Saturday, August 13, 2016

Persistence wins Mannequins

As a visual medium, cinema continues to capture our imagination, bind us into a story and take us on journeys we never thought possible - all in under 3 hours. As a visual medium, cinema also silently influences the masses, sometimes consciously, and other times subconsciously. That influence is both a powerful boon and a dreadful bane. While I don't insist on only making cinema to preach goodness into the people, I do have two sincere requests to those who make our Indian movies.

It is 2016 - please weed these out of your movies already.

If you persist, she will say yes

It's simple. You like a girl? Just keep pestering her. Stalking her. Get to her friends via other friends. Sing songs to her. On the streets. In college. On the phone. Never give up. Prey on her mind. Eventually, she'll be yours.

Every "hero" you can think of, has portrayed in reel life what would amount as "eve teasing" in real life. Think Shah Rukh in Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge. Salman Khan in Wanted. Govinda in almost every movie.

Please put an end to this rigmarole. People die because the idea catches on. 

Mothers or Models

Struggling to list a handful of movies where a strong female character, or even a realistic female character was portrayed? Producers do have massive challenges reaching the masses in a patriarchal society. Woe betide the one who puts a woman in the forefront. Who would pay to watch that? 

Since I promised not to force movies to preach to the masses, I will stick to the Model problem. Male actors don't really need to look young or hot. They just need to be good actors. Why do we have a different bar for females? Like the beautiful landmarks songs are shot in, the hills and forests and oceans in the background, female actors only need to dress smart and look pretty, and carry home a paycheck. 15 minutes since the last song? Time to roll in our pretty thing. Too much drama and seriousness? Time to roll in a hot one.

Can we please stop using women as mannequins? They are real people. As real as the men who are portrayed in those same movies. And have their own stories to share. 

Please put an end to this rigmarole. You certainly don't want your daughter to think she is worthless because she isn't pretty enough.

PS: Hat tip to Siddharth for breaking the mould.