New Film, New Protest!
Rani Mukerji is back in khaki as Shivani Roy in the second installment of ‘Mardaani’. The trailer is already trending in India.
However, as has become precedence for any mainstream Bollywood movie, the army of offended people was quick to register their disdain. This time the offended party is the citizens of Kota. They have accused the movie-makers of maligning the name of their good city.
What Did The Trailer Reveal?
The trailer begins with the words-
“More than 2000 rape crimes are committed by boys under 18 years in India every year.”
The opening shot has a woman asking for a lift and thereby becoming an unfortunate victim who is brutally assaulted and murdered. The storyline suggests that a serial killer is on the loose, who is wreaking havoc in the city. He continuously taunts the police officer Shivani who has been handed the responsibility to catch him.
What Is Bothering The Kota Citizens?
According to the protestors, the movie depicts their city in a bad light and hence they decided to take some action against it. They met with Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, who is also an MP from Kota, to register their vexation.
The protesters claim that the film presents an unfavorable image of the city and it might dissuade people from coming to Kota for studies.
Kota has built a successful educational empire, so it fears the loss of its business due to such negative publicity. They have asked the makers to remove the name ‘Kota’ from the film.
Are there no cases of rapes and murders registered in Kota?
Such violent and heinous acts take place everywhere in India and that’s what the movie is portraying. It isn’t targeting Kota specifically.
Other Movies With Such Drama
The 2016 film ‘Udta Punjab‘ was also objected by some politicians as they felt that the movie might impact the results of elections.
According to them, the drug problem addressed in the movie was an attack against the administration of Punjab. They wanted the movie to be based on some fictional land without any mention of Punjab.
Recently, the Afghan Embassy raised objected against the portrayal of Ahmed Shah Abdali in the upcoming movie ‘Panipat‘.
The moviegoers have become tired of such tactics. I find it a bit ridiculous that the city that boasts of shaping the intelligent minds of the country can’t grasp the concept of a movie being a ‘fictional thriller’. Maybe they need to read H.G. Wells and Agatha Christie along with H.C.Verma.
Kota Factory, a web-series by TVF, garnered a lot of praise for its portrayal of the hardships that the students face. They leave their nest and go to Kota to ensure their future by preparing for various competitive exams.
The series attacked the culture and prevalence of coaching, the very thing that makes the city so distinctive and special. However, no one was offended by this 2019 series. So, why this outrage over ‘Mardaani‘?
TVF has a loyal fan base, but the fans are mostly the YouTube enthusiasts of the millennial generation. The movie Mardaani, however, is being helmed by an established actor who has been popular for more than 2 decades.
Furthermore, a successful and well-reputed production house, YRF studios financing the film creates more buzz for the film and everything associated with it.
It seems to me that people took the protest of Karni Sena over the movie Padmavat as an example of gaining instant popularity and remaining in the news cycle for weeks. The members of Karni Sena were invited to debate over various matters on TV channels months after the Padmavat controversy was already over.
The incident made their name recognizable.
So, the formula for making headlines is to just attach your name with some up-and-coming movie and make ridiculous demands.
What So Special About The movie?
There are only a few movies in Bollywood that center around strong female protagonists. John Abraham, Akshay Kumar, and Salman Khan are the default hire for any cop roles.
So it was a breath of fresh air to see Rani Mukerji beating the goons and kicking ass. It is also not common to see a woman above 40 playing anything other than the supporting character of a mother or sister in the movie.
And finally, the storyline of the movie is most relevant in present times. News agencies report a new rape crime every other day.
The incident shown in the film is fictional. People of Kota should be more worried about how their prestigious coaching institutions kill the spirit of young people, something they can’t even claim is fabricated.
Do you think the film shouldn’t have used the back-drop of Kota?
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