A “Race” we lost
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.