Warning: Spoilers ahead, in case you haven’t watched the movies“Highway” and “Lovelace”.
A Sunday well spent is, a Sunday spent on a couch watching some random movies and instead of burying them somewhere in your mind, have something to write about them. This Sunday I watched Highway then Lovelace and then a show “Satyamev Jayate S2”. Surprisingly, all three of them were connected to a single theme – Abuse of Women. Here I am not writing about “Satyamev Jayate”, because I believe it would require a separately dedicated post.
So, here comes my review along with my thoughts on the two movies I watched this Sunday.
Highway is a story of a posh and high class young girl, who somehow seems to be trapped in that high culture aristocracy of Delhi. But inside she is a child wanting to explore the world, to know what it feels like to be free for a single day. This feeling can be understood by her state of mind as she was getting married the very next day and she decides to have her last freedom drive with her fiancee That is when she got kidnapped by some haryanvi rustic kidnappers. She was taken through a bumpy ride across north India, where by the passing days of her ordeal she discovered that she is tasting freedom for the first time in her life. She is free to go but she is longing to go away further in her journey. She realized that she is actually falling for her kidnapper,(this transition is very badly represented though), a man who has a rough exterior but who respects her and treats her with realism. She is no longer living a fake life of etiquette and good manners. That’s when she breaks down and share her tormenting past of child abuse to her kidnapper. How she had to behave like nothing has ever happened just because they are living in a society where child abuse is not considered a good word to hear. How she was facing her rapist uncle everyday at her home, and still she was behaving normally in front of him, as if the whole thing was not real but some nightmare.
Lovelace is based on a real life story of girl, Linda, who got famous as a porn star by doing a porn movie once. She was just a regular teenage girl who feel suffocated by her over controlling church going parents and decided to move away with her recently found love interest Chuck. Chuck, who seems to be true gentlemen, soon marries Linda. They hit a financial rough patch and that’s when Chuck decides that the most easy way to earn money would be to have Linda work in a porn movie. She was scared and felt devastated and runs back to her mother, who only sends her back saying that a woman should always obey her husband, and do whatever he desires. She obeys. But Chuck was no gentlemen, not anymore. Beatings started and soon to earn more money he sells her last dignity, her body. Not to a single man but to a group of monsters.
After watching these two movies I realized the condition of women is not different in any part of the world. They may seem progressive sometimes but still many of them are sacrificing their freedom and dignity for their loved once. Sometimes by them and sometimes for them. Only thing that makes a difference in a woman’s life is when she starts listening to herself. When she decides to live her life on her own terms. In both the movies, the protagonist finally stands for herself and that’s when she break this circle of abuse and move on to live a life of dignity and worth-fullness. In Highway, she decides to move away from her parents and live alone her life, working independently. In Lovelace, she decides to leave her abusing husband. She marries again, become a mother, and writes about her “Ordeal” so that she can help other girls who are going through marital abuse.
Reflecting point is that no matter who you are or where you belong to, until and unless you stand for yourself, no one is going to respect you for who you are.
I was watching this movie “I Don’t Know How She Does It”, and simultaneously all the attempts that I have made to smooth out my life, kept on playing in my mind like a film. Kind of spooky. Yeah, story was moving on and I realized my story is different. Difference being mine was real, not a movie.
This movie”I Don’t Know How She Does It” is story of Kate played by Sarah Jessica Parker, who is a top shot business woman. She is working and is completely focused on her career, and her Kids. Yes, her two beautiful kids, her family. A husband who is cooperative and supports the hectic schedule of his working wife. Even supports her ill-timed business travelings. He is totally a keeper. She is somehow managing her busy life torn between her personal and professional one, and then enters Pierce Brosnan, (my personal favorite James Bond). Pierce is a big client, a big career boost for Sarah, but at the same time, more travel for business and more family guilt. What will she choose? This new big opportunity to take her career to new heights, or some quality time with her family?
Ironically, it’s always the woman who have to choose between her career and her family. It’s hardly the other way round, when a man has to choose between the two. Even if a man decides to go the career way, it’s branded as done for the family sake. A woman who chooses her career, even when she try to give as much possible time to her family, is always reminded of making a bad decision. How our society on one side talks of woman liberation and on the other hand treat a woman with career desires indifferently.
It’s also shown in the film how a stay at home mother is always thought of as superior to the one who is juggling between her kids and her work. I remembered my time when I used to work, and some of the so called well wishers used to behave like I am doing a crime just because I am not with my kid 24 X 7. Crap! Now when I am a stay at home mom(who works from home), those same people say that I am wasting my education by staying at home. Point to note, you can never please everyone in your life. 😛
Coming back to the film, this film can be much better if rather than focusing on creating a third triangle between Sarah and Pierce, focus would have been kept between the deterioration of relationship between husband and wife. Or, on the kids, who got very little screen time. Sarah was not able to portray the guilt of leaving her kids behind. It does sounds good in a story layout, but these kind of movies banks on the emotional quotient, which this film lacks. It does not connect on so many levels. Maybe, being a Bollywood fan, I am too much into over the top movies. 🙂
However, it’s a nice watch if you want to have a look at the dilemma that a working mother goes through every day of her life.
