Bollywood rained liberation with Gulab Gang and Queen this week’s releases. Perfect clocked just in time for international women’s day. Beautifully embarking the theme woven around the lives two women- contextualizing rural as well as urban settings of lives. It was fascinating sashay, gratifying experience watching both the movies.
When we talk about Gulab Gang, Madhuri as Rajjo and Juhi as Madam Jee (Sumertra) lived up their performances utterly. Rajjo plays the duce in a North Indian village consorting a group of radical women, who live their lives by their rules; they get the knowledge of letters and means of self-protection. Prominent feature is the girls wearing pink, fighting for their rights in the male dominant world with the flying kicks and awesome lathi stunts. Movie focuses on many contemporary issues like domestic violence, girls education, sexual abuses etc. it claims that lathi is the only solution to all the worries of the world (rod is god!).
Juhi’s act deserves kudos, as this was the first time that the sweet innocent chocolate girl steped out of her comfort zone and played negative in the film, and too well for the first attempt. The expressions and gestures of lip chewing and eye- narrowing does the act making her look chesty. Although the movie tries to portray the ills of political system, the grasp seems to be lost towards the end of the film. The lyrical rhythms also couldn't hold the influence post a certain point.
Queen on the other hand is a full-fledged masala entertainer; the subtle hints on the much pressing egresses in the middle class are well limned in the Punjabi drama. Kangana as Rani gets full marks, for impersonating the shy, baffled, disciplined, family-confirming Punjabi girl, who fends herself in Paris and Amsterdam. The realism that she witnesses being on her own in foreign land and the insidious ways of presenting it is worthy of appreciation.
Single girl, who goes on her honeymoon alone, gets drunk, dances on street, stays with three boys, earns her first living and travels ardently. Realizes herself, and acquires decision making skills, experiences her first kiss and relishes the journey for life.
The fact that the issues are identified, Bollywood makes a tremendous stride towards investing in such themes is solemnization in itself. The contemporary cinema with a flavor of social issues marks the beginning of history. The viability of these niche films is the proliferation of sentience all over the country and especially in two tire cities. Majority of the films deal on the social and individual problems elusively which don’t disturb the feel-good factor of the easy-going audience. The new trend is not without a potential risk of being hackneyed over time like its big budget traditional counterpart. Whether it will take on a more sincere, widespread and relevant course of expression remains to be seen. But it has definitely brought a fresh breathing space - more importantly a promise of healthy entertainment by the industry and opportunity of exploration in undiscovered motifs.
The movies lead us on a difficult path of following our conscious, holding our ground, pursuing the dreams and concocting means marking tracks for one self. All we need to substantiate is that:
"The essence of independence has been to think and act according to standards from within, not without: to follow one's own path, not that of the crowd."