In another addition to women-centric films, Netflix’s Bombay Begums fails to capture the essence of empowerment yet again and ends up demeaning women.
- Women shown competing with men in movies is worsening matters.
- Bollywood filmmakers have a raw sense of Women Representation which is apparent by their portrayal of the feminine in Women-centric films.
- Yet again another Netflix series, Bombay Begum, in the name of women empowerment tend to glorify promiscuous behaviour only to end up demeaning women.
Cinema plays a major role when it comes to influencing the worldview of people. They say, movies often portray the realities of real-life on-screen. Come to think of it, is this where the problem lies? Could it be that movies, which have the massive power to influence the audience, end up corroborating and normalizing the mistakes and faux pas humans commit in real life? If so, then it’s a vicious cycle, which begs the attention of the makers of films and us, as the audience.
There’s an emergence of women-centric content, which celebrate camaraderie among women, their struggles, their frailties, their success and empowerment, but some of them are egregiously failing by reducing the bar for what women empowerment stands for.
Watch: What Bollywood is not getting right in terms of Women Representation
What did the premise of ‘Dear Zindagi’ really promote?
In the movie, Alia’s character suffers from disorientation in the wake of a slew of relationships that had gone south. She’s perturbed, lacks clarity and a sense of perspective in life. Shahrukh’s character tells her that just like one has to try sitting on different chairs to know which one is best-suited for him or her, similarly it’s okay if one has had multiple relationships, because that’s how one will know which one is the right one for you. However, with her the problem was never the inability to find the right match for herself, but the fact she was hopping from one relationship to another in a jiffy. The movie’s message emphasized on normalizing the make-mistakes-and-move-on-approach, while little emphasis was laid on the recklessness with which she moved in and out of relationships.
Replete with cuss words, ‘Veere..’ was hailed as coming-of-age
In ‘Veere Di Wedding’, the film revolves around four girls, who are shown to be unapologetic, unabashed, and believe in making mistakes and moving on. Throughout the movie, cuss words, which by the way are demeaning to women, are thrown around with abandon, yet the movie is deemed by many as progressive, modern and a coming-of-age story of modern-day women. Their conversations revolve around smashing patriarchy, but their choice of words only end up demeaning women. Rhea Kapoor, the producer of the film, wanted to make a female version of ‘Dil Chahta Hai’, and that’s understandable. What is not plausible, and rather disparaging to the community of women, is she knew no better ways for her characters to have fun than having them drink, smoke and do drugs their way through the film.
Bombay Begums glorifies pandering to whims and fancies
Bombay Begums, a recent Netflix series, revolves around the life of four women. The women come from different strata of society. The characters lack depth, clarity and are ambiguous about their life choices. The only definitive trait of the characters is their self-absorbed behaviour. They’re imperfect, and the movie seems to celebrate that. The juggle between the personal and the professional life seems too overwhelming for some that they resort to pandering to their whims and fancies. What follows in its wake is incomprehensible to any sane mind.
Here’s a note to the film fraternity: Women-centric films are a welcome change, but please don’t, in the name of empowerment, promote, or glorify behavior which has no semblance to sanity, is a grotesque representation of what the idea of women empowerment stands for. It almost seems we’re vying to compete with men, and screaming for equal rights to booze, party around, sleep around, be promiscuous. This utterly misplaced notion of women empowerment is unfortunately gaining resonance with masses. Women are not in competition with men, they’re and will always be psychologically, physiologically and intrinsically different from men.