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Misogyny And Its Love Hate Relationship With Bollywood

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I was sitting at home on a warm Sunday afternoon, with a cup of strong black coffee and a book I have been wanting to finish for quite a while. Mohammad Rafi’s Mausam Bada Baeeman Hai was playing in the background. Despite sitting with the book for a while now, I could not move beyond the one particular page. The reason suddenly struck me, it was the way the song was portraying a certain relationship between the two leads. While the song as a stand alone is quite a lovely one, the lyrics have a haunting underlying significance to them. The songs, not all, but most of them, reeks of misogyny.

In the past, there have been very few movies where women are portrayed as the protagonist. Even the few that are present are riddled with gender biases and rarely have a holistic character sketch to their name. Features like occupation, tradition and introduction of the female character are also done in a very bigoted manner, making it evident the woman in question is of no real importance to the story. Misogyny and Bollywood have always had a love hate relationship, with facts being converted to fiction for the large sake of entertainment.

Random age gaps, comments passed with complete abandon and equality is more often than not just completely tossed out of the window with Bollywood. The Casting Couch is considered to be a myth not a lot of people want to accept and it has, over the years, become the Big Bad Wolf of Tinsel Town. Our B’wood movies love the idea of glorifying everything that is wrong with the world. Our celebrities have claimed to put in a lot of effort into making the world a better place through their corporate social activities. However, what they fail to realise is the simple fact that they have a larger social responsibility through their movies than through the social work.

From eve teasing to stalking to marrying someone who has wronged you, we have learnt that if you (the man, in this case) try enough, then everything works in your favour. Since the beginning of Bollywood cinema, the norm for Bollywood actresses was to be a silent part of the system or risk being seen as ‘inconvenient’ if she speaks out about issues related to gender and objectification while playing glamorous roles on celluloid.

I remember just after the Nirbhaya case, a popular television network had called upon a panel of actors and actresses to address the issue of on screen representation. At one point during this debate, Priyanka Chopra had gone at length to define “item songs” and the showcasing of female body parts as a feminist movement. Shabana Azmi countered by pointing out a simple fact choice was one thing and flaunting your body for the male gaze quite another. Mrs. Azmi was perhaps one of the first actresses in the industry to recognise the subtle and not so subtle relationships sent through popular cinema. She also realised the need to direct messages and send them out in a positive manner. Ironically, Mrs. Azmi was the first woman in the industry to show off her figure or wear flimsy clothes for the camera.

It is not just the roles which have typecast women in a certain manner. Even the lyrics, which we all still enjoy, have a very strong negative connotation. In fact, the Bollywood eve teaser’s anthem should be Palat from the movie Tu Mera Hero. With poignant symbolism and derogatory remarks, the misogyny is extremely apparent in almost all the movies. While the actresses of days gone by did not want to make an issue about this, women from our time have said enough is enough.

Remember Karan Johar’s and Kareena Kapoor Khan’s major rift a while ago? It happened because the actress dared to ask for the same amount of money as the actor and clearly this did not fly well with our esteemed KJo. While there are other directors now who say there are more women centric films, the issue of male dominance is still prevalent. India, as a society is more flexible towards the male gender and Bollywood, has reinforced this fact rather than dispelling it.

Time and time again, we have been told by men, whether subtly or directly, that they are the ones holding all the power. When shown something visually, especially in the form of a movie, it reinforces traditions which we need to shed at one point or another. The time is now and the time is here to stop these misconceptions. It is the 21st century, a time where equality is celebrated and not frowned upon. It is a time where women are allowed to call out a director for his derogatory remarks and it is also the time for women to not be shown cracking eggs on their stomachs to make fried eggs.

Showing women as the weaker gender has to stop. Bollywood must reduce the age gap as well as the wage gap. Women have stopped putting up with this form inequality and it is quite the right time to stop this misrepresentation of the ways of the world. Wake up, Bollywood, you are about a decade old with your scripts and we, as an audience, are quite tired of the misogyny.

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Kedarnath Trailer Shows Love In All Its True Colours

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After what seems like a really long wait, the trailer of Abhishek Kapoor’s highly anticipated Kedarnath just dropped and by the looks of things, the film promises to be truly beautiful. With Sushant Singh Rajput as the male lead, this Abhishek Kapoor directorial introduces a brand new female lead in the form of Sara Ali Khan! Set against the rustic and hilly Uttarakhand, the trailer explores the massive destruction in Kedarnath, post the heavy floods of 2013.

Claiming to be an unusual love story, the just dropped trailer explores the unique story between a porter (Mansoor, played by Sushant Singh Rajput) and a rich tourist girl (Mukku, played by Sara Ali Khan.) Mansoor takes tourists on his back to the main temple of Uttarakhand (a 14 km trek.) During one of these journeys up the mountain, Mansoor and Mukku meet and consequently fall in love. However, just like every love story between two lovers from different backgrounds, this love story is also fraught with many difficulties. Watch the trailer here.

