The Magic Of Kangana Ranaut 

In an industry where only star kids get the best of everything and outsiders have to struggle, we have a wonderful exception in kangana. She is bold, vivacious, fearless and most importantly real.

I have been following her interviews since the time she was interviewed by Anupama Chopra for the Front row, ironically promoting her movie Krish3 for which she has become quiet well known for albeit slightly for different reasons.

It has been years I have followed any actor as a fan. I think of them as just that now – an actor, who is made to be God like in this country for no reason whatsoever. I mean why are they revered as such? Do they help others? Do they make the world a better place? Do they speak for those who can’t? Do they stand up for what’s right? A simple answer to all these questions is a big fat NO.

Nor are they expected to. Then why all the hullabaloo surrounding them? Especially the males? Are they different from any other non acting males? Do they have something special that males who are not actors don’t have other than a big fat paycheque? They are certainly not good role models who are mostly just self obsessed and promotes unhealthy male image.

For the last few years especially since 2012 we have seen a huge shift in the audience taste. We no longer like the old masala formula based movies. We want content that is meaningful, even if it is larger than life or requires us to suspend our belief for two hours or so.

It is only in the last one year or so, this demand has fully boomed thanks to digital ‘invasion’. People don’t deserve to spend their hard earned money for a ride that isn’t worth their bucks.

So movies like queen, kapoor and sons, hindi medium, Dangal or a Neerja works and not tubelight, jab harry met sejal or A gentleman doesn’t.

Between all this we have the default mode of portraying woman as ‘love interest’ or the ‘ever ready to sacrifice’ or the mother characters to play. Everything has to revolve around the hero even though in real life it doesn’t work that way.

Granted cinema isn’t ‘real’ and it is just a way to enact a fantasy but why should that fantasy require only female dumbness and the males to be the perfect creatures.

The recent AIB video featuring Kangana mocking the sexist film industry is one of the best entertainment I have come across in ages. I love Kangana for that. She deserves every accolades for been gutsy.

I don’t understand why the industry is so insular and nepotistic. Why isn’t an actor who does not belong to the film fraternity not appreciated as the one outside it. Unlike family businesses film industry cannot be undemocratic. Because it is based on talent. Yes hard work and luck plays a huge factor but industry babies already have some of it in their favour thanks to their star parents.

Recently Ali Fazal has been able to portray the lead role opposite Dame Judi Dench (for gods sake) in Victoria and Abdul. How many big stars can boast of the same. But no one talks about it. But Priyanka Chopra playing villain in a tiny role is a ‘Big deal’.Thankfully Irfan khan is getting his due both internationally as well as in India.

So why is Kangana made to be the bad guy by the industry for speaking the truth? I guess it’s cause truth is a bitter pill to swallow.

She is setting a great example for other women in this country to follow their dreams. Am appalled at the other actresses from the industry who are keeping mum or taking a sly dig at her instead of standing up and accepting the truth. It will only benefit them in the long run.

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Truth is all the so called stars in this hindi film industry has a huge PR machinery behind them who makes sure they are seen and heard everywhere. Things that has nothing to do with their talent are talked about more instead. Besides when the whole industry is run by some filmy family or the other why would talent matter. They just want to feel like gods whom the public should worship.

It is high time we as the audience stop accepting these mediocre actors and demand high standards from all the three – actors, directors and writers.

As far as Kangana is concerned I surely hope great success for her, cause a talent like hers should not be wasted because of this self appreciating film industry who can only promote their own.

Female actors too should be given the opportunity to make as much as their male counterparts. If older actors past 40 are employing younger girls in order to save money, how will established female actors start an eco system similar to what the khans do if they are not given their worth just so they can save money?

Especially like Akshay Kumar. His last few films have seen new comers like tapasee pannu or a nimrit kaur or Bhumi padnekar opposite him (not to belittle their talent). Gone are the days when he worked with ‘stars’ like Kareena, katrina or a priyanka. Even alia was paired with shahrukh who is a good thirty years older than her. Just imagine in real life if a girl was romancing someone that older we would either caution her or call her mad. So why this exception in movies? At least make a believable story. Why is she there just to fall in love with the actor? Though Dear Zindagi had a story but that’s besides the point.

