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.
Mere Gully Mein Song From Gully Boy Out Now
A little while ago, the makers of Ranveer Singh’s and Alia Bhatt’s next film, Gully Boy, dropped a brand new song from the film, called Mere Gully Mein! While the previous song, Apna Time Aayega, has practically become a war cry of sorts, the new song is being called a “dhamaka!”
Composed by rappers Divine and Naezy, Mere Gully Mein has Ranveer Singh’s and Siddhant Chaturvedi’s characters in the lead roles. A rap battle of sorts with some really intense lyrics, this new song is definitely one for the golden ages. Listen to the song here and now!
#MereGullyMein Out Now ! 🔊🔊 https://t.co/6zyOLl42RE@ritesh_sid #ZoyaAkhtar @FarOutAkhtar @tigerbabyindia @aliaa08 @SiddhantChturvD @kalkikanmani @kagtireema @ZeeMusicCompany @VivianDivine @NaezyTheBaA @ankurtewari @sezonthebeat #GullyBoy
— Ranveer Singh (@RanveerOfficial) January 22, 2019
The new song talks about how music can help any one get through life. With the lyrics being supervised by Divine, the song sees Ranveer’s growth as a professional rapper! Just a couple of days before the entire album track is scheduled to drop, the team is making everyone’s heart beat faster with each new song.
Gully Boy brings to life the story of Divine and other rappers from Mumbai, who, through their rap songs, talk about what life is like for those without privileges. Primarily mapping the growth of Divine’s journey of becoming one of the most famous rappers in India, this movie has quite an intriguing story to tell.
Directed by Zoya Akhtar (known for making films like Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and Dil Dhadakne Do,) Gully Boy stars Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt, Siddhanth Chaturvedi and Kalki Koechlin in key roles. Easily one of the most awaited movies of the year, Gully Boy is scheduled to release on the 14th of February this year!
Total Dhamaal Trailer Is Finally Here!
Total Dhamaal, easily one of the most anticipated films of this year, finally has a trailer to its name. Part three of the Dhamaal series, this new part has practically all the members from the original cast, with a good number of new faces thrown into the mix! What makes the movie so much more exciting is, it brings together the extremely famous pair of Anil Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit, after almost 26 years!
Although the first two parts of this film had Sanjay Dutt playing the lead role, this new installment is going to focus on Ajay Devgn, who is going to make his Dhamaal debut! The almost three minutes long trailer seems to draw large influences from the popular Hangover series. Further, the trailer also gives one an insight into all the different characters we can expect from the film. From Johnny Lever, to Madhuri Dixit, to Anil Kapoor and to Ajay Devgn, every actor’s character is brought to the front. Watch the trailer here!
— Ajay Devgn (@ajaydevgn) January 21, 2019
Here’s a little tit bit which will make you all the more excited for the film to hit the screens. Remember Crystal, the monkey from the Hangover series? There’s a still from the trailer which shows her on Ajay Devgn’s shoulder! Nostalgic or what? One of the other things which makes one want to watch this movie is when Ajay Devgn is shown walking the ramp with a lion by his side! Promising to be one of the wildest parts of the Dhamaal series, this trailer has definitely made waiting for the movie even harder than it already was. The trailer promises to be an adventurous ride which is quite unlike the other two films. To make matters all the more exciting, A ride in the desert, hints at the search for a hidden treasure and all the animals make the wait for Total Dhamaal all the more exciting! The trailer also shows us glimpses of Sonakshi Sinha’s cameo in the film as Ajay Devgn and she are all set to recreate Helen’s song, Mungda!
Directed by Indra Kumar, Total Dhamaal stars Arshad Warsi, Riteish Deshmukh, Javed Jaffrey, Madhuri Dixit, Anil Kapoor, Ajay Devgn, Sanjay Mishra and Boman Irani. With a mixture of the old and the new, this Indra Kumar directorial promises to be a wild, wild ride. Total Dhamaal is scheduled to hit the screens on 22nd February this year, so mark your calendars and watch it on the first day!
