By Apoorva Sehgal
Willingly or unwillingly, you all must have watched Bollywood movies. But how many of you are aware of the notions of romance in Bollywood? I’m sure not many. Well, I aim to enlighten you. Bollywood has given me enough reasons to safely conclude that these notions are twisted.
MANIC PIXIE DREAM GIRL
The first thing that I would like to draw your attention upon is the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. These are your charming, quirky, beautiful women, and their entire aim is to serve as a catalyst for the male protagonist, for them to reach the goal of a holistic approach towards life.
These women have no past and no future. They simply serve as tools in the hands of movie makers to further propel patriarchy. This woman is mostly shown to the viewers through the eyes of the male protagonist.
Laila (Katrina Kaif) in ZNMD? Yes. What do we know about her besides the fact that she helps Arjun (Hrithik Roshan) achieve self-actualisation by the end of the movie?
Geet (Kareen Kapoor) in Jab We Met, Aditi (Genelia D’Souza) in Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na. Oh, there are many.
Let’s talk about the second one, toxic masculinity. Toxic masculinity is a facet of patriarchy that affects men. It displays men as hardcore, aggressive creatures devoid of any sentiment or emotion.
These men can’t cry, because duh, the society will say, “ladki hai kya?”
These men will fight a hundred other men to prove their masculinity to their love interest. Like, hello! Mard Ko Kabhi Dard Nahi Hota.
Being sensitive and emotional are apparently the weaker traits that look best on women. I’m not even going to try to give you an example of this, because you’ll find it in almost any movie you pick.
OBJECTIFICATION OF WOMEN
The third very common notion is objectification of women in the Bollywood movies, or rather, the “item numbers”.
There’s always one song that doesn’t fit anywhere in the movie, but is solely put to increase the viewership, because let’s face it, who doesn’t want to see the closeup of a woman’s body in glittery, skimpy outfits, right?
These songs then become the popular hits, and are blasted on radios, televisions, and whatever other media, alike.
The objectification runs so deep in the cinema that no one even questions it anymore. There are many instances of this. Chikni Chameli, Fevicol Se, Sheela Ki Jawani. Ah, the list goes on and on.
NORMALIZING PREDATORY BEHAVIOUR
Another thing that runs in Bollywood is the concept of disguising stalking as a display of affection. Even if the female protagonist has said no several times, the male protagonist doesn’t stop. Because ‘LOVE‘.
He chases her constantly, asking for coffee or her phone number. His last resort is threatening the woman that he’ll commit suicide if she rejects him one more time. Well, fair deal, to be honest.
Anyway, the female protagonist ends up falling in love with him. And that, my friends, is screwed up. It teaches all the creepy stalkers out there to not take a no for an answer.
For instance, Toilet – Ek Prem Katha. The movie may have a good message, but damn, Akshay doesn’t stop stalking. And how can we forget Badrinath ki Dulhaniya?
Well, there are several other notions of romance in Bollywood that are as bad or even worse. Until we stop paying to watch such movies, it’s never going to stop. Until we start finding it problematic, Bollywood will keep making these clichés.
Image Credits: Google Images