This is not just about the hindi film industry but about all the major film industries including Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam. Movies where heroes are shown as Macho where they beatup ten fifteen guys in the air, I mean WTF.

Where are these good guys in real life? They are harder to find than diamonds. Trying to find solace in the movie heroes just cause you can’t be one in real life is an unfortunate reality in our country. Let us please stop revering these fake heroes and encourage real life ones and stop making wrong things associated with been a man and masculinity.

What Kangana represents shouldn’t be slotted into “movie promotion” and as someone whose “success has gone to her head”. She comes from a very real place and such voices should be encouraged so that nobody gets slotted in certain boxes and everyone gets to benefit from those who fight for what’s right.

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Lipstick Under My Burkha


 

Last night as I was browsing through YouTube, I came across a new trailer of L.U.M.B. I had already seen a previous version few months back and even though I found the story interesting it didn’t really pique my interest.

Nevertheless I was aware of how the movie was getting noticed especially in the film festivals including the news that it may even be the opening movie for the Golden Globes.

The famous “Censor Board” which is the CBFC, whose sole job is to give certification for a movie, also masquerades as the moral brigade in our country for movies. The Central Board’s Film Certifications head, Mr. Pahlaj Nihalani is quiet famous for how he wants to keep the audience away from so called filth in the movies. Clearly it speaks of his own mindset rather than the whole country’s.

He is famously known for cutting a kissing scene in the last Bond movie. And recently for objecting to the word ‘intercourse’ in Srk’s upcoming movie – ‘Jab Harry met Sally’. It is obvious he has a fixed mindset.

Though I find no credibility in his views, including that of preserving Indian Values, the reason am writing this post is for an entirely different reason. The YouTube Comment sections are well known for its own trolls and views.

Check these out:

Majority of the male comments reflect what they think about feminism. Since when did short skirts, smoking, having sex have anything to do with ‘Women Empowerment’. It made me question whether majority of Indians – specially male – as to why they have such distorted versions of feminism.

When I saw the first trailer, yes I thought it was bold and frank but it is what reality is. And the new trailer clearly pokes those questions right in your face.

To make it clear, women empowerment doesn’t mean short skirts, smoking, kissing, having sex on screen or using cuss words and such other myriad views. It is the ability of the women to be themselves just as they are and to be accepted for it nevertheless. Just like men are.

I don’t agree with smoking, drinking, dress choices are based on one’s own sense of fashion and comfort and we watch sex scenes in western movies all the time so what is not ‘sanskaari’ about the same thing here?

Do we not have sex in this country? Is that why we have the second highest population in the world? And what is so wrong in it? it is a natural human thing. what’s so shameful in showing it? These very people have no problem in watching porn in their private life but how can you question it when it is shown on-screen and is performed by Indian women? Do they have no needs and desires?

I loved one of the dialogues shown in this trailer –

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I truly don’t understand what’s so scary about female sexuality. Why can’t you accept that we too have the freedom to express it. We are not just the roles society has forced upon us that of mother, daughter, sister or wife. We can be more than that and we are.

We are so much more than just what’s expected of us. We multitask like there is no tomorrow. Unlike men who are only expected to provide and protect the family, we women are the one’s who are glue to the entire society. Without us, there is no society. Our roles are hence so much more important if not equally.

It is not rocket science. It is not Math. It is a simple social need to be acknowledged. Are men scared of women? If that is the reason you try to repress us then there is no need to fear us. If you laughed at the first question it means men are not scared of women then why the hell do you care what women do with their lives. what’s the need to control it?

Since I haven’t seen the movie I cannot comment on how the movie contributes to the growth of feminism. But for the sake of freedom of expression & creativity and the freedom for women to be portrayed as they are, it is important such dialogues are maintained.

UPDATE: check out: Interview with Anupama Chopra

What are your thoughts on it? Do share!