Bollywood movies have a habit of pitting women against each other. And this happens more often than ever when infidelity is involved in the plot. A man may cheat on his wife, but the ‘other woman’ is put on trial, even if she was lied to and cheated into the relationship. This ends with the women hating each other and fighting for the man’s attention. But why? Why do none of these films hold the men responsible for their actions? Why are they always forgiven?
Here are some Bollywood films that are fine examples of what’s going wrong:
1. Biwi No 1
The second half of this movie pitched Sushmita’s character against Karisma’s as they both proved who the ‘perfect biwi’ was. Not to mention that the wife still wanted him back and the girlfriend was portrayed as the ‘vamp’ who was stealing him away from his kids. But did anyone think to blame Salman’s character? For cheating? For abandoning his family? For moving in with his girlfriend? Nope.
2. Gharwali Baharwali
This film from 1998 is more twisted than Game Of Thrones. A married man ‘accidentally’ marries another woman in Nepal and now has a child with her. But his first wife can’t conceive so he decides to adopt the child of his second wife and hires her as the domestic help who’ll raise the kid. What leaves you utterly baffled is the ending, after countless fights between the two women, they decide to forgive the man (who barely even apologised) and just live together, happily ever after.
How did the 90s get away with making these movies? In Judaai, a wife lets another woman marry her husband for money, because she likes the finer things in life and the second wife is terribly rich. But the entire movie revolves around the two fighting over the man, despite the fact that this guy obviously married the second woman, had sex with her, and decided to leave his first wife for her at one point. But does anyone hold him responsible? Nope.
4. Thank You, Mastii & No Entry
All three of these films follow the same trope. The women are fighting for the attention of their husbands, who are being ‘lured’ away by attractive young women. And of course, the husbands are not at fault for they simply fell victims to the attention of ‘characterless’ women. They were all forgiven in the end and went back to their wives who welcomed them with open arms. Eesh.
For once, we’d like to see a film where the man actually pays for what he did and the women don’t hold each other accountable but him instead.