Monday, 15 December 2014

Indian Cinema and Society

I don't like Indian cinema of these days and I have my own reasons for this. Even I feel bad for the way they are doing their business. Thousands of movies are made every year without making any sense. I am not denying the fact that yes, some good movies are too made but it has become the rarest of rare act. And the maximum are made only by keeping our hero with six pack body and heroine in purple bikini and shoot in some foreign location. We can notice that the quality of the story, lyrics, music, acting... everything is declining. Our wholesale stealing from Hollywood began which is still continuing. Now they can't steal so they are remaking movies, the movies which should not have been made in the first place. 

Anyway the most important thing which I don't appreciate about Indian cinemas of these days is the way they are manufacturing perception of people about women. While there is no study to prove any direct correlation between cinema and insensitive male behaviour towards women. But there in no doubt that long term exposure to regressive images does play a crucial role in a country where a large number of people still use their eyes over their ears while judging any female. Even few days before I had asked one of my intellectual friend about the significance of items songs and the need of those bikini girls behind our heroes who even don't know the lyrics of the song. After trying his best he couldn't be able to give any correct justification for that. Not his fault,after all he is also the product of  this patriarchal society. Here I am not contradicting that our cinema is only the reflection of our society.Otherwise Deepa Sahi could have found one producer to fund a biopic on Rani Laxmibai and actresses like Tabu and Rani Mukerji must have found some good scripts instead of ‘adult’ film star Sunny Leone, who self admittedly can’t act or dance, has many films in her kitty. But can we question her when we are allowing Katrina Kaif to learn on the job for a decade?A place where pervert Honey Singh is marking his presence everywhere and singers like Shaan are still struggling to regain their lost identity by dancing or anchoring on reality shows. Quite ironical for this so called ethical Indian society. 

Now lets try to find out some movies of last decade and the way they've stereotyped our females and reinforced already established prejudices for them. Even you could compile an encyclopedia about scenes and plots from our cinemas where women are viewed through a patriarchal gaze and advise to stay safe and pure.

A huge hit of last year named “Ranjhana” which had been applauded by the Indian audience,was nothing but an attempt to intensify the sick mindset of males .Being a female,I was not at all delighted with the story of a besotted lover. Telling you very honestly that I will never fall in love with the man who ever tries to do what Dansuh did in the movie. Even I would have filed a police complain against this stalker at the very initial. But people see him as a man who was led on by the actress,had she not embraced him like a friend by putting colours on his face on the occasion of Holi. He wouldn't have come on so strong. This is a bit like saying that girls stayed at home in order to avoid incidences of sexual assaults. Another one in the same league is the famous “Rowdy Rathore” where Akshay Kumar describes his girl as maal and turns her ‘no’ into ‘yes’ within minutes. Undoubtedly this film has verified the well famous notion among Indian men that in a woman’s refusal of a man’s advances there is an implicit ‘yes’ hiding somewhere. We can question that who knows ? Impressionable minds might like to copy his style if they are so predisposed. 

Now one of the image of new female protagonist in our Indian movies is someone who enjoys her vodka,doesn't believe in the institution of marriage and shows an inclination towards the physical side of love. As we saw in the movie  “Cocktail”. This was very strange in the movie that after the intermission, Deepika tries to conform to traditional customs but still doesn’t get the guy, who is equally ‘liberal’ but ultimately marries a prototype of the Savitri. Yep ! again approved one very  popular impression that so-called outgoing girls are meant to be used and the ultimate aim of every girl is marriage.In addition to it,our movies never give much opportunity to the actresses to prove their acting skills once they get married where as in the West, Jennifer Aniston is still rocking even at  the age of 45. Why an older actress can not be projected against a younger actor?where as Sharukh and Amir have full right to work with the actresses who are 20 years younger than them. Why remuneration of Indian actresses is always less than the actors ? where as Angelina Jolie charges and get paid more than what our all three “Khans” take in combination?Why our industry has no script for ageing actresses?Even after all this discrimination, we are not suppose to question our holy directors for their incorrect ways of portraying Indian women as a commodity. 

Although I must admit that there must be something wrong in today's society too and so they can't be held responsible for everything. On one hand where we Indians are espousing woman's rights by  saying that assault on women in real life has nothing to do with what they wear, but on the other hand we criticize our filmmakers for objectifying women. Moreover how many of us are actually respecting the ‘A’ certificate? One has seen families going to watch films like “Murder, Jism and Delly Belly. Why is it that young mothers ask their three-year-girls to sing  “Chhoti Dress Mein Bomb Lagti Mainu” instead of any nursery rhyme ,these little girls never knew the meaning of the song but their mother felt very proud.Why we Indians give so much value to the face value of actresses?It usually compelled directors to cast only good looking baby dolls.Don't you see any link between the two. The questions are many and the answers are not easy. I think we all need a little introspection.

PS: Being a native of north India,my focus was mainly on  movies of Bollywood ,even I know that it is  only a part of Indian Cinema. But still somewhere down the line, the story is same everywhere.

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