The Nawazuddin Siddiqui starrer Ghoomketu came with a lot of expectations. With a star cast like Anurag Kashyap, Ila Arun, Raghuvir Yadav and Brijendra Kala, when this movie released, we were quite excited.
But not only did the film fall completely flat, with a bunch of Whatsapp jokes holding it together. It also gave us an extremely problematic lead, Ghoomketu who enjoyed nothing more than fat-shaming his wife.
Ghoomketu spends a good 20 minutes of the film complaining about how he got married to the wrong woman in a mass-wedding ceremony. He is scared of his wife, Janki Devi played by Ragini Khanna and even jumps on a table on their first night together, as she says, ‘khaane main aur kuch hai kya?‘ Were the viewers expected to laugh at this stereotype?
Every insensitive and problematic dialogue in this film reminds us that it was in fact made in 2014 and failed to release until 2020. Not that these ‘jokes’ were funny even then.
As icing on the cake, after Ghoomketu disappears to Mumbai and returns a month later, his wife has lost a lot of weight and suddenly looks ‘beautiful’ to him. They can’t get out of the room and keep their hands off each other. He even takes her for a ride on his cycle, which she was too ‘heavy’ for before.
Ragini Khanna’s faced is revealed only in the second half of the film, once she’d shed the pounds. So when she is being fat-shamed, we don’t actually know who is under that ghunghat. Because obviously the filmmakers believed that a character who was ‘fat’ wasn’t even worth screen time.
In short, being skinny=acceptance in this film. And though people may say that it was satirical, his opinion did not change till the end of the film. Ghoomketu, and only Ghoomketu has a problem with his wife’s weight, as the family barely mentions it and even treats her well!
We are way past cracking jokes at the expense of how a person looks, aren’t we? It’s 2020 and with influencers and celebrities around the world striving to end the size-zero culture, a film like this only sends us back a decade.
From fat-shaming Sweetu in Kal Ho Na Ho to a random overweight policeman that Varun Dhawan runs away from in Judwaa 2 because fat people can’t run. Sadly, we are still expected to laugh at the expense of someone’s weight.
These filmmakers could learn something from movies like Shaandaar and Dum Lagake Haisha which didn’t make us feel sorry or laugh at the generic ‘fat-woman’ on-screen. Stop adding characters of a large size to your films for the sake of comic relief, because we’re not laughing anymore.