Just like the makers promised, there are other problems the two love birds have to face. Mukku, a Hindu, prays for a massive calamity to hit the hilly town. However, little does she know that what she wished for will really happen. Moments after Mukku prays at the shrine, the trailer shifts to a series of flash floods harming everything and everyone in its wake. What this longer than three minutes trailer doesn’t show is whether or not Mukku and Mansoor live to see the light at the end of the storm.

It is interesting to note here that this trailer is perhaps one of the first of its kind to not give the listeners even a slight glimpse into the songs of the movie. Earlier scheduled to hit the screens on the 30th of November, Kedarnath is going to hit the screens on the 7th of December, 2018.

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Arjun Kapoor Shuts Down Negativity On Social Media

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Even as Twitter bans trolls, there are people on other platforms who always find ways to pick on everything famous people do and say. We, as a loyal fan base, have always coveted the lives of these celebrities and are also the first to judge their lives when they do what is not ordinary.

A couple of days ago, when Janhvi Kapoor was made fun of, the ever vocal Arjun Kapoor made a bold statement to this effect, “Not for a moment does the man typing on a keyboard, who has no face, think how he would feel if the same thing was said about his sister, mother, daughter or girlfriend. They look at celebrities as people who are not affected by what anyone says. Sitting within the confines of his room, he thinks that he has a right to an opinion. The opinion that he holds is just a reaction to his own frustration. We are in a profession where everyone has an opinion about our body and our physical appearances. They throw it out there in public and laugh about it. We also need to stop ourselves from giving importance to such comments. In fact, comments by trolls should not be paid heed to by the media even if it means that the piece of news will lead to more hits or clicks online. Trolls thrive on the fact that their comments create news. One way is to not react to it but sometimes, it becomes important to stand up and react. The best way to deal with it is to ensure that the trolls and their comments don’t get amplified. No woman or man deserves amplification of hate comments from social media.” This is perhaps one of the best ways a celebrity can really defend those who have been wronged, right?

When Esha Gupta was called the S word for her post on Instagram, she shut the haters down with a long and sentimental statement about why it is okay for her online presence to be the way it is. Every star has reacted to the comments with swift and precise ferocity, much like an army does when attacked from all sides. The internet is not a bed for spreading venom and hateful messages. It is for standing up for what is right and making a point to the same effect. Speak up, let your voices be heard and let the trollers and haters know you do not care anymore.

It is but an important point to note that when Shah Rukh Khan and Twinkle Khanna were trolled, they refused to stay quiet about it. They fought back and how! Both of them were vicious in their own rights and used their words for good, rather than going back and hiding in a shell. It isn’t just these famous celebrities who are fighting back. I would reply to u but I don’t know if u r appropriately and fashionably dressed for my reply… https://t.co/r33eNR3fbs

Celebrities including Alia Bhatt, Sonakshi Sinha and Abhishek Bachchan also shut down their haters in one swift blow, making sure they gave back the invisible writers a dose of what they needed in life. If ever you are in a position where there’s too much being said about you, do not cover under the shadows of the harsh words, but fight back and let your voice be heard.

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2.0 Trailer Is A Showdown Between Rajnikanth And Akshay Kumar

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The highly anticipated trailer of 2.0 finally hit the internet today and just as expected, the movie is going to be extremely exciting. A collaboration like never before, the film shows a union between the South Indian megastar, Rajinikanth and the Bad Boy of Bollywood, Akshay Kumar.

The close to two minutes trailer is packed with high octane fight sequences and has drama playing as one of the chief elements. Every shot and every sequence has been shot with extreme levels of energy and creativity, with visuals that blow the viewers mind. Watch the trailer here.

The trailer shows what happens when technology takes over and humans lose control of the very things they created. The trailer shows people running for cover, when they realise cellphones all over the city are disappearing. The question of the hour is finally answered when Akshay Kumar’s character says, “Cellphone rakhnewala har vyakti hathyata hai.”

One of the most gripping things in this trailer is the intense fight scene between Akshay Kumar’s and Rajnikanth’s characters, a scene where both are seen fighting for the other’s territory. Amy Jackson’s character also makes a blink and miss appearance in the trailer, giving viewers the idea that there is more happening in the movie than what meets the eye.

This particular Rajinikanth and Akshay Kumar starrer has been a product of 25 VFX studios worldwide, 1,000 VFX artists, 500 craftsmen and 3,000 technicians. With such a massive team involved in creating the end product, it stands to see what the final product will look like. With more than three years of effort gone into the making of the film, 2.0 is finally going to hit the screens on the 29th of November this year!

