The new focus of cinema on women’s sexuality is much needed in today’s time. Read further to segregate out the misogynistic films from your to-watch list.

Most of us have grown up watching movies like Dhamaal, Munna Bhai MBBS, or Rock On!. They’re all fantastic movies, no doubt about that, comprising a huge part of our childhood. But when you look closely, most of these blockbuster films portrayed women either of submissive characters or merely as a dancer; an object of men’s satisfaction. If not that, in movies like Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, or even Lagaan for that matter, women are resorted to their typical familial roles in society- as a mother, a daughter or a wife.

The biggest example can be seen in the ageless movie, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge. The stereotypical roles played by Kajol and Farida Jalal are evidence to Indian audience only being appealed by submissive characters among women. Kabir Singh would be yet another present-day example of a “successful” movie with a plot glorifying one of the most misogynistic lead characters in Bollywood.

Regardless of these commercial films, Bollywood has also presented a platform for cinema to attack gender stereotypes and give a louder voice to the women in India. Movies like Lipstick Under My Burkha, Lust Stories, and Parched follow the lives of different women across the country, depicting their sexual lives or lack thereof. They reflect on the kink residing within women and portray their sexual desires as normal and not-so-dirty.

Caption: Few movies that represent female sexuality without a perverse glance. Credits: The Wire
Image Caption: Few movies that represent female sexuality without a perverse glance.
Image Credits: The Wire


Women’s sexuality is often overlooked in Indian cinema, or simply portrayed as “dirty”. Any woman expressing the slightest hint of lust is viewed as a woman of “loose morals”. However, a man’s sexual urges are seen as his “biological needs”. The aforementioned movies give a more decent expression of these desires within women, intending to normalise the same.

Angry Indian Goddesses is another such movie portraying a diverse set of strong, independent women coming together for a bachelorette party in Goa, while talking about sex, their lives and their sexual lives. It depicts women in solidarity and strength rather than as rivals. They allow their courage to lead them through the path of freedom in search of true happiness.

However, these movies do not tend to do so well commercially because this isn’t the plot that “sells”. Movies like Unfreedom, Margarita With a Straw, Ek Ladki ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga, and Super Deluxe are not so popular among the general audience, observing low box-office returns. Clearly, the audience of India doesn’t wish to see women in control of their desires and want them to submit to patriarchy- in society and in their sexualities.

Feature Image Credits: Book My Show

Aditi Gutgutia
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RATING – 2.5/5


The Dirty Picture

Raunchy? Yes! Bold? Very! Good? No!

Milan Luthria’s The Dirty Picture, is easily one of the boldest films you have seen recently. But how I wish it could have been ‘one of the best’.

It is very clear after watching the film that the makers’ foremost priority was to shock you. So in the first half you see Silk (Vidya) do all the raunchy moves, which are received by tons of seetis from the audience. The jaw dropping dialogues bring out the laughter and Silk does all that she can to satisfy those who are lured in solely by the promise of skin-show. And obviously they are unlikely to complain.

But the filmmakers could not quiet succeed in making an emotional drama that it could have been, rather, should have been. With the sole focus being on sex, the writers failed to weave a captivating screenplay. Forget this, when Silk (Balan) commits suicide in the end, it doesn’t give you a shock or a tear; it gives you a huge relief as you see the exit gates open.

Reshma, a village girl enters Madras, in order to chase her dreams, and gives it all to become a star. Not afraid to expose and compromise, she impresses all with her guts and later on becomes a siren in the South film industry. Along the way, she gets entangled in three love affairs, all unsuccessful, and receives ample hatred for doing the bold and vulgar films from the society. And as good times bid her farewell, she lays in the bed she made for herself.

With the plot being extremely predictable, what was required was a tight script which besides entertaining helps the viewer to relate with the protagonist. But here, what is served is only ‘entertainment entertainment entertainment’. While the first half is genuinely funny, engaging and shocking, it’s the film’s latter half that gives your back an uncalled-for ache.

The film is made watchable, thanks to its two stars, the ‘dirty’ dialogues and the ‘boombat’ Balan. While the dialogues are wonderfully and astutely penned by Rajat Arora, Vidya Balan is impossible to describe in a word. It’s hard to imagine who else could have gathered the guts to carry such a herculean role with such perfection. She is absolutely spectacular and, in short, is the ‘hero’ of the film.

Of the male actors, Naseeruddin Shah creates a major impact. He is exceptional and entertaining as a middle-aged South superstar and a Casanova. Both Emraan Hashmi and Tusshar are first rate, the former obviously with a better role.

Vishal Shekhar’s music is decent to say the least. ‘Ooh la la’ is a definite chartbuster; other songs though hummable, seem to be unnecessarily forced in the narrative.

Milan Luthria deserves to be appreciated for conceptualizing such a bold film but a little more effort in the writing and the end result could have been much better.

I am going with 2 stars for the film and an additional half for Vidya Balan, making it 2 and a half for The Dirty Picture. Silk certainly tries hard to make up for the flaws, but it isn’t enough to make it a ‘lovely’ picture.  If you are looking for just the shock value, this average fair may not disappoint you!

Chaitanya Sharma
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1. Use the loos at Barista/CCD/Whatever Random Coffeehouse Bagged That Prime Real Estate Near Your College. In the event that you start feeling guilty about the fact that you’re using their facilities without buying anything, remember this: they’re charging you 50 bucks for a cup of coffee with cream.

2. In the likely event that the urinals in your college don’t have partitions (or had partitions that were stolen and sold off in the lucrative granite chor bazaar) remember to follow the ancient Code of the Samurai with the Small Bladder: Rule 1: Look straight ahead. Rule 2: Look STRAIGHT ahead. Rule 3: This never happened.

3. Hold it in and distract yourself by fantasizing about Jessica Alba/George Clooney/ Both if you’re into that kind of stuff. Alternatively you can perform certain exercises involving stamping feet and pumping hands if you don’t mind the entire class thinking you have an epileptic fit.

4. You can train yourself using a combination of Zen meditation and Israeli military training to only have to go once between solar eclipses. This may or may not involve a 3 year coma, but it’ll be hard to distinguish from actually sitting through a history class.

5. You can use a number of drugs to trick your body into believing that it has no larger intestine. This may result in a few unpleasant side-effects such as your lungs turning into jelly but that’s just one of the hundreds of the trade offs you have to make in life.