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  • Evil As She Does

    By Amrita Rajan

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    Pity the female villain.

    Male villains can look forward to world domination, tons of moolah and all the power they can handle; females, on the other hand, spend all their time scheming to sabotage various weddings when they’re not forcing their daughters-in-law to mop floors while dressed in rags or nagging their husbands to death. And if somehow they manage to stumble onto a bitchin’ gig, they might just find themselves laboring under gallons of body paint and CGI because God forbid they show an actual live woman having the sort of fun men having been having for ages now (before getting blown up or dissolved in a vat of acid, naturally).

    Male villains get cool names, all the chicks they can bang, and fly around the world like the billionaires they frequently are; female villains are typically the mom or the wife from hell, nobody loves them much less wants to bang them, and all their plotting and planning usually leaves them with a wrinkly face.

    Chee. Who’d want to be a female villain? Continue reading

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    Deepa Mehta and ‘Bell Bajao’

    DEEPA MEHTA’S new film on domestic violence premiered at the Toronto film festival. There were two reasons the trailers caught my eye. Firstly, because the abusive man is played by Vansh Bharadwaj who I’ve seen in Neelam Mansingh’s terrific play, The Suit, which played here in Bangalore twice in the last year. I loved his rendition of the cuckolded husband turned manic. The second reason is because it reminded me so much of Provoked, the last Indian film on domestic violence. The context seems very similar. Simple, sheltered Pujabi girl is married off to NRI abusive husband and then finds her escape. Continue reading

    Feminism ‘Unlimited’

    I VOLUNTEERED TO HELP at the Jaipur Film Festival and one of the films I liked most was UnLimited Girls by Paromita Vohra, which is being touted as India’s first feminist film. UnLimited Girls humorously explores engagements with feminism in contemporary India and is a must-see for those participating in this blog. Whoever said feminists don’t have fun? The film takes a quirky approach and is rich with discussion material. Continue reading

    ‘Look Ma, No Stains’: Laaga Chunari Mein Daag

    DIRECTOR PRADEEP Sarkar seems to be suffering a hangover from his earlier movie Parineeta, which was based in pre-Independence times. What else can explain his deplorably regressive ideas and sensibilities in Laaga Chunari Mein Daag? For while the film vociferously proclaims its understanding of the “quintessential modern Indian woman”, its storyline falls back on simplistic labels and trite solutions. Worse, it reinforces stereotypes that one had hoped Hindi movies left behind in the Eighties. Plot summary here. Continue reading