We all know what movies have been doing to the common man. Just that we choose to look away, every single time! Though movies have always been looked upon as entertainment, one can’t just stand in denial of the fact that movies have always influenced the behavior of the general lot of the society in a large scale. The aspect may keep varying from one stratum to another and one person to another. But movies have always occupied a larger-than-life place in the Indian mindset. Period.
If people have been moved by movies all long, does the current Indian patriarchal mindset also get influenced by movies? Does the constant portrayal of women as a mere ‘object’ change the point of view of audience? Is male chauvinism indirectly instigated by movies ‘nowadays’? Do the so-called ‘rom-coms’ which speak about nothing more than Trying To Woo A Girl- Skin Show -Portraying Women in Bad Light mislead today’s youth?
E pluribus unum, let me peak into my own Tamil Cinema industry first, for the sake of native convenience. Pushing aside certain exceptions, the characterization of the female lead has become a cliché nowadays; the most recent speck of brilliance I happened to witness being the Jayam Ravi-Hansika starrer “Romeo Juliet”. Leaving behind the movie’s meritorious aspects (non-existent as in this case), this supposed ‘rom-com’ is an ugly testimonial to the current manner in which women are generalized in an abstruse way on celluloid.
It all started to replicate profusely only after the ‘soup song’ started to rack the moolah. Those were times when few things became mandatory, when the course of things goes like this: If the female being stalked by the hero retorts a little bit, place a song sequence in a wine shop. The song should contain lyrics that are not just cheap, but also gleefully disrespectful towards women. I need not pick a few as samples here as music directors and lyric writers have always managed to make such songs huge hits.
Our audiences are intelligent enough to see the difference between presenting an old wine in an intriguing way and presenting the same way as it is. But what puts me in awe are the ways in which we’ve unfortunately let this misogynic turnaround take us over, though it hasn’t had any prominent change in dimensions. What is more dejecting is that many feel the portrayal is veracious; the fact being things getting over-cooked by our makers.
The worst part about this trend of showcasing women is that, this is no more seen as an aberrant filmmaking/script writing anymore. Willingly or unwillingly, knowingly or unknowingly, a set of audience have been tuned to think this way.
For every “Queen” where the female lead is portrayed sensibly, there’s always an equal and opposite“Romeo Juliet” where the leading lady is depicted as a gnarled witch.
Bringing things under a single canopy, there has always been a cowardly prejudice and an insane bigotry when it comes to the depiction of female counterpart in movies! No one can ever decode why this was even ingested into the very happening of our industry, but getting rid of this obnoxious trend is certainly as difficult as eradicating a disease! Hopefully we get disencumbered from this thin ice at the earliest, finding faith and hope in our new-generation filmmakers.