Wednesday, June 09, 2010

When Ugly Duckling meets Bollywood

I still remember really liking the movie Khoon Bhari Maang when I saw it long ago. I was quite a young kid then, but now that I think back, even then I had my priorities straight :)
After all, what was not to like in a vengeful murder story where the woman triumphs over evil?

I remember that I was really happy when Rekha transforms into this super-hot confident woman from a mousy male-dependant housewife. And then goes on to kill the guy (technically still her husband) for good measure.

Of course there was lots of filmi drama, but what's a good bollywood movie without it? And without all the masala and the hot songs and dances and swimsuit sequences and heroines prancing about on horses, wielding whips as they whip the bad guy- yup, that's what Rekha did in the last scenes of the movie. If one started analysing the movie from a socio-psychological viewpoint, I am wondering what the latter would be a trope for?

Yet, for the late 80's the movie was extremely progressive and feminist. No wronged 'bharatiya naari' stuff where she still forgives her husband and takes him back lovingly (aka Biwi no. 1). No godfather in the wings waiting to give monetary help- she sold her own diamond earrings to finance her plastic surgery, no finding another male saviour to avenge her, but taking her own revenge. I wonder why they no longer make such movies, so entertaining and yet with some semblance of a moral and a story!

Of course, the movie does have this theme that women's empowerment comes from a beautiful face and body. Which is not something that I am very comfortable with. But I feel that at some level its true (unfortunate, but true!). The movie also argues for financial independence, which we can all agree is extremely important, irrespective of gender.

Here's one of my favorite songs from the movie. Because the song talks about exploring ways to live life fully. To be more than what you are. And of course, for the suave Kabir Bedi ;)


Richa said...

It was a good movie. Better than that family drama "Biwi ho to aisi" where modern woman is portrayed as a vamp. Actually anything modern was portrayed as vile while Indian culture epitome of all things good (just like all the 80s movie)...

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Rachna said...

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