Karanjoharfan, I'm not sure about the exact point you're trying to make. While there are plenty of movies about women who, in some way or another, rebel against the traditional place of wife/mother/homemaker(even Sona in Luck By Chance says that she ran away to Bombay to get away from an arranged marriage) but this isn't really what my argument was about in the case of DI.
In both Ishqiya and DI, men are not necessarily the stronger sex. The violence in these movies is just part of the story, since Babban and Khalu are crooks and the story revolves around criminals in the world they live in. The women are shown to be just as, and even more, clever, crafty and ruthlessly determined, and unapologetically sexual. In DI, Muniya and Begum are striving to achieve independence of men, therefore rendering the men in their life obsolete. Not only do they want it, they will do anything in their power to get it and they will live happily even after. Usually women like that get their "comeuppance", since men would very rarely abide for this to happen, but this is where the movie is rather progressive - it allows it to happen, which is very refreshing. This is something that is not touched on very often in films, as the film industry is male-centric and it takes a special and very open kind of filmmaker to explore this theme.
We don't disagree, newauntie, except that I'm far more bothered by the violence, especially the male-on-female violence scene, than you are. That scene sends the message that violence against women is okay. It doesn't matter that Begum Para then knocks out Babban in response; the message is still sent. It also doesn't matter that Babban is a violent character or that in real life someone like him might do that. Babban is a protagonist character. His action sends the message that it is possible to love a woman and to hit her. Babban never apologizes or realizes his error. This violence is what I have been calling "problematic." Other progressive movies that might not be as forward in terms of showing women as "unapologetically sexual" are nevertheless less problematic, because they don't have that violence against women from a protagonist. And I don't agree this movie entirely lets the "unapologetic sexuality" go unpunished or that it's saying the "unapologetic sexuality" doesn't need to be punished, because of that violent scene. Just because your attacker gets knocked out, doesn't change the fact that if you are assaulted, it hurts. It is very possible to see that scene as Muniya getting what was coming to her, even if that is not what the filmmakers intended -- different only in degree from the deaths or suicides that are "comeuppance" or "punishment" for villainous and/or sexual female characters in movies like Aitraaz, Jism, and Khakee.
As I've stated earlier, I believe what's really unique about the movie is the probable lesbian attraction and relationship being shown sympathetically and approvingly. You make a great point about how their goal is to be independent of men, and they reach that goal (although they don't actually get all of what they want -- they don't get Jaan Mohammad's ransom money). I view that as a primary feature of the lesbian relationship being shown sympathetically and approvingly.
If your criterion is whether a guy is involved in a resolution to a situation, what do you call the gun-toting vengeful nawab and the police who save the situation in Dedh Ishqiya? The women get away because of the guns and violence of men. And that arrival is not something that they cause to happen -- it happens to them. Rani's character Veera has far more of an impact on her victory in Dil Bole Hadippa.
Bunty Aur Babli - Woman defies arranged marriage, chooses to get in an equal criminal relationship, remains heroine and gets married despite not being a "good girl." That is a change from the traditional.
Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu - Woman continues to choose not to get together with guy at end. Woman does not reciprocate feelings. Guy must accept they will be friends instead of the "guy gets girl" happy ending, and does so. This is a change from the traditional.
With Hasee Toh Phasee too, it's little relationship things, the need for the male lead to be rescued at a couple points, his respect for women's decisons, the showing of equality, the professional accomplishments of the lead female character -- these are change from the traditional.
And all these do not have violent men doing a violent action hero thing either, unlike the gun-toting nawab and the violence of Khalujan and Babban. These movies don't equate masculinity with violence.
