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Released on Prime, Coolie No 1 shows that Bollywood still has a long way to go in terms of catching up with present sensibilities of a thinking audience.
With the release of so many amazing Bollywood shows and movies on OTT platforms, I and many like me started believing that this is the new age for Hindi cinema. I finally expected that some positive change had come which will continue even after theatres will open, as influential producers must have realised by now that the audience is not as dim-witted and orthodox as they had assumed us to be. But I was wrong!
Today the film that no one asked for i.e., Coolie No 1 released on Amazon Prime and I don’t think that anyone should say that they were disappointed by the film. Because it was just as anyone could have expected it to be. But this film clearly showed that there are people, who even in this era, believe that it is acceptable to take revenge from a man by tricking his innocent daughter to marry someone with deceit.
The story of the film is as simple as it could be- a man who is insulted by a rich businessman seeks to take revenge by forcing his precious daughter to marry a coolie, and all the chaos that follows when this is discovered.
Firstly, let me say, that had this been an actually hilarious movie with an interesting new premise, it got have been green-lighted. But no! This is a remake of a film made more than 20 years ago, and the makers didn’t even feel the need to change the story to fit in the modern climate and portray an acceptable view of society.
We all admit that there is plenty wrong in the Indian society even today and movies are a mere reflection of what happens in the real world. But there is no way where you can say that an actress’ only role in a film should be to act dumb and let the men in her life make all the decisions for her. Sara’s character in this film just serves as a sight to please the crowd with her dance moves and sensual clothing.
It is highly disappointing to see two young faces being cast in such an outdated film especially since if you see them off-screen both of them are pretty articulate in expressing their views about social issues in Bollywood and outside. This is a clear representation of the hypocrisy that we have been accustomed to witness over the years. Their actions never seem to align with their hollow words whenever money and big production companies get involved.
When Varun’s character Raju gets exposed for being a coolie, he covers it up saying that he has a rich twin. And to convince everyone of this truth, he juggles between the two sister’s bedrooms trying to please them both while their father watches over to ensure that their daughters are getting married to the richest groom available. The women in this movie are portrayed as objects whose only role in life is to be auctioned to the man with the largest bank account.
As this film has been released on an OTT platform, it is receiving a lot of heat from the audience and the critics, but I can say without a doubt, that had it been released in theatres, it might have actually done huge business breaking countless records similar to films like Judwa 2 or Houseful 3. But I hope that the backlash that this movie is receiving sends a clear message to the Bollywood that such content is best forgotten in the past.
A quick note to Sara Ali Khan. If she wants to become anything more than the ‘love interest to a lead hero’, she needs to stop taking up such demeaning roles and start making sensible choices in the future. It does not take long to get branded in Bollywood, so it’s better if she does not disappoint her fans by making these acting debacles.
Lastly, I hope that we all understand that these films will continue to be made until the audience does not refuse to watch them completely. The producers of these massive films don’t care about moral values or quality content, they only care about money. So, until these films fail and good cinema actually makes the big bucks, there is no point in cribbing about the substandard movies made in the industry.
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