No, this is not a scathing review or self-propelled rant towards any show or film. This editorial is more like a plea for Indian directors to give us the kind of content we deserve.
Piqued with curiosity, I, like many other Amazon Prime users, decided to binge-watch the show called Four More Shots Please, and, as the title of this article suggests, it was disappointing. The premise of the show is exciting enough to garner the initial interest, but the characters fail to make a niche for themselves; they almost feel too caricatured to fit into the Indian variant of the classic Sex and The City storyline. One of the show’s few redeemable features is the female friendship which is devoid of male bashing, but by giving us stock characters that fail to grow out of their stereotypical base, it falls into the category of entertainment which is all gloss on the outset, and thereby, fails to provide us with the real stories we need, and deserve as an
The kind of progressive content that is available to us has always centered around a privileged,
upper-middle class setting that does not resonate deep within most of our psyches. It has
always been surface level talk so far, and only a few features like Lipstick Under my Burkha
have actually delivered the content they promised. Contemporary media would have one believe that functional alcoholism and sexual promiscuity are the defining factors of being “progressive”. Our colonised minds have accepted this as “radical” thinking, and we have
become ignorant of the fact that progressive thinking entails the ability to make this choice for oneself.
Just like an advertisement for a sanitary napkin that shows a clichéd white jeans trope whilst
completely forgetting the reality of periods – where women navigate their daily routines in
sarees alongside religious restrictions that are often imposed by our grandmothers – the content that we as millenials consume is nowhere close to addressing the off-putting, yet important issues that are consciously or unconsciously brushed beneath the carpet.
An incomprehensive portrayal of sensitive issues can often do more harm than not covering it in its entirety – it can create a false image, which is far from reality and gives the idea that such issues only affect people from a certain section of the society, when in actuality, these issues are all-pervasive, and they might affect certain sections more depending on the socio-political situations. The lack of intersectionality has created a mockery of these issues amongst those who need to unlearn and relearn the most about it. Various forms of tokenistic feminism have reduced the importance of issues to a degree from where its damage is irreversible, and hence,
even the “progressive” films do more harm than good.
With hopes riding high on the new release, Ek Ladki Ko Dekha to Aisa Laga, we hope that
directors go the extra mile and do more work than hiring top actors, shooting at exotic locations, and using catchy issues for the sake of it. And as viewers we must say “No, thanks” when tokenism is visible on the surface.
Feature Image Credits: Gulf News