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.

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

Please watch the movie – would love to hear why you loved it so much too.

Spoiler alert? The biggest spoiler I think is feminists liking the movie 🙂

Can’t quite believe we are seeing Indian movies where women are choosing life and happiness. Queen boldly treads where English Vinglish hesitated, and it is an amazing contrast to DDLJ with it’s glorification of Ek Hindustani ladki ki fragile Izzat.

Couldn’t help compare (and contrast) Rani (Kangana Ranaut) with  Simran (Kajol) in DDLJ. While Simran was hysterical when she thought she had lost ‘ek Hindustani ladki ki izzat‘ – this movie is about Rani learning how biased against her life and happiness is the concept of ek Hindustani ladki ki izzat and everything that it controls – the movie is also about a sanskaari Hindustani ladki recognizing the difference between love and control/abuse.

Also, Queen explains what many Indian women mean when they describe their parents as liberal. Rani’s family was liberal in the sense that they did not put patriarchal values above their love for their child, though they did raise her the way (I suppose) everybody else around them seemed to bring up their daughters. Although her grandmother doesn’t tell her there was more to life than men and marriage, her reactions were not conservative either.

Not too long ago, a story like this could only end with a sympathetic man offering to save the eternally grateful woman by marrying her 😦

Although good Indian girls are allowed unconventional choices if they are seen as sort of ruined, [also seen in Shuddh Desi Romance] it’s impossible to miss :

1. Rani says: ‘What happened to me is the same as XYZ uncle, he did not drink, he did not smoke, but still he got cancer. It would have been better for him if he smoked and drank.’

2. Dawns upon Rani: ‘I obeyed by parents, my teachers, my fiance, his parents… in fact I obeyed everybody I could obey.’

3. When he warns her against Mummyji disapproval, she asks the Mr Shravan Kumar to go tell Mummyji.

No guilt or horror, just the realization that it was okay (or awesome) to have learnt and made some sensible and unconventional choices.

4. Loved the flash backs each time she learns how awesome freedom and self reliance was, like when she dances [Good Indian women don’t dance] and when she drives.

5. Also, loved how, like Highway, this movie too shows that all men are not potential rapists.

6. Was glad that aggression and claims of attempting to protect were not passed off as love.

I agree with freebird,

It feels like our country is actually changing. I wouldn’t have expected a film on this subject to be made from mainstream cinema a few years ago, let alone that it would be handled so well. And the average movie-going audience have loved the film – some indication that our country is finally accepting the idea of true liberation. I loved it from start to finish. I was nervous that the film may show Rani to be apologetic at the end (don’t know if you saw Lajja – where somehow Manisha Koirala ‘forgives’ her husband as an ‘adarsh bharatiya nari’ at the end). Totally loved that Rani is not just unapologetic, she actually never gives any kind of explanation to anyone else (I expected one scene where she ‘convinces’ her parents about the path she chose). You don’t need anyone’s approval for your choices – that’s true ‘liberation’ 🙂

– freebird

Another video:

Related Posts:

Kangana Ranaut’s interview.

Ek Hindustani ladki ki Izzat.

English Vinglish: When even good Indian women have feelings.

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

Eleven reasons why I liked Highway.

Hasee toh Phasee : When a Bollywood hero is an Emotional Dhakkan.