Does 'Raanjhanaa' glorify stalking?
Mumbai Mirror | Jun 29, 2013, 01.06 AM ISTBy Shobhaa De How to be a chick ...And other life lessons from she who knows better
So...everybody is going ga-ga over a movie about a demented stalker
harrowing an innocent victim, and calling it a sweet love story! Excuse
me! 'Raanjhanaa' is such a ridiculously confused film, it really
requires better (and deeper) analysis than the mindless raves it has
While there was something deliriously charming about
the zany 'Tanu weds Manu' made by the same bloke, this one is seriously
psychotic. The problem with 'Raanjhanaa' is in the subliminal message it
sends out. The movie actually glorifies a dangerous social crime
(stalking) and makes a hero out of a man who ruins so many lives because
the girl he loves does not love him back!
What starts off as
an innocent schoolboy crush on a neighbourhood beauty is soon converted
into a full blown obsession that will stop at nothing - not even death.
Dhanush (talented, vaghera-vaghera ...BUT!) is shown hounding poor Sonam
(a commendable performance) in a manner so crude and relentless, it is a
wonder she doesn't push him off the nearest cliff.
does the lovestruck Kundan embarrass Zoya over and over again, he
refuses to take her firm, unambiguous 'no' for an answer. Of course, the
plot goes all over the place trying to convince us about the nobility
of his single minded passion. But wait a minute - the beautiful,
educated Muslim girl simply ain't interested in this scrawny, scruffy,
semi-literate son of the local Hindu priest. Doesn't he get it?
Everybody else does. Not only does he not get it, he refuses to let the
poor girl be.
The rest of the story is just too absurd to merit
further discussion. The main point is that the character of this
psychohero is elevated, romanticized and projected as the ultimate
lover...who will go to any extreme for the girl he has unilaterally
committed his life to. Never mind that she really doesn't care a fig
about him, uses him ruthlessly and generally treats him like a serf.
Wrists are slashed, the girl's fiance attacked and left to die, and
several other highly contrived situations get injected into the script
in order to depict perfect, unconditional love. Bakwas!
Audiences across India are going home teary and touched by Kundan's maha
'sacrifice' in the end. Now, if only Kundan had taken the hint and
stopped harassing Zoya right at the start, so many lives would have been
spared. 'Raanjhana' (I had no clue what the title stood for... I
assumed it was the heroine's name spelt South Indian style), is many
films clumsily rolled into one. The narrative is so scrambled, one
wonders what the director had in mind - is it a doomed Hindu-Muslim love
story significantly set in Varanasi? Or a statement film about student
politics in Delhi?
The first half is about an obsessive,
aggressive stalker harrowing the object of his desire. The second half
is devoted to a half-assed political commentary. Through all this
convoluted mess, Dhanush the Stalker remains crazily focused on
tormenting Sonam and her folks. Is this fair? Is this even love? What
sort of a signal is the film sending out to all those misguided romeos
who think it is perfectly okay to fling acid on a girl's face for having
the gall to reject romantic overtures and improper attention?
Kundan's 'love' is entirely one sided and delusional. We read about
similar stories in the press all the time. In each case, it is the girl
who suffers, through no fault of hers. In the movie, Kundan demolishes
several families when Zoya chooses someone else. Hello? Isn't that her
sole prerogative? Sorry.
The film may gross 200 crores for all I
care. And the actors may walk away with several awards. But
'Raanjhanaa' is a pretty nasty film only because it tries to make a
martyr out of a selfish, immature, violent and unstable man who thinks
nothing of destroying the peace of mind of an innocent victim who
doesn't love him. The 'solutions' offered are to slash your wrists when
things don't work out. Well, at the end of this wretched experience, I
sure as hell was ready to slash mine.
You can write to Shobhaa De at firstname.lastname@example.org
I wanna bang my head after reading this...
Edited by nneeiill - 29 June 2013 at 1:50am