How a particular category of Bollywood movies has been screwing with our minds

I never imagined I would be writing a blog post entitled what you read above, myself being an ardent fan who catches up on almost every potential superhit that comes along, but one day this had to be done – because I realise I do have some responsibilities as a viewer.

So I did catch up on the very recent wannabe blockbuster Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, a Karan Johar flick, one of those movies which are released after what seems like a lifetime for commercial Bollywood enthusiasts, and have big names to die for. I too was swept off my feet by its glitzy trailer, which exhibited an aura of mystery involving the relationship among the four protagonists (which after watching the movie actually boil down to two, with the other two posing only as erstwhile beauty queen and controversial Pakistani actor respectively). But now that I feel I am a little more sensible than I used to be few years ago, I am of the opinion that we should rethink what actually is being presented to us.

Before you get me wrong, I am not at all against KJo or his movies. In fact, Kal Ho Naa Ho remains one of my favorites till date. However, commercial Bollywood is seriously going downhill nowadays. It is difficult to say whether it is the lack of original concepts, humongous loopholes in the storyline or even mediocre music, but we are once again being dragged into the depths of stereotype, and I guess we aren’t even realising it. So what “particular category” of Bollywood I am talking about?

 Almost every movie shows us that boys and girls cannot be normal platonic friends. There has to be a name for the relationship, and sometimes even that is not possible because it is somewhere between friendship and love. So in ADHM, the two start their introduction through a makeout session, simultaneously cheating on their respective partners, whom they also tag as kaminey for a similar behaviour later (hypocrisy much?), only to realise till the end of the movie that they are best suited as friends. It is as if the filmmakers suddenly had an epiphany through the progress of the movie that their ending up as lovers isn’t really an original idea (I don’t really have high hopes for Yash Raj’s upcoming Befikre either). And of course, kudos to Ranbir Kapoor for playing the same “tangled-in-complicated-relationships but happily romping in exotic locales” charming dude in almost every movie, and to Aishwarya Rai for playing a woman who is so very used to being called beautiful that she doesn’t bother to even smile when being compared to Noorjehan (instead changes the topic to a song of Noorjehan which comes floating from somewhere inside her Vienna mansion).

The point is, why play with the minds of the already fucked-up youth of the country? And why let the average twenty-something dream unrealistically about sleeping in the arms of a seductive poetess in a mansion in Vienna? Why allow the middle-class youth to envy the financial power of such fictional people who have not earned it by hard work but are “private-jet rich” by birth? Why give them the impression that how the characters in the story earn and manage their living is not really important, and that it is normal to leave everything and go about fixing unidentified relationships (which apparently they fail to do anyway)? Why always flash the limelight on out-of-the-ordinary lifestyle, while we still have ample problems to be talked about in our ordinary down-to-earth lifestyle? Is it simply because we want to escape to Utopia from our mundane reality for a few hours?

I might be wrong, but I believe we need to improve our taste and experience such stories on screen that will add to the aspirations of the young population of India. It is important to focus on human relationships, but it is useful only when a story helps us understand our relationships better, rather than confusing us further. If you do know such a movie, please suggest me one in which a young boy and girl remain friends and never fall in love. I would love to watch it.

Apologies to the appreciators of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, which is one of the most misogynistic Bollywood movies about love and friendship, for obvious reasons.


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