right of employment. Take away a women’s capability to stand on her own two feet and it becomes easy for figures of authority to ensure that they have more control over her.
The film Gully Boy is primarily about the struggles of rapper Murad Ahmed played by the dashing Ranveer Singh set against the poetry and rhythm of rap songs. However, it also spends sufficient screen time on a character like Safeena and highlights her struggles as a woman in the modern world, which sometimes refuses to change with the times. It is a refreshing change from the portrayal of small-town heroines as having no job or career ambitions in a lot of Bollywood films in recent times, as noted by this article.
When Safeena confidently expresses her wish in potentially taking on the role of breadwinner and financial stability provider in her future relationship, it truly gladdens the heart.
Another small but empowering scene in the movie shows Safeena sitting on a bench at a train station, defiantly whipping out a lipstick from her purse and applying it to her lips in full public view. This is reminiscent of an advertisement that tackles the stigma against women doing make-up in public.
All in all, whether it is being crystal clear about her priorities, chasing after her educational and career-oriented dreams, taking bold actions that are usually attributed to the male gender or pursuing her true love, Gully Boy has done justice in fleshing out the female romantic interest and has created another hero, who just as determinedly rises out from the ashes like a phoenix ready to soar high and take on the world.
Originally from India, Deepti Nalavade Mahule now lives in California where she spends time developing software, feeding books to her two children, submitting her short fiction, and fretting about what to put in her bio. read more...
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"There is a story and a vision which makes us gravitate towards cinema. Even as we worked as assistants on ads, we realised that cinema was our true calling," say Gunpreet Kaur Mann and Deepali Singh Raseen.
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Let me introduce to you the talented designer duo who have worked on these, and can be considered today’s upcoming costume designers for the screen. Gunpreet Kaur Mann and Deepali Singh.
Having studied at NIFT, Gunpreet Kaur Mann sent her portfolio out to several designers. Her first gig was as an assistant stylist with Manoshi and Rushi, who also happen to be a designer duo. She worked on an ad film starring Saif Ali Khan and eventually landed a full time job with designer Vikram Phadnis. Years of experience as assistant costume designer followed, which eventually led her to getting a break.
A ‘thank you’ makes a lot of difference in the way any woman in your life sees herself in your eyes. It might even mean the world to her.
I have not received any appreciation in the past. Probably never will. This is the experience of ample women across the globe. The expectation to be thanked for all the sacrifices she makes to keep others happy has faded. Yet the urge to hear few words of acknowledgement always lingers.
There is never a day when she pushes off her own burdens. She knows not to give up on people she loves. Women in general, are givers by nature and hence, give without asking anything in return. They have been the care givers and lovers since centuries however receive no appreciation.
It will mean the world to your mother if you answer her calls. If your sister seems lost give her a hug and assure her about her strengths. Tomorrow, there might come a day when you would have to make your daughter feel empowered with few words of wisdom every now and then. For the children to feel wanted and loved, you must be able to spare some quality time with your wife and be present in the moment.
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