Keep working, keep watching. Enjoy your life and your decisions. 🙂
Finally I watched Bombay talkies, nearly half an year after the movie released. I had high hopes from the movie as this movie was made to celebrate the completion of 100 years of Indian cinema, also the more fascinating point being that it has four short stories directed by four maestro directors of Indian Cinema – Karan Johar, Dibakar Banerjee, Zoya Akhtar and Anurag Kashyap(My Fav). I won’t say that my hopes were not met, they were to some extent, but in the end I was craving for more. Craving for that extra icing on the cake, and that extra was satisfied with the title song pictured on the fabulous stars like Aamir Khan, Ranbir Kapoor, Kareena, Sridevi, Madhuri, Karishma, Vidya, Akshay, Imran, Shahrukh and many more…..
First story of this movie is titled “Ajeeb Dastan Hai Ye”, and is directed by Karan Johar. This story deals with homosexuality, and quite surprisingly very differently than Karan’s earlier attempt of “Dostaana”. Story is of a homosexual media intern Saquib, who is working for Rani Mukherji, married to News reader and analyzer Randeep Hooda. Problem arises when Saquib understood that the married couple is not so happily married and this is because the husband is gay. So, out of nowhere he makes a move on him (stupidly, in front of his whole news crew in the office), and got beaten up badly. Saquib again very stupidly went to Rani, and again in front of everyone at her office, announced that her husband has actually kissed him. So lame. Very mature Karan. Well, I really liked the part where saquib got into a fight with his father, slapping him continuously and shouting “I am not a eunuch, I am homosexual. And even if I would be a eunuch, there is nothing wrong with it. There is nothing wrong with me.” I didn’t liked the climax though, in the end it is shown that poor Randeep who was actually a confused soul (gay or straight, who am I?), got thrown out of his house, by the wifey, Rani. End is shown as it is liberating for Rani to finally know that it was not her fault in marriage, it’s his, the husband. And there goes the whole idea behind depicting homosexuality in a broad-minded way. It should have been the liberation of husband, who finally came to know what he actually wants and what he really is. Alas!
Another point which I should have pointed out in the beginning is that the above story does not seem to be related to Indian Cinema in any way. All the other stories have somewhat taken inspiration from the cinema. Moving on to the the next one.
This story “Star” is the most beautifully written. Directed by Dibakar Banerjee, this is the story of a failed star/actor played by Nawazuddin. He believes that if he is good in his work, then work will come to him. Thus, he is mostly without work, even though he proves in the end that he is good in his work. It was a surprise encounter of his mentor’s ghost that actually opens his eyes, and he came to know of the fact that it does not matter if you are good or bad in your work, what matters most is, passion. Passion in what you do. You could be good in acting, but unless you have the passion to leave everything, take risk and completely immerse yourself in acting, you can not achieve success. Realization come and he runs to his daughter and with that passion in the eyes, narrates his whole day to her. The day when he actually worked in a film with Ranbir Kapoor. He sleeps that night, peacefully. As if he has find his Nirvana.
Third story “Shiela Ki Jawani” directed by Zoya Akhtar, is of a little boy, who actually loves dressing up as girl, adores Katrina Kaif, and dances to the tune of “Shiela Ki Jawani”. His father, being a typical male, does not want his boy to go a girly way and impose football lessons on him. This story depicts that as a parent and as a society we are the one who have made differentiation between what a girl or boy can do, and what they are not allowed to do. A father can gift a doll to his daughter and ball to his son but not the other way. A teacher who is teaching classical dance to girls, does not want a boy to even look at the lessons. This is the same society we are living in, who then tell us to raise our daughters and boys as same. Most touching part was when the sister asks the boy, “Do you know, why papa was so angry at you?”. Boy replied “Maybe because I touched mamma’s makeup”. She replies “No, it’s because you were dressed as a girl”. And he said very innocently “Why? Is it bad to be a girl?”
Last story “Murabba”, directed by Anurag Kashyap, truly captures the essence of impact of Indian cinema in our lives. That larger than life image of film stars and the way we relate to them. A small town boy, Vijay goes to Mumbai to fulfill his father’s wish of eating a Murabba blessed by none other than “The Amitabh Bachchan”. This film also shows the honest and pure desire by which small towners still worship their cinema idols. Vijay struggles and try to work out any possible way to reach the mega star, he even try to bribe the security guard at Mr. Bachchan’s house. Finally, he did manage to give Murabba to him, actually persuade him to eat half of it before his eyes. Very innocent. Fun part was when his father tells him the true story behind his encounter with “The Dilip Kumar”. Lesson learn “Never put Murabba in Achaar’s jar”.
I did enjoyed all the stories, some more and some less but nevertheless I liked them. But, it was the end title song “Apna Bombay Takies”which takes your breath away. Phew!!!
Now, I am going to cook myself a good lunch, and there is no sharing when it comes to food. So, you better go and watch a movie 🙂