15 lines from ‘Dil Dhadakne Do’.

Let me just share some dialogues (roughly translated/in my own words) from Dil dharakne do and you decide what you think of the movie.

1. ‘Does he beat you? Is he a miser? Does he stop you from shopping? No?! Then what do you mean you want divorce?’ [Rahul Bose is the ‘he’ here, and the entitled look on his face, when this is being said, makes the movie a must-watch]

2. ‘There has never been a divorce in this family and there never will be.’

3. ‘What have we done to you that you are punishing us like this? Do you want me to fall at your feet? Let me cut my wrists with this knife…’ (picks a butter knife)

4. ‘How times have changed he heh… when we were young we women could never speak like this in front of our elders he he he…’ [The effect is the exact opposite of Saas Bahu serials]

5. ‘What you write about is so depressing, why do you exaggerate so much? Can’t you find something positive to write about? Like, look at us, in the previous generations women did not work, but I have allowed my wife to work!’

(The response is amongst the things that make the movie worth watching.)

6. ‘You are offended because I insulted your husband? But he was insulting you… doesn’t that count?’

7. ‘She is married, now she is a **** (husband’s surname). Now his home is her home, his family is her family.’

8. ‘I am on top of the world, god has been kind. There is only one thing I want now – dear daughter please give us a grandchild.’

9. ‘What do you mean you are not sure you want to marry her? The business (that’s floundering and can be salvaged with this marriage) is not just our business, you are our only son, it’s your business too.’

10. ‘Who is that girl with him?’

11. ‘You want a divorce? What will our friends say?’

12. ‘Every marriage has problems. The easier way out is divorce. That’s not the right path. The difficult path is the right path.’

13. ‘There is no place for you in this house if you divorce him.’

14. ‘There is no place for you in this house if you don’t marry her.’

15. ‘I don’t want to hear about this.’ (But don’t you dare do what you were about to suggest you might)

And here are some points the movie made:

1. Financial independence and success does not automatically give women the confidence (or mindset) to expect to be treated as an equal, to object to misogyny, or to walk out of unhappy relationships.

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2. Parents don’t always know, and/or even want the best for their children.

3. No divorce does not mean happy marriages.

4. Many women stay married because they have nowhere else to go. Women also stay married because they are pressurised to stay married.

5. ‘Get Married Stay Married and bear male children’ is viewed as the main goal for every Indian woman.

6. Daughters are viewed as Liabilities, or Paraya Dhan.

7. Sons are viewed as precious – but only because they are Assets, to be controlled for parents’ benefits (dowry, obedient and/or rich daughter in law, family business etc).

8. Creating a good impression on ‘everybody’ is more important for many Indians, than happiness of loved ones.

9. A son spending a night with a young woman is not the same as a daughter spending a night with a young man. One set of parents smiles proudly.

10. I am sure this movie succeeded in making atleast some conservative viewers look at Successful Divorces as a Happy Endings. (Queen managed to do the same thing with broken engagements)

Related Posts:

Eleven questions the family elders ask women in unhappy marriages.

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Please watch Dum Laga Ke Haisha – where a man is asked to Please adjust and save his marriage.

Please watch ‘Tanu Weds Manu Returns’ 🙂

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Catch all the dialogue promos of Dil Dhadakne Do here

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Please watch ‘Tanu Weds Manu Returns’ :)

The movie passes Bechdel Test with flying colours. The Kanpur accent and Kangana Ranaut’s Haryana accent, the music, the story, the way it ends, and everything else about the movie are absolutely delightful.

And while we are laughing hysterically, the movie conveys –

A woman smiling, laughing, talking, taking a ride or drinking or dancing with a man – may or may not be in love with him.

That self reliance gives confidence.

That courage, confidence, maturity and just plain common sense are not dependent on the language ones speaks or the accent or grammar (etc).

That men grow up and old too.

Men have ‘marital status’ too – even if it not talked about in Indian movies, and is not socially required to be displayed.

Men don’t hate getting married – despite all the shaadi ke laddu jokes one hears about. Men even have ‘marriageable age’ – though one doesn’t hear much about such social pressures. The movie makes references to men’s ages, like the ’35 and desperate to get married’ and 40th birthday shirt.

Men are also advised to Get Married and Stay Married. But instead of praying or fasting, men are offered the option of trying violence as an outlet if the situation gets unbearable – like breaking tube lights in their living rooms.

That the Khaps are fools.

It’s a problem that men’s manliness depends on their Sperm Count.

Men gain weight too.

Tanu does many things that generally only men are permitted to do

1. Complains that she finds her spouse boring and demands that she be pleased.

2. Goes out and has fun with old friends although she is married and loves her husband. She also calls her best friend her soulmate.

3. Meets visitors wearing a towel.

4. Drinks.

5. Gets away with being unreasonable. [Disagree?]

Lastly I think Kangana Ranaut is the Amitabh Bhachchan or Madhuri Dixit of today – only better.

Do’t believe me? Take a look 🙂

Many of us are going to watch this movie more than once.

Four other recent movies that passed Bechdel Test. 

