Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Rani's gonna get'ya.

You, guys!! It's like she read my post yesterday and was like, "I CAN TOP THAT!"

Because, you know, as much as I love Vidya, there is something that just feels very bland in the Bobby Jasoos trailer. "Bobby" comes across as "girlish," unthreatening. She's cute but…

Mardaani is something else all together. Shivani Shivaji Roy is no girl; she's a woman and she's going to kick you in the face if you give her any lip.

I'm just blown away by this trailer.

I mean, first of all, I don't think it's unfair to assume that "actress in women-centered film about sex slavery," would usually mean "actress playing beaten down woman trapped in sex slavery, with item." How many times has Rani played a prostitute? A nautch girl? A woman enslaved?


She's playing the cop taking down the bad guys!!!

Second of all, Rani is playing a cop who--and this is important--actually looks physically capable of taking down bad guys.

Rani looks a) amazingly sexy but also b) really solid. She's not "fat," she just looks like she's got the kind of muscles that you get by doing real grunt work, not from spending hours in the gym to have a slender waist. This is the REAL Mary Kom build. Strong, solid, and tough as nails.

Rani may be short and she may be female but that doesn't mean she must forever be "cute."

I stand about 5'9" (175cm) and I'm very sturdily built. (You don't even know HOW many books I can carry. Hint: it's a lot.) So, there have only been a few times I've felt nervous or physically threatened in the presence of men. But I do have a handful of very short, Rani-size, female friends and the stories I've heard from them about they just feel overwhelmed on a daily basis, knowing that almost any man could overpower them physically… it's scary. It's scary they have to feel that way. And it's awful that they don't get taken seriously because they're short and "cute."

That's why I think it's SO AMAZING to see the 160cm tall Rani just wailing on these dudes. It's… empowering. That a woman can have the physical strength to fight back.

I'm going to give a quick shout-out to Akshay Kumar, too. Because he has taken up this cause over the last couple years… getting WOMEN in martial arts training and self-defense classes. Breaking stereotypes about what women can do and should do. That our bodies are tools, not just for looking pretty or keeping "pure" or whatever. We can also use them to kick bad guys in the face. Even if we only stand 160cm tall. *BAM*

But I'll let Rani have the final word:

"This film is extremely close to us. It is the way of awakening the spirit of 'Mardaani'. At young age I got to know about Rani of Jhansi and how strong she was. And strong doesn't mean in terms of physicality, but in spirit. We women are descendants of Shakti. Through this film we are talking about the inner strength of women so that no one takes undue advantage of them," she said.

ETA: What I'm trying to say is that if post-marriage Rani turns away from romance to become the Malashri of Bombay, I am 100% for that.


odadune said...

I get what you're saying about Bobby Jasoos, but what I like about its aspirations is the idea of a "cost mystery" empowerment fantasy. There definitely should be films like that made today, not just in India but in the west as well. Mardaani... I like Rani in the trailer, and yes it's good that they're trying tackle a serious issue like sex trafficking. But the way they handle it in the trailer, with so much footage of the girls being stripped, and beating us over the head with the one rape scene...yeesh. Apparently I'm the only one on the internet who feels that way, so maybe I am misreading stuff that is meant to be uncomfortable to watch in a nonprurient way.

Also, thanks for reminding me of one of Akki's more positive and admirable kind of annoyed with the news coming out of one of his projects right now.

Jess said...

Odadune, which Akki project--he makes a billion every year so I always forget. Are you talking about the Kriti Sanon casting?

odadune said...

Oops should be "cosy mystery" not cost mystery. Hate autocorrect.

Jess: lol yeah, can't keep 'em straight without a scorecard, or a spreadsheet. I'm not wild about Kriti being in Singh is Bling, but I am more put off by the announcement that it will be shot all over Africa (unfortunate racial stereotyping ahoy!)

Filmi Girl said...

@odadune Part of what I liked was how the "raped girls" narrative gets flipped. It's like… usually in a "woman-centered" film about child trafficking, you'd see tons of that almost pornographic suffering of the heroine but here… they show it and then *bam* cut to Rani with a gun. And the rest of the trailer is her running around beating goondas. I saw it as a deliberate flipping of the narrative from passive-suffering to active-problem solving.

But re Africa… well, he does it out of love, which is more than one can say for that horrific Adam Sandler movie that just came out. Yeesh.

odadune said...

FG: That makes sense, and I do love to see Rani Hulk Out :)

Yeah, there's no malice in what Akshay does in that dep't. Dude just doesn't know any better, and nobody around him seems equipped to teach him. I haven't seen the Sandler film but I have no trouble believing it's horrific. :/

Note from Filmi Girl:

I love Bollywood - and all the ridiculous things that happen in Bollywood - but it doesn't mean that I can't occasionally make fun of various celebrities and films.

If you don't like my sense of humor, please just move on by - Trolls are not appreciated and nasty comments will be deleted.

xoxo Filmi Girl
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