Dangerous Women In Indian Films Are Cinema’s Act Of Rebellion Against An Unjust Society

Manya Ailawadi

We should acknowledge what films can do, and see them for what they are – specifically when there’s more content than there’s time to view it. OTT has significantly changed things, for instance. There is room for genres that we never imagined, and films that may not work for mainstream cinema. In a way, there is something for everyone, which, if we approach it properly in consumption and creation, is a great thing.

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So, in creating something for all types of audiences, we see things that don’t even make sense for the real world. We witness stories that cannot possibly exist in a nation like ours. For instance, for a society like ours, that likes to suppress its women, we do come up with honest representation of the female rage, quite a lot. The trailer for Killer Soup seems like a possible example – with a layered female character who has depths to her – depths that we have hardly witnessed in the past.

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It’s almost aspirational, you know? To get to see emotions that we are made to repress in real life is like a rite of passage. A film like Darlings (which, even if it offended men) did a lot to finally address domestic abuse in all its honesty. Most films would show it as a minor occurrence, to leverage the subject for showing “complexities in a marriage”. Darlings, on the other hand, said it like it is: that abuse is a pattern which needs to be addressed like one. And we must accept that a woman giving her husband a taste of his own medicine was the perfect tool for the story.

With all the hyper-masculinity on and off-screen, watching women take charge, mess up, blurring the lines of morality and just unleashing sheer rage is cathartic. With the possibility of sounding wrong – we do not mean that films should glorify violence or hate crimes. However, if films are already showing violence, let it be diverse and come with repercussions that are real (even if the circumstances are not).

When we see a 7 Khoon Maaf or a Killer Soup, we get to see women as people. It’s like a reminder that even we come with limits like other normal people who get to express. I heard someone say that they’d rather be feared than respected, given the social climate which we live in. This may not hold a high moral ground, but that’s exactly the point. In women being put on a pedestal, we are taken away with space to be ourselves. At least with fear we’ll get to live better lives.

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In a way, it is catharsis because it’s reality that we don’t get to express. It’s escape in literal forms.

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