A “Race” we lost

July 13, 2008 at 5:45 pm 8 comments

Watched the movie “Race” over the weekend. A little late for reviews, but I feel that more the Bollywood movies progress, more the remain the same. Remember the 80s movies with the drinking, booty shaking, scantily dressed cabaret dancer who is the villain’s girl, as opposed to the puja doing, teetotaler heroine who is the embodiment of everything pure and sacred?? Even then, I felt all the bad girls had more fun. Fast forward to now, with scantily clad heroines and item numbers. I thought, well I hoped we had left all those stereotypes behind. And as you expected, I was wrong.

In the movie Race, Bipasha Basu’s character is supposed to be marrying the younger brother. He casually asks her if she cares for a drink. She oohs and aahs about being a teetotaler. And then, he opens her “bio-data” and reveals that he knows she is one bad-ass lady with a couple of swindlings  and murders behind her. The change in her character is picturized by her now smoothly picking up the glass of whiskey. The message is clear – Good women don’t drink. Maybe not so in-your-face, but still in the woodwork. In fact, I could guess how each female character was heading, based on the characterization. I already knew the goody-goody Katrina Kaif was double faced when she casually sat down for a drink with Saif. After all, GOOD WOMEN DON’T DRINK!

One more issue that left me enraged was how the police inspector Anil Kapoor treats his assistant, Sameera Reddy. Agreed, her role is very bimboesque. But a superior officer asking his assistant to suck on his “ganna” (sugarcane stick) has sexual abuse written all over it. And it is supposed to be funny? Not only that, the inspector “instructs” his assistant to hug him, kiss him, and he finds excuses to touch her breasts. Let alone unprofessional, the entire “comedy” is disgusting and demeaning.

It is no surprise that while people rant about a Mallika Sharawat eroding our culture with her mini skirts, demeaning a woman with capers like this do not even get a raised eyebrow. Maybe because, at some level, it is accepted that secretaries can be talked to as sexpots. Maybe because, we still think that honoring a women means getting her out of her skimpy clothes into a covered sari when it suits our needs. And then, we bury our heads into the sand when we see real issues – and call it comedy.

For a recap, in the 80s, the heroine generally did not contribute much except being in distress and retaining her purity and “culture”. The villian’s girl did the skimpy dancing, drank and faced all the corny lines from the villain. Today, the “good” heroines don’t drink. And female secretaries get sexually abused by their boss. I like the 80s much better, at least they did not pretend to be liberated or modern.

Like I told you, the more things change, the more they remain the same.


Entry filed under: Random Banter.

Orkutters Anonymous Who thinks Abbas Tyrewala (Jaane Tu..) looks like Lord Voldermort??

8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. La Vida Loca  |  July 13, 2008 at 11:58 pm

    ++++Like I told you, the more things change, the more they remain the same.++++ yup totally.

    we have covered ourselves w/ a veneer and called it modern. The core is the same shit.

    Clueless: *Shaking my head in agreement* yup…!

  • 2. Tazeen  |  July 14, 2008 at 5:16 am

    i couldn’t agree more … I was disgusted with Anil Kapoor’s character but the film made a lot of money and nothing sells like success so be prepared to see more of the same

  • 3. Never Mind  |  July 14, 2008 at 7:09 pm

    I hated the movie. Hated hated hated Anil Kapoor in it. I really would like to see where all the self proclaimed protectors of indian culture go when movies like this are released with international premieres and all!!

    Clueless: Thanks for stopping by! I know…no wonder the world thinks we are land of skimpily dressed snake charmers!

  • 4. i love lucy  |  July 15, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    And also that atrocity which went by the name of No Entry.
    The worst part is that our audience enjoyed these two movies immensely.The same audience that makes a Jaane Tu and TZP a hit.
    I just cannot figure out the logistics.

    Clueless: I can’t figure that one out either!

  • 5. Rohini  |  July 16, 2008 at 4:45 pm

    Who wants to be good anyway. Good is boring… 😉

    Clueless: And like they say….good girls seldom make history!

  • 6. mathew  |  July 24, 2008 at 4:02 pm

    Movies are business…the producers care a damn about the “culture” factor…and even society cares a damn too most of the time…I hope we as a audience stop looking forward to the movies to define our culture..let it come from ourselves what we are…

  • 7. kochab  |  July 25, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    I hate Anil Kapoor’s character in the movie…totally irritating and yeah I thought that his banter with sameera reddy was nasty not to forget tasteless and boring. Thats the thing with Hindi movies these days, too much glamor and too little substance, although I must say I did like Race (minus the Anil Kapoor scenes of course)

  • 8. mesoliloquy  |  December 17, 2008 at 6:27 am

    I watched Race recently too. I love thrillers so was hooked on to the film because of the changes in characters every 15 mins. I agree with you on Anil Kapoor’s character. What a poor copy of Karamchand-Kitty! Cheap dialogues and yes GOOD women don’t drink stereotypes :)).

    Well! what can we expect when we have Masti where men go astray and it is funny. Then we have Astitiva where a woman’s infidelity is shown and then it’s serious. Nothing funny about that.

    Clueless: Ofcourse, we women cannot lust after men and have flings. They always have to be serious affairs, failing which we are branded as women with “loose” character

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