Thursday, November 15, 2012

watching a devotional movie with the eyes of an atheist

So what makes Jab Tak Hai Jaan's Meera different from the dyed in the wool devoted sati savitris of yesteryear Bollywood? the type that we saw in movies like "jai santoshi maa"..??

The intensely devoted to god with a Pooja ki thaali perennially in her hand 'good girl' of the days gone by has been replaced with a "i don't wanna marry an Indian boy" cigarette smoking, minidress wearing 'businesswoman', but she is still following the 'god will do as i ask if i pray hard enough" motto of any true blue (K)Ekta Kapoor heroine....
She makes bargains with a perpetually surrounded by candles statue of Jesus in a gorgeous London church, but ultimately decides that her love's life is at stake since she broke her promise to daddy and Jesus to marry whoever daddy had chosen for her..

I actually cringed at her dialogue when she told SRK that she had to pray to all gods for his wellbeing since he kept getting into'life threatening' accidents! (and if i start ranting about his f%^&%# accidents thats another whole blogpost)

I guess Meera personifies my own confusion about what 'feminism' and 'strong womanhood' is... and where faith and devotion fits into the convoluted lines of tradition and modernity... is a 'god will provide' attitude an outdated concept? or is making life choices with faith firmly entrenched in your conscience modernity, coz you have a moral validation for your life choices that do after all remain YOUR life choices, notwithstanding the 'god' looking over your shoulders...

She behaves as her daddy and 'society' expects her to, is devoted to god completely, even though she tends to bargain with god, saying that she'd give up chocolates, or cigarettes, or her boyfriend, if god would continue to give her daddy happiness and keep her lover alive. and yet she is strong in her convictions... she goes out whenever she wants, does charity work for the poor and underprivileged every day, falls in love and decides NOT to marry daddy's choice and wait for her love... she is a 'businesswoman', even though we don't ever see her doing anything except looking pretty in tiny dresses(in the London snow no less) and gallivanting around with SRK the 28 year old..

 Heck she's strong enough to deny herself her love, refuse to marry daddy's choice and live the life of a nun coz she choose not to be with the man she loves in order to "keep him alive" as is her last bargain with god...

Shahrukh's 'Samar' is the opposite of Meera's devotion. he constantly challanges god, dares him to do his worst.. He doesn't believe in any divine plans, he doesn't care about god but has his own moral code in which his lover's the sole deity... he only backs down from what he wants not coz its something 'god' decreed, but its what Meera wants... "do this for me" is the line that gets him everytime... even when he rushes to join the army and put himself in front of live ammunition and explosives for breakfast,lunch and dinner... i half expected him to go "aaj khush to bohot hoge tum" when he's arguing with god and the surprisingly aptly named Meera about her choices and his life...

Samar reminds me of Krishna's words in the 12th chapter of the Bhagvadgita... "he who does his duty with complete devotion and aids his fellow man is my favorite, even if he denounces me and refuses to worship me..."

and yet the image of Katrina Kaif holding an arti ka thaal while wearing a little chiffon minidress (which i would LOVE to get) is just so incongruous that i can't figure out what the hell the movie trying to show..

"its not a story of courage, its a story of undying love"... blerrggghhhhhh

...............
on a slightly different note...
I think the depiction of journalists/filmmakers and army personnel in the movie turned my head around so much that i think i'm incapable of  liking it despite the awesome music...
When i heard of an Army Bomb disposal squad with an embedded documentary filmmaker..  THAT is not how i pictured it!!!!!!!! i don't know any 21 year olds who behave the way Anushka Sharma does in the movie... i can't even IMAGINE anyone 'serious' about their work being that unprofessional during a shoot..
and SRK.. i'm officially over the adoration i had for you as a teenager.. even though you've finally given up on trying to play a college kid.
Hamare ishq k waqt nikal chuka hai...
hmph...... 

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