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Superhit Drishyam has been remade in multiple languages, has a sequel, and everything to reinforce the fact that honour resides in a woman’s body? Shame on the makers.
Whenever anyone asks me what I think of Drishyam (1 and 2) I am always conflicted.
Do I think it’s a good movie, well directed, well acted, well produced, with a plot that is different, suspenseful, and a well written story that pulls you in? Yes to all of that.
And yet, when I thought about how all this dramabaazi was happening because of a reason so flimsy and patriarchal, it became intolerable to sit through.
How can brilliant filmmakers and superstars, who can now afford to take creative and financial risks, who know the influence that movies have in India, just throw away their power like this?
Like Spider-Man, I believe with great power comes great responsibility. Why can’t they use that to make movies that change perspectives and question outdated thinking rather than to reinforce it?
Our movies are quite famous for being escapist, so all those saying that movies only show the reality of society, and shouldn’t be expected to have an “unrealistic” plot, such as the girl telling the boy to get lost, are the same people who should go take a hike and clear their heads.
What if the movie showed the girl being unfazed by the boy’s threat, confided in her family, and they stood by her to take the boy to court?
What if it showed girls that a video made without their consent and leaked is not reason for them to be shamed, but that it is for the boy who did that to feel ashamed!
Imagine how such a storyline would have impacted young girls and women who are faced with such threats in real life.
Not realistic? Oh? But this movie about this ordinary man outwitting the entire police force, not once but two times, is realistic?
The fact that that it was remade in multiple languages and resonated with a pan-Indian audience, even when the actors and directors changed but the storyline remained the same, is actually scary because it says a few things about us: that things are the same everywhere, that patriarchy lives deep in our bones and blood, that the ‘honour’ of a family rests solely on the girl, so much so that people root for a man going to ridiculous lengths to protect this ‘honour’.
The saddest part is showing an adult woman, a mother, beg a stupid teenage boy to leave them alone, when all that was needed was tell him to go to hell. Women, really, you need to get ducking furious instead of scared when faced with a situation like this!
The Great Indian Kitchen was made by a newbie filmmaker with actors who aren’t superstars. It showed life and society in stark reality, but it also showed a woman taking her power back.
Is that too much to ask from movie veterans now?
I don’t care if I am being a spoilsport who can’t take movies ‘lightly’ anymore because I hold influencers to higher standards now and because I can’t go back to being my old patriarchally conditioned self again.
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Karishma has been writing short stories since she was 8 and poetry since she was
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