A few decades ago, Bollywood latched on to certain tropes, and man, did it cling to them. The sort of commitment the Hindi film industry has shown to these stereotypes is rarely seen in this world; but, it’s time we move away from them. Because they are not just problematic but also stupid. Here we make a list of some.
1. A woman is ‘unattractive’ if she wears baggy jeans, rings, and has short hair. So, you want to ‘fix’ her. And how do you do that? By transforming her into bhartiya naari, whose dupatta flies in the air as she walks.
2. Or, if you’re too lazy, just remove her glasses. Boom, she is a new person.
3. Rains are an aphrodisiac and they make people share their secrets.
“I love this guy but the scorching sun is killing me. Oh a rain drop… ab toh usse apni dil ki baat batani hi padegi”. It’s a simple condensation process ma’am, no need to get so senti about it.
4. Want to show that a woman has a ‘bad character’? Make her drink, smoke and abuse. Also, add a little sexual awareness and you’re good to go.
Obviously, she also needs to be fixed, so mid-movie, she realises for no particular reason that she must give up on all this. And then the hero graciously accepts her which is apparently a favour, considering her past.
5. The bad-guy-with-a-good heart trope. He kills people, is a drug mafia, punches random guys – but, but, his heart is pure so the lady just comes running to him.
Occasionally, there is a “maine uska dil dekha hai” speech after which they get married and he goes back to stealing bikes. How nice.
6. Every friend group has an ‘undesirable friend’. This person is great. They are intelligent, informed, sweet, but they happen to know too much about Physics, which immediately puts off the ‘attractive leads’.
The hero will come out of nowhere and hit this person. Or if they are a woman, other women will be mean to them when they are literally the only people in the group passing the exams. I mean…
7. The homosexual man who hits on every guy crossing their path.
Absolutely ridiculous stereotyping of an already marginalised community. Not to mention, most of those heterosexual male characters ‘afraid’ of being hit on by a gay person are not even worth hitting on. But I suppose that’s not the battle we have the time to pick.
8. Lawyers who are always walking a little too fast as their robes fly around. And there is always one whose moral compass is broken. This person (usually male), goes into the court as if it’s his living room and gives 15-minute-speeches as if India doesn’t have hundreds of thousands of cases pending.
In the end, they have a change of heart and promise to walk on the path of truth forever.
9. A scientist in Hindi movies never seems to do any studying. They just punch random buttons on the keyboard and save all of humanity. After facing a lot of underestimation, obviously.
“Humne pata lagaya hai ki prithvi ka axis 2 degree zyaada inclined hai than previously thought“. Kaise?
10. The lost guy who wants to discover himself finds out that it is probably an overrated idea because love is what makes people happy.
This self-discovery comes at the cost of a girl who falls for his emotionally unavailable self. “Kitna bhi try kar lo Bunny, life mein kuch na kuch to chootega hi”.
…Jaise mera self-respect choot gaya hai.
11. The weird doctor who builds-up suspense as if they are being paid by the minute.
This person is oddly invested in the patient’s life and dishes out life lessons also sometimes. “Honi ko kaun taal sakta hai? Kam se kam unhone apni zindagi khushi se bitaayi”. Real-life doctors are told no to do this for 7 seven years.
We can do better than this, Bollywood. Don’t you think?