My favorite trailer before the screening of Brothers was for Shaandaar, starring Shahid Kapoor and Alia Bhatt. I know I've gone on record as loathing the rom-com genre but that doesn't mean I don't like fluffy comedic romances when they're done well, as this one seems to likely to be. What I hate about the rom-com genre, in any industry, is the laziness and disdain so often on display. Laziness in execution, in casting, in vision, in storytelling... like, seriously, another self-serious dude-bro who doesn't know what love is? Another career woman who finds out that what she was really missing was a man to take care of? BORING!
But do you know who isn't lazy? SHAHID KAPOOR. And paired with the adorable Alia Bhatt. And with some extra charm from daddy Pankaj. From the team behind Queen. I think we'll be in for a treat.
Watching the trailer for Shaandaar, it made me think about something else that's been on my mind. I've been reading a good book about girls' culture in Japan and one of the points the author raises is that "girls culture" is something that Hollywood has basically ignored in recent decades... despite the fact that the success of movies like Twilight prove that girls and women are desperate for shared cultural products that reflect their fantasies. The author also raises the (VERY IMPORTANT) point that just because girls and women might enjoy a story like Twilight doesn't mean we're taking the relationships in it literally or even that we have to identify with the female lead character. We can enjoy stories without wanting the events in them to happen in real life, you know. Duh. We're not idiots.
So, why does Hollywood ignore women's fantasies in favor of YET MORE STUPID MALE FANTASY SUPERHERO FILMS despite the fact that we are 50% of the population and have money to spend?
Well, Rose McGowan was just on my favorite radio show NPR's On Point with the fabulous Tom Ashbrook and she has a lot to say on the topic of male dominated Hollywood. The biggest point she made was that besides the strangeness of alleged capitalists refusing to provide product to a female audience, the male-dominated Hollywood movies are just... boring. If all the movie writers are upper middle class white men who are told time and again to "write what you know" and what they know is in that closed world of upper middle class white men, well then... we get really boring movies. Which is one of the main reasons I tuned out of Hollywood years ago. They weren't making anything I was interested in.
What is nice about the trailer for Shaandaar is that it looks very much like Shahid and Alia are on equal ground. It may still be a fantasy that a woman and man can meet on equal footing, romantically, but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy watching it.
Long story short. I am looking forward to this one!