I don´t think the police and the poet "save" the situation. They happen to be involved, but the women flee, leaving everyone else behind. And then they actually bail out the men from jail. Anyway, I think I misunderstood your point before and get it better now, but to be honest, while I found the stuff you mention about the films refreshing and yes, progressive (most notably in EMAET), I personally did not find them groundbreaking or worth much of an analysis. In fact, in case of Bunty aut Babli I did not even think about Vimmi´s character too much, as the whole film did not do much beyond entertain. Dedh Ishqiya made me think. And Babban slapping the woman who actually betrayed him (something not done in the films you mention), was, in all the whacky "alternative universe" it is set in, a reminder of the low things humans do in reality. It also added to the "women power" in the film, ironically, because usually a hero slapping the heroine leads to... her instant reformation and realization of her wrong way. Here Babban gets hit over the head.
In NO WAY there would be asignal saying that violence against women would be right. I disagree with you strongly there.
Glad we're getting closer to understanding each other. I wasn't saying the other movies were necessarily groundbreaking, although I do think they are worthy of analysis. I was just saying I saw "Dedh Ishqiya" as progressive, yes, but with problems and not as groundbreaking as it seemed to be made out to be by you and newauntie, aside from the lesbian relationship. I think the "reminder of the low things humans do in reality" is a charitable interpretation of that scene in the film. He gets whacked in the head, sure, but he feels no remorse, comes to no realization, gets no talking-to from Iftekhar about it, and soon after he has the upper hand again and the women are no longer in charge of the ransom plan. So I fail to see how it's clear the movie doesn't send a message that you can truly love someone and beat them at the same time. I don't know what you're referring to about other movies showing a woman realizing the error of her ways after suffering violence from a hero. The only one I can think of like that is "Murder," but I may not have seen the movies you're thinking of or may have forgotten them, or I may not have analyzed them in the right way that you're thinking of.
It's the mob boss who bails the men out at the end, not the women who do so (which is fine, it supports the women not needing or caring much about the men, but just a factual correction).
There are (way too) many films where a hero slaps the heroine and it is OK and helps to actually turn the women into better person. Right now I can think of Laadla as an example. Or even in a sweet film like Dulhan Hum Le Jayenge Salman slaps Karishma because she dances with some horny dudes. Babban doesn´t regret, because he doesn´t develop as a character. He has a little mind and stays true to himself. That is fine with me because I am actually not a fan of sudden changes of heart and character that often happen (have you seen Ram Leela? When near the end the old woman just randomly "learns the lesson"? Just like that......). And Khalujaan doesn´t say anything because he knows Babban´s nature plus he too feel cheated and betrayed. And most notably he doesn´t care about Munniya at all. Had Babban just tried to touch Begum, he would have strangled him on the spot. So basically Khalu doesn´t care about differences between men and women, but only between people he loves and doesn´t care for I guess. Character in Dedh Ishqiya are quite real. They learn something, but not everything, and they do not strive to be perfect. I would agree with your view on "it sends the wrong signal" if Babban was let go without consequences or the woman would change her stance out of fear perhaps, but none of this happens. It is NOT a pretty scene, but I found it acceptable within the movie and understandable considering the characters. Finally this may look like I am trying to defend the film no matter what, but I am really just trying to "analyze" it
It´s the mobb boss? Then why there is a voice-over of the two women which is obviously a letter sent to them? In any case Begum and Munniya are the only winners in the whole thing, even if not "supreme" winners with everything they hoped for. The women in this film are definitely something else.
Thanks, I haven't seen Dulhan Hum Le Jayenge or Laadla. The movies I've watched since I became a fan of Bollywood in 2003 have not had the hero hitting a woman to teach her a lesson, so I feel like Bollywood may have progressed on that front since those movies -- with the scene in Dedh Ishqiya, I still feel, a backward step. I remember I was also incensed at Parineeta featuring a scene of Saif's character slapping Vidya's character (and Saif's character was in the wrong, he was suspecting her of something she didn't do, but I was still mad at the scene for suggesting it would ever be okay even if he had been right), so I feel like I would remember if I've seen that aside from Parineeta and Murder. But of course, I don't watch everything.
