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It’s So Painful To Be A Feminist Yet Be In Love With Bollywood!

If a film led by women, co-written by a woman, and co-produced by women is the way it is, I know better than to expect better cinema from male writers and producers.

A Bollywood connoisseur. A devout feminist. Yup, that’s me, your friendly neighbourhood cinephile, who wouldn’t take a second in correcting you that it was Rahul from Dil To Pagal Hai who said, “Rahul, naam toh suna hoga” and not Rahul from K3G. But it is also the same girl who would get “Kabir Singh is a douchebag” tattooed on her arm.

So who am I really? Someone who has bargained with cinema and learnt to enjoy it in isolation, or someone who will have a haemorrhage if there is a third Pyaar Ka Punchnama?

The lines between cinema and mainstream are almost non existent. While I am privileged enough to be able to absorb only the good and to keep the bad from amalgamating with my thoughts, it is not that I do not recognise that the majority of the Indian viewership is unable to do so.

You see, I cannot stop myself from vibing to Sunidhi Chauhan in Sheila Ki Jawani, nor can I stop myself from appreciating Katrina’s to-die-for moves, but I also cannot help but diss the number for being so objectifying.

It’s as though there is a constant war going on between the two shades of my conscience whenever I’m watching Hindi films. Should I like Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani because it’s such a well made film, or should I not like it because Bunny feels that Naina (a modestly dressed introvert) is an ishq type ki ladki, and Lara (the girl wearing skimpy clothes throughout the film) is a flirting type ki ladki?

My disappointment knew no bounds when in the name of a “feminist, women centric, women led” film, all we got was a Veere Di Wedding, successfully misrepresenting the entire movement, giving a chance to the already confused masses of reducing feminism to drinking, smoking, and sex. If a film led by women, co-written by a woman, and co-produced by women is the way it is, I know better than to expect better cinema from male writers and producers.

It annoys me to the core, not being able to enjoy my favourite classic Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (which is also most people’s favourite btw) without noticing everything that is problematic with the film. Rahul, please do better!

These are just a few of the many super problematic and patriarchal films there are in Bollywood. Each film is inappropriate in its own way, but my relationship with each is the exact same, that of love-hate. C’mon Bollywood, it’s not so difficult to not be offensive.

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Here’s to Hindi films not being guilty pleasures someday, here’s to accepting our love for them proudly someday!

Image source: a still from Kuch Kuch Hota Hai

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