At the end of his course last term , he asked us to submit an assigment on his subject ‘Media stereotypes’. We were allowed to choose, for ourselves, the stereotype topic and below, is my assignment, word by word.
The ‘Sensitive’ portrayal of love and rape scenes in bollywood:
Disclaimer: The following presentation is a sarcastic dig at the Indian media (Bollywood, to be more specific) for its stereotypical treatment of portraying love, lust and basically just about everything. The images attached might just want to make the audience give up on watching hindi commercial cinema forever.
Causes that make the innocent, puppy love between hero and heroine change into them wanting to mate at that very instant:
1) The hero and heroine are laughing and playfully chasing one another all over a room, and then ‘accidentally’ fall on the bed. Their faces touch as they get up and they realize a never before love/lust for each other. Hero kisses heroine’s neck, heroine goes mad with frenzy.
2) There’s a wild, wild, wild thunderstorm and ‘frightening’ lightning. Heroine is scared out of her wits and runs towards the hero and hugs him. During this tender embrace, they realize the need to rub each other’s back with a vigour that can, in polite terms can only be described, as extremely aggressive.
The portrayal of love scenes:
1) It’s always a hug. According to Bollywood, all good Indian men and women make love to each other by hugging. Gentle affection is depicted by filming the female protagonist resting her head on her lover’s shoulder whereas scenes which have to convey a deeper physical bonding are shown by aggressive rubbing of counterpart’s backs by the couple and disgusting facial expressions (to show they are losing control) in synchronization. But either way, it has to be shown thru a hug. How, for crying out aloud, can we produce babies by hugging, I wonder.
The copulation scene (or, what actually immediately follows the hugging scene):
Pollinating flowers :
For some funny reason, flowers decide to show affection to one another , i.e they start pollinating, when lovers hug . Soft lilting music in the background, and roses vibrating on their axes is the most common Bollywood portrayal for indicating that ‘love is in the air’. The two lovers would have just started hugging and getting intimate, and suddenly the scene would change over to two flowers swaying left, right, helter skelter, nodding their little heads as if to mark approval of this ‘sacrosanct’ act. Sometimes, when flowers are not available, a vigorously shaking bush would suit just as fine to portray physical affection between the protagonists.
The hero and heroine were travelling in a car which has now broken down in the middle of nowhere. It’s raining cats, dogs and hippopotamuses. They spot a dark bungalow and decide to take refuge for the night. Once inside, the heroine (as usual) is feeling scared and cold, so macho man lights up a fire in the fireplace provided (how convenient!). Love sprouts all of a sudden and the protagonists move to hug each other. As soon as they start hugging, the camera moves to the roaring fire blazing ‘happily’.
The hero is in a playful mood. He teases the heroine and ‘mischievously’ kisses her. The heroine (as usual) is scared out of her wits, this time because, “Rahul, what are you doing? Everyone’s here. Someone might see us”. But then, swayed by emotions, she lets the buffoon hug her. Camera shot moves from the protagonists to a wall, where a baby’s photo is staring back at the audience. The baby usually has a finger on his mouth, asking the audience to keep shhh about the deed.
Author’s observation: I have a strong suspicion that it’s the same baby that’s being used for all these films right from the 1920’s. The fellow must be at least eighty by now, and quite frankly speaking, pretty irritated for having to shhh the audience for ‘centuries.
The hero and heroine are in their bedroom. They feel the urge to touch each other and lie down on the bed. For some reason, they never lie with their heads on the same side as the night lamp placed next to the bed. All the male lead stars in Bollywood must have been skilled footballers in their heyday, as none of them, not even one, ever use their hands to switch off the night lamp. What? Of course the two can touch each other only when the lights are off!!!! Hero skillfully, without once removing his gaze from the heroine’s face, uses his toe to switch off the lamp, and buries his stupid head in her neck. The camera moves to the ceiling fan in the room, which wants to make out too, so it shows off in front of the tube light by rotating at top speed.
The act though thoroughly heinous in nature, is mostly shown in strange and often bemusing ways. The ‘bad’ guy is always fixated with the sleeves of the heroine’s dress. The author would like to keep his hand on the Gita (the book, you perverts!) and swear that bollywood villains get turned on only when they tear off the victim’s sleeves. Also, till this stage, the heroine is not too scared. I mean, she is not exactly humming happy tunes to herself but she’s still composed. But as soon as the bad guy reaches upto her and rips those sleeves, she finally concludes that uh oh, this must mean he’s gonna rape me, and starts crying hysterically. With all her might. (Or maybe the dress was expensive and she is terribly angry that he tore it!!)
An essential ‘prop’ for a rape scene is heavy lightning. The scene alternates between the villain savagely ttacking the heroine’s neck and lightning in the heavenly skies. For some reason, it never rains.
p.s 1) Mathew Sir is yet to check my assignment. Think he’ll gimme a good grade?
p.s 2) Someone shoot the guy who is charge of the “lightning” prop. Those “lightnings” are as artificial as artificial could be.