You know, I guess the bail at the end is open to interpretation. My interpretation was that the letter was from Begum Para and Muniya, yes, for sure, but the bail money wasn't. They thought the bail money was too, which is why they were all excited and thinking they had a future with the women, but that expectation was false. I believe the money was said to be from their wives, which we know Begum Para and Muniya were not. The reality was the mob boss had paid bail so he could kill them. They are "married to the mob." That's why the ending is the way it is, with them thinking they're going to see Para and Muniya but actually seeing their boss. He paid the bail. But that's not explicit and is open to interpretation. It could be that your interpretation is closer to what was intended.
There’s a moment in the second half of Dedh Ishqiya where Arshad Warsi’s Babban drags Huma Qureshi’s Muniya into a corner to discuss their future (travelling the world, apparently). Babban has so far failed to grasp the obvious–that Muniya has no interest in sharing a future with him– and so she makes it clear with some well-timed shaming. These men keep confusing sex for love, she says; she slept with him, but that was it. It’s funny for a moment because it’s a reversal, because so often in stories like this it’s the men for whom casual sex is casual, the women who are portrayed as clingy and over-attached. But then Babban, rejected and humiliated, reacts by beating her, shoving her against the wall; her sounds of protest become increasingly panicky, and we’re shifting uncomfortably in our seats. It’s a scene that is all the more striking because we know that violence isn’t that serious in this film. Babban may be at the mercy, temporarily, of a gang lord; Khalujaan may be shot while escaping with the jewels, Jaan Mohammed’s men may occupy our heroes in a standoff that lasts all night but most of these have no real consequences (and the last ends in comedy). Violence takes place in a sort of golden world where nothing truly bad can happen, and where we can guiltlessly enjoy the picaresque adventures of the main characters without feeling uncomfortable about some of their crimes. Even the film’s title, which to me echoes the dhishkiaaon of the overexaggerated bollywood bullet, signals this. It comes as a shock, then, to realise that there are forms of violence that are violent and I like the film better for subjecting us to it, and for making one of its loveable heroes the perpetrator.
There are others, interesting observations about the movie in that review, I recomend
It occurs to me that there are two groups of volence discussed here. 1 Violence to win an argument. 2 Violence against women. Both are **wrong** of course, but they are different, and might or might not go together. 1 tries to win by force, perhaps by someone who would not specifically attack women to enslave them (I stipulate that he probably would). 2 tries to enslave women, perhaps by someone who would not use force against those he respects (mostly men).
So 1 is bullying, 2 is slaveholding, but they are different things and ought not be confused. Easier to fight them separately than together.
We don't disagree, *newauntie,* except that I'm far more bothered by the violence, especially the male-on-female violence scene, than you are. That scene sends the message that violence against women is okay. It doesn't matter that Begum Para then knocks out Babban in response; the message is still sent. It also doesn't matter that Babban is a violent character or that in real life someone like him might do that.
Next Film Speculations: 1 Ishqiya starred Vidya Balan, with Naseeruddin Shah & Arshad Warsi . 2 Dedh Ishqiya starred Madhuri Dixit and Huma Quroshi . For a Third in this series, it ought to be 3 Dobara Ishqiya starting Sridevi! 4 should star Hema Malini 5 should star Wahida Rehman.
and then we could have the Extra Film, without the men, in which Huma goes out and bumps into Vidya.
I am affraid there won´t be any more of Khalu and Babban´s adventures and it actually makes me sad.
Y'know, I'm not so sure it's a bad thing. Better go out on a high note, rather than try to stretch the story into a franchise which will affect the quality, it so rarely works. I would prefer that the Bhardwaj/Chaubey team work on something new and exciting. I'd love to see them work with Arshad again as I'm a big fan of his, he's such an underrated actor and quality writing makes him shine.
dancelover: Finished Madhu, thru the film he is working on today!
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dancelover: I now have 5 of the 6, but The Kapoors is missing pages 327 through 350.
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