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Portrayal Of Women In Indian Cinema
Transcript of Portrayal Of Women In Indian Cinema
Portrayal Of Women In Indian Cinema
In the journey of 100 years, Indian cinema has come a long way and so the women character. Showing many shades, the portrayal of women not only touched the lives of the audiences but also showcased the strength, beauty and complexity that define a woman.
From the very first film, Raja Harishchandra – which had no female actors – to the modern day, it has not been an easy ride.
In the present day, the typical Indian woman, item number and individualism share an almost symbiotic relationship. These three ingredients have become the major part of Indian cinema. Gone are the days when stories were written about the shy village girls or the ethical beauty, these are the times for rebellious lovers and bold and confident business women who rule the roost.
Evolution Of Female Lead Roles
Each phase of Hindi cinema had its own representation of women, but they were confined largely to the traditional, patriarchal framework of the Indian society.
Type Of Roles
This is in deep contrast to movies like Nayak , Deewar , Sholay , Krissh , Lakshya, Singham that have strong male characters as protagonists and celebrate men in the roles of alpha males who triumph over social and political evils, and achieve their goals independently. This stark contrast delivers a message to the society which essentially declares that women can never be equal to men, either socially, or politically.
Effects of Portrayal Of Women in Media on the masses
Indians subconsciously or consciously believe that movies are a reflection of the Indian society.
For so long, Indian cinema was undoubtedly male dominated.
Larger than life roles
Earlier, they used to portray larger than life characters. They rather than being depicted as normal human beings were elevated to a higher position of being ideal and who can commit no wrong.
In Decorative Capacity
The Present Trend
Things have actually gone downhill since the golden era of the sixties which had great films with such beautiful portrayals of women. But during the eighties, it went downhill as women were usually objectified and shown as props in the film. But the industry became male-dominated through the nineties and even now, to an extent, with the item song culture.
However, as India is more inclined towards a masculine and a conservative culture,the major commercial hits are always the ones with men in lead roles and if a woman is the main protagonist the movies are not commercially successful even though they are critically acclaimed.
A factor common to all regional industries and Bollywood is the unrealistic and stereotyped portrayal of women
Indian cinema has produced various mainstream women centric films that have featured women’s social issues
and their social and sexual abuse( PAGE3, 7 khoon maaf).They have been critically acclaimed and feature women as the main protagonists in the movie.
The heroine in a typical Bollywood movie is never shown as an individual with intellect. Her ideas and thoughts pertaining to anything other than romance or family are not portrayed.
The concept of a ‘good’ women one who stays and takes care of her family while a bad woman is one who go out of the institution of family and tries to make life of her own. This has had a regressive impact on the society.
Unrealistic expectations by men of how women should look or behave.
Women of average or normal appearance feeling inadequate or less beautiful in comparison to the overwhelming use of extraordinarily attractive women.
Psychological disorders such as body dysmorphic disorder, anorexia, bulimia and so on.
Increase in the likelihood and acceptance of sexual violence. Objectification theory suggests both direct and indirect consequences of objectification to women.
The portrayal of women in cinema is slowly becoming real, no longer a figment of imagination.
The veteran filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt said on the occasion of the International Women’s Day, “In India, we can’t make sweeping statements claiming that the portrayal of women in Bollywood has progressed or regressed. As a director, I have always made films giving the women center stage. Conservatives and vested groups have often claimed that the women in my recent films have been scantily clad or are overtly sexual. However, they can’t deny that the women in my films have been in charge of their own destiny. Now women can live life with dignity, without relying on a man for support. At the same time, it made Shabana a national icon. Another person who embodies the new Indian woman is Vidya Balan.”