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In the movies that I have watched recently, I can feel a very good change in the content and how it is presented.
I’m a movie buff for sure; movies certainly give me thrills, goosebumps, inspirations, tears, cringes, anger, a myriad other emotions, brings perspectives, and sometimes a really good movie even challenges my assumptions and thought process.
Although there are good and bad movies, with age and with OTT to our aid, we get to pick and choose movies we really would want to spend our precious time on (based on parameters like genre, storyline, cast, etc), and rarely have I been disappointed with the movies I chose to watch (perhaps our intuition becomes sharper with age, in general). And considering the movies that are made of late, I have made two stark observations, which I think are a welcome change and must be here to stay.
Hailing from Chennai, I watch movies in Tamil, Malayalam (which has some similarities with the Tamil language), and Hindi (as everyone in India is fascinated by Bollywood). I remember watching the movie Kaaka muttai, few years back, and loved it. I also watched Sui Dhaaga a couple of years back, and loved the movie and especially its climax. Quite recently, I watched a movie Wonder Women (Malayalam), a feel-good entertainer. In all these movies, I loved the portrayal of the relationship between the mothers-in-law and their daughters-in-law (protagonists Aishwarya Rajesh, Anushka Sharma, and the character of Padmapriya, respectively).
As we have been fed with negativity and animosity over the years, with the age-old, stereotyped, “evil saas-innocent bahu”(or vice versa) characterization on screens, be it in serials or movies, films like the ones mentioned above are indeed a breath of fresh air and should be welcomed with open arms. I discovered myself smiling at a couple of places in these movies, for the genuine love and the friendly relationships the “saasu maa’s” and the “bahu’s” share with each other in these movies (although in the movie Wonder Women, actress Padmapriya’s mother-in-law’s character initially comes across as annoying but thankfully turns out to be not all that bad, and gradually ends up gaining our respect and love by the end of the movie).
Another change that is definitely worth mentioning is the absence of skin shows of women in movies, some examples off the top of my mind – Jessie in Vinnai thaandi varuvaya (played by Trisha), Dr.Kavya in Mr. Remo (played by Keerthy Suresh), Geet in Jab we met (played by Kareena Kapoor), Kaira in Dear Zindagi (played by Alia Bhat), Kadhambari in Naanum Rowdy Dhaan (played by Nayantara), etc.
I like to believe that this is a conscious choice of the makers to go beyond skin shows and totally rely on their content, and kudos to the consumers like us too, who appreciate good content and do not encourage them pandering to the masses with mere skin shows and item songs but lacking content. There can be exceptions, of course, but thinking about it, the declining skin shows in movies is a visible change these days (and not that item songs don’t sell at all, but content is undeniably the king). It’s also refreshing and encouraging to note the rise of women movie makers, producers, writers, and documentary makers, of such potential to have won the Oscars! (Guneet Monga and Kartiki Gonsalves of “The Elephant Whisperers” fame)
It is an irrefutable fact that people in India and especially the women and homemakers are glued to serials or spend a considerable time watching TV, and these days, the OTT. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the makers of these soaps, serials, and movies to create good content as it impacts viewers subconsciously or sometimes even consciously, and not just make any content that sells, in which case it is sheer selfishness and irresponsibility of the makers on many levels. It is also equally our responsibility as consumers to appreciate and encourage movies/soaps/documentaries with sensible and good content. That the consumers and the makers seemingly have realized this and have taken up this responsibility, even if on a small level, is to be acknowledged and supported.
Image source: a still from the film Sui Dhaga
Sukanya Raghunathan is a leadership trainer and a faculty of management. A mother of an eleven-year old girl, she also teaches carnatic music and her hobbies include singing, dancing, playing keyboard, reading non-fiction, read more...
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