Margarita with a straw.

Piku

Dum Laga Ke Haisha

Queen

I am optimistic that the success of these movies means that we will continue to see more such works of art.

Related Posts:

Piku in Patriarchy.

Please watch Dum Laga Ke Haisha – where a man is asked to Please adjust and save his marriage.

Please watch Queen. Feels like our country is finally changing.

Shuddh Desi Romance : When Getting Married and Staying Married is not an Indian woman’s life purpose.

So here’s an Indian movie where good women (and others who know them) do not view their lives as ruined because they do not marry the person they were about to marry, or they do not marry the men they sleep with.

The movie also does not (atleast not directly) comment upon the life of one of the main characters, a woman who lives alone, smokes, has had an abortion and has been in more than one relationship. Please watch the movie, not adding any spoilers. 

Amongst one of the many points the movie made, here’s one that struck a chord. Traditionally being what’s considered ‘almost ruined’ (e.g. being widowed very young, broken engagement, being an ‘innocent’ divorcee, being too ugly to find a man to marry, some physical disabilities etc) can sometimes be liberating for Indian women – when there is acceptance that a woman is unlikely to find a Protector and Provider, the family elders decide to let her fend for herself, encouraging her to follow her dreams, be self reliant etc.

What do young Indian men feel? Hrishi, 26 shared his thoughts [link]:

• Not only men but women also have desires, and they look for different things when they check out/look for a partner. While in itself it is not the revealing of a hitherto unknown fact, but the admission of it is deviation from many Bollywood movies.

• Even if a guy and girl just talk, they become Vikram and the rest of the world becomes Vetaal to hound them.

• He can’t understand why people tell him ‘Zyaada mat socho, bus settle ho jaao.’ (Don’t think too much, just settle down) as if ‘Shaadi na hui, glucose/ ICU ho gaya, har chees ka ilaaj’ (As if marriage is like glucose/ ICU which is a treatment for every ail)

• The best part was: ‘saara hindustan settlement karane pe laga hai… saatth saal se do padosi se settlement kara nahi paae bade chaudhary bante hain’ (The whole nation is behind getting settled, they couldn’t settle two neighbors in 60 years but still think of themselves as something great)

Do many other Indian men share these views on the main characters?

Hrishi on Gayatri –  I can understand her having been in a relationship before (even if they were ones where she slept with her boyfriend). I would be miffed on finding out that she had had an abortion, and would wait for sometime for her to bring it up to me, until I couldn’t handle it anymore and ask her about it. You see, I can’t sleep around with my girl friend and then judge her ( in a demeaning way) if she had slept with her previous boy friends as well. About the abortion, I would want to have a talk as to what we need to keep in mind to have safe sex.

While smoking once in a while is understandable, I might not be able to manage a chain smoker. The smell is put off.

Hrishi on Raghu –  At a level I think he is courageous and questions the conditioning family and society have brought upon him. I can relate to him questioning things, and being commitment phobic. However I cannot relate to how quickly Gayatri and Taara wanted to get in a relationship with him.

Is Tara easier to like?

Hrishi: Taara is my favorite character in the movie. While Gayatri is an independent woman as well, Taara shows more presence of mind, an understanding for human emotions, and is the only character who accepts things for what they truly are, so that she can move on. When she is left standing when Raghu runs away, her reaction is to ask for a cold drink instead of breaking down (for which she gives a good reason later).

Whose responsibility are Indian women’s personal lives? (this includes not how they manage their safety, meals and rent, but who they befriend, marry, divorce, live or sleep with)

Hrishi: She says that she alone is responsible for her life, and she doesn’t need help from an uncle who met her only once in the last four years … In fact they were doing this not because they felt for her, but they wanted revenge for themselves.

But,

Hrishi: There  is one thing that didn’t click with me: The three central character are shown as people who don’t have much family ties or are orphans.. I would like to have seen people from the traditional family structure to go through this.. It might lead to stereotyping

I couldn’t help noticing that Raghu couldn’t decide if he should be concerned about the kind of men a future Indian wife, an Air Hostess, had to deal with at work – Raghu had seen (and participated in) single-women-living-alone handling neighbours’ curiosity.

Please share links to your reviews if you have seen, liked or hated the movie 😀

The movie doesn’t pass Bechdel’s Test though.

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Watched the movie because for once, when an Indian husband is being disrespectful in an Indian movie – he is shown  as being disrespectful.

We see characters like Shashi (Sridevi) in Indian movies and TV serials all the time, but we always see them grateful and delighted to be permitted to serve hot coffee to family members while their own coffee goes cold (It’s just a cup of coffee, isn’t it?)

For once a good Indian woman in a feel good Indian movie, is not shown delighted-to-serve-and-obey, she expects to be treated with respect. Like real women, Shashi questions and resents and feels.

“Mard khana banaye to kala hai, aurat banaye to uska farz hai.” (Translatation: When a man cooks, it’s art; when a woman cooks it’s her duty.”)

I think Gauri Shinde manages to ask some tactful questions without offending the traditional Indian viewer.

A must watch.