Underrated Bollywood Movies From The Past
Be it big ticket Bollywood movies which become superhits or underrated movies which become instant failures, the world of Bollywood is a coin with two sides. While the ones with major star casts and drama are always remembered, it is always the smaller fish in the fry which are often forgotten. On a Friday like today, here’s taking a look at some of the best movies in Bollywood which are underrated!
Released in the year 2015, Masaan follows two people dealing with different forms of death and eventually end up meeting. Richa Chadha’s character mourns the death of her boyfriend, while Vicky Kaushal’s character is part of a family who burns funeral pyres for a living. While both the stories are intense on their own, they bring together a beautiful story when they finally meet. A beautiful story which essentially brings to life the fact that misery loves company, Masaan was sorely underrated when it released.
2. Ankhon Dekhi
Directed by Rajat Kapoor and released in the year 2013, Ankhon Dekhi tells the story of a man who once has an “ah ha” moment and decides he will only believe that which he sees with his own eyes. Following the story of the patriarch of a middle class Delhi family, the movie talks about how even if you have lived life a certain way, there are certain moments when you should change the way you see the world. Ankhon Dekhi lacks the drama and intensity of a blockbuster, but is definitely a film for the ages.
3. Stanley Ka Dabba
Stanley Ka Dabba, a movie which will move even the Grinch of Christmas to tears, brings to life the heart wrenching story of a boy who yearns to eat lunch with his classmates. While on the one hand, the film brings to life the story of not just Stanley, Stanley Ka Dabba also talks of the mean principal who doesn’t let children enter the school unless they bring their own lunch boxes. Drawing parallels from two people virtually after the same thing, this particular Amol Gupte directorial saves the suspense to the very end!
Released in 2015, Titli tells the story of how two people are brought together in a weird combination of fate and who work together to change the course of their life. In a weird twist of sorts, Titli, the youngest member of a mafia family, is married off against his wish. However, as luck would have it, his wife, Neelu, is just as adamant as him to escape this lifestyle and together, the two work to create a story of their own! A beautiful tale of finding love through all adversity, Titli tells an inspiring story and unfortunately, not enough credit went its way.
An Anurag Kashyap directorial, Shaitan talks about what happens when you are rich and have too much time on your hands. Quite like Anurag Kashyap’s other films, this particular movie is also dark, gritty, chaotic and extremely realistic. Perhaps one of the reasons this movie did not get the recognition it deserves is because of how casually the whole concept of violence was portrayed! However, what works for Shaitan is, it tells a realistic story and is very to the point!
6. Margarita With A Straw
Bringing to life the story of a bisexual woman (played by Kalki Koechlin,) Margarita With A Straw talks about how society finally accepts love in all forms. A coming of age movie, the film’s story works because the protagonist rediscovers who she is as a person! Despite being so well, one of the things which work against this particular movie is, it has way too many elements in it, making it hard to focus on one particular point!
A Shashant Shah directorial, Dasvidaniya answers a simple question: what would you do if you had only a few days left to live? With Vinay Pathak playing the role of a man with only 3 months to live, the movie talks about how he comes to term with the hand life dealt him. Making a list of everything he wants to do before he dies, Vinay Pathak plays the role to perfection. While the story may was told really well, what didn’t work for the film was the fact the story didn’t come with a neatly packaged perfect ending.
While not all films need to be told or made a certain way, these films proved, even with no mass produced drama, a good story always works. What’s your favourite underrated movie? Comment and let us know!
Why Cheat India Review And First Day Box Office Expectations
Cast: Emraan Hashmi, Shreya Dhanwanthary
Director: Soumik Sen
Why Cheat India tells the story of Rakesh Sharma (Emraan Hashmi,) who runs a business wherein he uses loopholes in the Indian education system and scams people. How? By hiring bright boys from an underprivileged background and getting them to write exams for the rich and privileged. Sharma has a simple goal: to help improve the lives of those who don’t have enough to make ends meet by making money from those who can afford to pay for proxy writers. Based on the life of Sattu, a boy who falls prey to Sharma’s plans, Why Cheat India takes one on a gripping journey of how people without privilege lived their lives.
