Home Movie Review Men Back in Action, Women Yet to be Allowed – Sexism in Bollywood and Indian Films

Men Back in Action, Women Yet to be Allowed – Sexism in Bollywood and Indian Films


A woman dies and gets Hritik Roshan from Dhoom 2- Back in Action, the new version of heaven. Many a man’s dream would also be Hritik in Heaven. Such are his looks and Greek God like physique in the movie. “Can sheer gorgeousness pull off a movie?”, asks Anupama Chopra of India Today in her review of Dhoom 2. Looking at the box office receipts, it most definitely can and has done so remarkably well. The movie seems more like the ‘Hritik Roshan Show’ than anything else. He looks so hot in the movie that you could boil an egg off his abs. Talk about eye candy and the dreamboat comes to mind. For the first time I wished I were a girl and questioned my sexual orientation, the effect movies have on their audiences. The action, good looking people, the cars, the bikes and the songs, Dhoom 2 is the total package, without a story.

The thing that struck me about the movie was the character of the female leads, Aishwariya Rai and Bipasha Basu. The girls were stunning to say the least but the importance given to them was appalling. Audiences, especially girls stood in long queues to watch Hritik Roshan (Aryan, the soul of the movie) and positively loved the movie. Though few disagreed with the story, even they thought the movie was worth a watch. For the girls and women there is little other than Hritik, it is such a guy movie, with hot-hot Hritik. The character of Aishwariya Rai as the smart thief who outsmarted the best in the business is deplorable. Sunehri for all her intelligence comes across as someone who is like quite stupid. Aryan or Jai (Abhishek Bachchan, in a nothing role) make the plan and like the stupid woman she is, Sunehri like plays along.

Bipasha Basu’s character as Sonali shows a meagre trace of brains as a cop, but how can a woman threaten to match a man or worse beat him? So she breaks her foot in an attempt to nab the super thief Aryan and is out of the movie. The man Jai has to go after superman Aryan. Monali, the character of her twin sister in picturesque Rio is so dumb, she makes Uday Chopra’s character Ali look like a rocket scientist. Any girl in the right frame of mind cannot be shown falling for Uday Chopra, so her stupidity is justified. Hritik is shown as fooled by Aishwariya, who fakes her love and traps him. Not before Hritik convinces her to go ‘his way’. She agrees to whatever he says and, another score for the boys.

Apart from the clothes (stylish and equally scanty for the male and female cast) the boys still dominate and rule the movie. Could Aishwariya not be the genius criminal by outwitting both Aryan and Jai? Or maybe devise a plan of her own, to help either Jai or Aryan succeed? Maybe Sonali could do a better job at nabbing the criminal than Jai could? High time girls got the treatment they deserve, at least in fiction. Many say that it’s just a movie why bother about is so much? How much of an impact can a movie actually make? Does a movie help or worsen the cause of women? Ask the bike gangs who devised a robbery plan using bikes ala Dhoom and the emergence of bike races all over the county, or all the people who bought Dhoom 2 clothing at Pepe.

Girls in a sense are second preference in everything, even in dumbness (Monali and Ali, how can Ali be smarter than anyone or anything?). You can’t beat the guys, you can’t match the guys, what you can be though is an ornamental dressing in the man’s arms. Yet girls throng cinema halls to catch a glimpse of the movie. Which makes me ask a question, “How and why in the world did women like this movie?” Hritik surely has many takers. I loved Dhoom 2, would feel nice to have Aishwariya or Bipasha wrapped around my fingers scantily dressed and have the body of Hritik or the appeal of Abhishek, though the girls get a raw deal yet again in male-o-centric Indian Cinema.

By Pranay Rupani

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