Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Ten Things I like about "Chak De! India" & More

Here goes:

  1. Kabir Khan's character and acting. SRK truly rocks! Loved his unshaven look too. ;)
  2. The lessons that the 16 girls' characters teach us - anger hurts you more than anyone else; you can come from not knowing English at all and still learn it and succeed in life; you can love your husband and family but don't have to give up your dreams for them; being egoist isn't worth it, and that if you're talented, people will learn to respect you if not right away over time; respect can not be snatched but earned; it is inappropriate to mix professional and personal life; jealousy brings you down; sulking has no benefits; it is better to not marry than to marry someone who doesn't respect you.
  3. The lesson the movie teaches us: anekta mein ekta (unity in diversity) - that no matter how different we are in looks, religion, in the way we think, the language we speak, when we are together we can make a difference, this has a bigger meaning if we want to look at it that way - a message for world peace.
  4. That saari is the most beautiful garment a woman can wear.
  5. If someone does something you don't agree with or don't approve of, there could be reasons behind it. Don't judge anyone to soon. Don't say mean things to anyone. You might regret it later on.
  6. That sports are not a bad thing. Of course, they shouldn't and don't replace education, but they make a great extracurricular activity and if you see talent in your kids, encourage them to pursue it.
  7. Kabir Khan's dialog "aaj ek firangi ko tiranga lehraate dekh raha hoon".
  8. Sukhlalji's character and acting. All through out the film, I was reminded of the 'HUM JEET GAYE!! HUM JEET GAY!!" screams by Ram Singh of Lagaan. And his "rakshason ki sena" dialog about the Hockey team is hilarious. Also, how Bindia confidently tells him they will come home winners, and the way they miss the homemade food he makes. Fantastic!
  9. My other favorites are Soimoi's affirmative "ho" dialogs, Balbir's anger towards everything, Vidya's passion for hockey, Komal & Preeti's fights, Bindia's pride, Rani's encouragement towads Soimoi.
  10. The fight scene at McDonald's. There's more to be said about this last one.

After I read about moments in filmi feminism (the first installment in an occasional series): the restaurant brawl in Chak De! India
and 16 Angry Women today, I had to write this post.

And while I was reading more about this film and this particular scene, I found out that this incident actually happened in real life and the scene was inspired from that:
The scene where they start fighting, happened to us when we were returning from a game in Bangalore, and some boys started passing comments...

To be honest, I find this scene so much more fun to watch than inappropriate for the message it might convey about violence, "not cleaning up after yourselves", "making a mess in someone else's place". It is because it shows triumph, triumph of women over men, that women or not any less than men, that they are not mere objects of entertainment, and that men making lewd remarks towards them should be responded back royally. This scene is an inspiration for women who feel they can not voice their feelings, their humiliation, the disrespect shown to them by those men who think anything goes when it comes to women of my country, who think of women to be lower than themselves, who have no respect for women.

One film where I remember I got really upset while watching was Lajja (2001). I hated some of the scenes in the film but at the end, I realized that it was actually the bitter truth of how women are treated in our society. Also, having a first hand experience of this harassment on trains, on buses, in theaters, in schools, in colleges and practically everywhere we go, every time some woman gives back what these men actually deserve, it gives me a sense of gratification. Sort of happiness that one can never imagine unless they experience it themselves. I say more power to these women!

I felt blessed the day I set my foot in the US. Here there were no boys winking at me while I walked back after school, no boys to ask me out the second time after I refused for the first time, no men staring at me on buses and trains while I traveled, no boys chasing me on their scooters while I rode my bike from that market, no men sitting on their parked vehicles talking about me and laughing while I crossed the road, no strangers asking the kiddie-me to sit in their laps on buses so they can make an attempt to touch me in wrong places, no men to stalk me up to my home, no men to make harassing phone calls to my neighbors or asking their friends to try and get to me. I breathed a sigh of relief. I was able to go out with an all girls group and not be harassed at all even if it was 11 o'clock in the night.

So when I look at these 16 girls beat up those &*%^&^*^$*&^ men, I wanna go "yayyy! go for it girls". My three cheers to you.


Beth Loves Bollywood said...

I loooove your list! Such a fantastic film.

Anonymous said...

I guess that's one of the reasons Indian women do so well in the West and adapt so well, huh? Loved your list!

Pitu said...

You had me at Kabir Khan's unshaven look ;-) hehehe btw loving the new look of the blog!

Kanan said...

Beth, thank you! Yes it is. I've started watching it again last night. :D

Amrita, I think so. It's not just freedom to do what we want, there's that emotional peace of mind that there won't be those hurdles in the way when we are out and about. Thanks. :)

Pitu, totally girl! He looks so dashing with that mustache and beard. *swoon* Thanks. Glad you like the new look, I like it too. :)

Urv said...

Have you seen the movie Miracle?

I had seen it before watching Chak de. So could not appreciate Chak de as much as others did.. Still it was nicely made for an Indian audience.. But as a coach, SRK was no match to Kurt Russell.. Only as a coach..

Kanan said...

Urv, nope, haven't watched Miracle. I agree Kurt Russell is a great actor. I've seen him in Breakdown.. man! some movie that was. Freaky.