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Shah Rukh Khan Gives Us The Best Surprise With The Trailer Of Zero

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Shah Rukh Khan’s birthday is a treat for not only Shah Rukh Khan fans, but also for Anushka Sharma and Katrina Kaif fans. Making the day extremely special, the makers of King Khan’s next film, Zero, just dropped the trailer and by the looks of things, the glimpse into this movie was definitely worth the wait.

A love triangle between Katrina Kaif, Shah Rukh Khan and Anushka Sharma, Zero also makes for another memorable moment as this was the first time Aanand L. Rai and King Khan came together for a film! The trailer takes us into the life of Bauua Singh (SRK) and Aafia (Anushka Sharma.) Watch it here!

Walking into a matrimony office, Bauua Singh instantly falls in love with a wheel chair bound Aafia and decides she is the woman he wants to live with for the rest of his life. The rest of the trailer takes one through the different parts of Bauua Singh’s life, with glimpses of Katrina Kaif‘s character being shown as well. Through the longer than two minutes video, one gets what it is like to live life like a dwarf.

Everything about this particular Aanand L. Rai directorial is going to make for quite an interesting watch. While Shah Rukh Khan plays the role of a dwarf for the first time ever in his career, it is going to be extremely interesting to see this multi layered family drama unfold. What makes this movie all the more intriguing is the different layers of intensity in each of the characters.

As a director, Aanand L. Rai seems to have brought together all these aspects with ease and perfection, giving one the image of a really well made movie! Zero is scheduled to hit the screens on 31st December!

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Aishwarya Rai Bachchan: Wishing The Queen Of Bollywood A Happy Birthday

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Considered to be a breaking point in Aishwarya’s career, this Sanjay Leela Bhansali directorial saw Aishwarya play the role of Nandini (a girl torn between family values and love.) Transforming between a carefree girl to a serious and determined newly married girl, everything about Nandini’s character seemed to be written for Aishwarya. So brilliant was Rai’s performance in this film, she won her first ever Filmfare Best Actress Award because of it.

1. Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam

Considered to be a breaking point in Aishwarya’s career, this Sanjay Leela Bhansali directorial saw Aishwarya play the role of Nandini (a girl torn between family values and love.) Transforming between a carefree girl to a serious and determined newly married girl, everything about Nandini’s character seemed to be written for Aishwarya. So brilliant was Rai’s performance in this film, she won her first ever Filmfare Best Actress Award because of it.

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2. Taal

Every movie has seen Rai grow with the ease of a seasoned actress and through the years, she made her presence felt with certainty in Subhash Ghai’s Taal. In this film, Rai showed everyone that not only was she a really good actress, she was also an amazing dancer! Without a doubt, Aishwarya’s performance in this particular movie was one of the best to date.

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3. Hamara Dil Aapke Paas Hai

When Hamara Dil Aapke Paas Hai released, it was said to be way ahead of its time. Playing the role of a girl (Preeti) who was severely assaulted, Rai brought in the much needed intensity and gravitas needed for the film to make the right impact. What made this movie so beautiful was that despite going through an extremely traumatic experience, Preeti still finds love. Aishwarya’s acting in this movie was so amazing, she was nominated by Filmfare Awards for the Best Actor (Female) category.

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4. Devdas

Love and Aishwarya Rai have always gone hand in hand. Her performance in Devdas proves just this point. Often called Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s dream project, Devdas propelled Rai into the list of the five best actresses in the country. Going above and beyond to fight for her love, this movie gave the world a brand new Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. In fact, this movie won her her second Filmfare Award for the Best Actress.

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5. Guru

When Mani Ratnam chose Rai for Iruvar (1997,) he knew he had found someone truly special. Years later, when he wanted to make a political drama in the form of Guru, he knew no one else could play the female lead better than Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. Rai broke her boundaries by playing the role of a carefree and supportive wife, who always sticks to her roots no matter what. Sticking to the theme of her character completely, Rai owned her character with her effortlessly brilliant performance.

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6. Guzaarish 

Moving away from the typecast roles of a girl fighting for her love, Rai shed her glamorous look, playing the role of a nurse for the first time in her career. Her extremely intense and captivating performance led to Rai getting nominated for the Filmfare Best Actor (Female) Award. Through this movie, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan once again proved she is not only really good at her job, but also someone with a really great onscreen presence.

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7. Ae Dil Hai Mushkil 

Through the years, Rai has grown from fighting for her love to proving she was not just an ordinary girl next door in all the movies she was in over the years. With Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, the brilliant actress played the role of a woman in love with a younger boy. What makes this movie so enticing is that it gave one a glimpse into her life as well. Quite a change from her previous films to now.

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The actress has truly grown, giving all the other actresses stiff competition. Here’s wishing for more of her brilliant performances and that she has a wonderful life ahead.

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