If you’re fresh off The Romantics hangover (and even if not), there’s no denying that Bollywood is the way it is because of YRF. Be it DDLJ or Pathaan, the decade spanning dalliance has truly seen it all. For better or for worse. Which also brings us to an important question. The movies are a sheer delight, no doubt. But what’s with their obsession of dressing actresses in chiffon saris in teeth-clattering temperatures? Dialogues and all are surely vital, but nothing beats a titillating navel show right atop Everest to appease the masses. Right folks?
Look, no mortal in their right mind wakes up wanting to irk Bollywood buffs. But some things require pondering & it’s good to take offence at times. We get it. Chiffon saris in the snow – it’s somewhat considered a rite of passage for an actress. It’s iconic, sure. But is it practical? *crickets chirp*
The Tainted History
Bollywood’s dilly dallying with the flimsy drape in harsh conditions is no news. It’s a decades-old tradition, which has by far, fared well in terms of audience approval. Sridevi in Chandni, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in Mohabbatein, Yami Gautam in Sanam Re, Kriti Sanon in Heropanti and the list is rather extensive. YRF was particularly the torch bearer of such sequences shot in the dreamiest of locations. But the shivering? Ah, not so dreamy. While such shots may have been greeted with claps back in the day, modern day feminists have started taking objection to such futility laced direction/ choreography. Alexa, play About Damn Time by Lizzo.
While this is in no way a man vs woman debate, it always boils down to the deeply rooted, systemic gender bias furthered by men at the top. You may be the director supremo, stylist extraordinaire, but would you ever step out in the Swiss hills without your Gucci muffler & favourite set of corduroy pants? Probably not. Let’s not forget the hideous monkey cap that makes an appearance while you say CUT & the actress goes into hibernation the very instant.
Go on, you’re allowed to call this pent up rage, sure. But we’re just tired. Plain tired of poorly written scripts & mild sexism gift-wrapped as an iconic dance sequence in the making.
Keep Away The ‘Movies Are An Escape’ B*llcr*p
I’m a self-proclaimed escapist. One who takes full cognizance of the recreational aspect of cinema. It’s for fun. It’s for when you’ve had a tough day at work & need unwinding. For when you want to spend a rainy afternoon in with a cuppa. So a grim watch that’ll launch you into an existential spiral isn’t something you’d gravitate to, naturally.
Enter Bollywood’s pandora box of light watches. Either she’s getting abducted to play the esteemed damsel in distress or ends up getting disowned for smoking & having an opinion. Or worse, will be paraded around on freezing mountain tops wearing nothing but a handkerchief. Make it make sense. Is it sad or is it funny? Hopeless, I think.
Two Sides Of Two Different Coins
The practicality debate at this moment in time is a slippery slope. Treading on the same may invite plenty of eye-rolls. Recently, we saw folks from the Stone Age wanting to boycott a Bollywood movie, courtesy some side-boob & derrière that seems to offend their holier-than-thou line of vision.
And here I am, the author of this article trying to understand, question & take a slight objection to an absurd styling choice offered to actresses whilst reducing them to a mere prop. While both the situations are vastly dissimilar, the one taking a hit is always the female lead. So much for women empowerment, right?
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