Indian cinema and cuisine seem to be the two major exports to the international community, apart from the obvious tech-knowledge. I remember a colleague who narrated how on her visit to South America, she was bombarded with questions on the way the ladies dressed, the big bindis, maang ka sindoor, etc. Now it is true that what is popular on Television and Cinema is a representation of interest of only a section of the populace, but still is a representation of the whole as well. For example while a Tamil audience is open to tragic ends, Telugu audience prefer neatly tied happy endings.
So when you look at the recent trend of movies that have been popular, and if you are like me, you are left to wonder how it is filled with glitz and glamour, without a subject and necessity to tax your mind. However, when a movie sticks out amidst of this froth of sewer water, it catches your attention. The Queen was one such. I can’t bring out the statistics, but I would say that (hopefully) mainstream cinema is again accepting a female lead rather than them being just eye-candies.
However, to me, the movie touches the hems of greatness and falls back. Perhaps I am looking at it from a perspective very different from the writer/director. Here are the reasons why I feel this way.
- It doesn’t identify the root cause, the biggest culprit contributing to mistreatment of girl child, misogamist outlook pervading our society: our idea of feminism. We, as a society, through our parents have been brining up girl child as someone who needs support, a help, a hand, a crutch! Oh, you can’t go out alone, it is dangerous, always go out with your father, your brother, or your uncle or some male! All through the movie (as a reflection of the current thinking) the younger brother is sent along with her everywhere! We just can’t either trust our children, or the society!
- What causes a metamorphosis of a human being? Is it just the cultural shock that jolted her into complete independence? When she does become independent, is it out of reckless abandonment of boundaries or is it through reflection and self awareness? The change that she undergoes could not have just happened because of external factors, it needs to come from within. This, I believe, was not clearly depicted.
- For god’s sake why did she have to say “Thank you!” to the guy at the end!?!? It is not because of HIM that she changed, he was just an instrument! It is like thanking the tumbler for quenching your thirst, whereas it was the water. If you have water, the vessel doesn’t matter. He was just such a ‘tool’ (pun intended). By attributing her change, even to the minutest level, to him defeats the whole idea of the metamorphosis. SHE is independent, a fully functional social being, without the need of a male to bring about anything in her life, let along change.
Until we all can treat each person as a human being, independent of their race, creed, culture, sex and orientation, we won’t achieve the lofty aims of Human Charter.