Innocence and desperation are perhaps two of the most vulnerable traits people have and when exploited, there is a lot to be gained by the person exploiting the others. Emraan Hashmi’s Why Cheat India, draws parallels for this story from these situations, where opportunists like Rakesh know from where they can make the most money. A slimy businessman with his own set of morals, Rakesh plays both sides of the law in a way which ensures he is safe and protected, no matter what.
A daunting and gripping tale, Why Cheat India is the story not of a hero, but an anti hero who brings to life the various levels of corruption and crime which exist in our education system. A movie about the ultimate mafia (who quite literally controls the future of people’s life) of education, this particular Soumik Sen directorial is a story which needed to be told. Based in the slightly more backward areas of India (Janpur, Kota and Jhansi, for example,) Rakesh’s scams are in use the most here because of the sheer amount of pressure there is on the students to become engineers, doctors or MBA graduates.
However, while the plot is unique and storytelling is to the point, there are a few things which don’t make sense. A glaring hole with regard to Sharma’s past life makes one question his intentions of setting up this business and Sattu’s blind adoration for Rakesh seems a bit far fetched. All in all, with some brilliant performances by all the leads, Sen’s Why Cheat India tells the story of a flawed system and makes one question the integrity of the education system in India.
The Best Of Sidharth Malhotra, On His Birthday
Sidharth Malhotra, one of the most talented and good looking actors in the industry, entered the world of Bollywood with a lot of talent and no godfather. While not a lot of people thought the man could make his presence felt for too long, the actor proved time and time again that he was here to stay. As the actor turns a year older, here’s taking a look at all the amazing movies he was a part of so far.
1. Student of the Year
Karan Johar quite literally pulled the rabbit out of the hat by introducing Sidharth Malhotra in this particular movie. With not one, but two star kids making their debut in this film, one wouldn’t have thought a new face could sustain the immense pressure, right? Wrong. Sidharth Malhotra held his own weight by playing a role where he brought to life the story of a man who wasn’t surrounded with luxury. Definitely a noteworthy beginning for a newbie in the industry!
2. Ek Villain
A romantic thriller and Sidharth Malhotra’s third film in Bollywood, the actor more than proved his worth in this particular movie. Not only did he gain appreciation for his role in the film from the loyal and growing audience, he also earned a soft spot in the hearts of the critics. A bold choice for one to make while still fresh in the industry, Sidharth played the role of a gangster who avenges the murder of the love of his life. As his third movie in Bollywood, Sidharth did true justice to this role.
3. Kapoor and Sons
Another brilliant performance Sidharth showed through his performance in this star studded film that he wasn’t a typecast actor. Playing the role of a son not so favoured by his parents, this particular movie saw Sidharth shine in a character which was otherwise hard to play. With the right elements of intensity, drama and creativity, Sidharth Malhotra brought to the screen all his talents in a glorious manner!
4. Hasee Toh Phasee
Unlike his previous films, Hasee Toh Phasee saw Sidharth Malhotra play a pivotal role all the way through the film. Appreciated for his well timed humour, his ability to switch between serious and comic roles in a second and for his dialogue delivery, Hasee Toh Phasee was Sidharth Malhotra all the way through! To make things better, his chemistry with Parineeti Chopra was on point and endearing, making us believe in happily ever afters despite all the twists and turns.
Aiyaary saw Sidharth Malhotra move away from the yearning for love kind of roles he did in the past. Playing the role of an officer on the other side of the tracks, Aiyaary could be termed as Sidharth’s turning point. While the film did not do as well as expected, it was Sidharth’s acting and attention to script which made the film a good watch.
Not many actors can do the switch between romantic comedies and a crazy killer as well as Sidharth Malhotra did. With Ittefaq, the two characters he played through the film were quite a treat to watch. Ittefaq was one the most intense films of which Sidharth was a part. Not only did the movie become the most critically acclaimed films of 2017, it was also mentioned as Sidharth Malhotra’s best performance to date! We certainly agree with that statement!
With so many interesting roles being played in such a short time, Sidharth Malhotra’s Bollywood journey is anything but ordinary. Here’s wishing for more such great performances from the actor. Happy birthday, Sidharth Malhotra!
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