Highway, Queen, Ragini MMS 2: Is there anything common in them?

Posted: March 28, 2014 in Movies
Tags: , ,

2014 has been a reasonably good year so far for Indian cinema in terms of box office collections. Starting with a low budget Yariyaan to recent Ragini MMS 2, all have done good business. There is no stopping to producers and financers from minting money and that is why Hindi film industry has enough reasons to celebrate. Going back to my title of this post, what exactly is a common thread between Highway, Queen and Ragini MMS 2? Before all Alia Bhatt fans stone me to death for comparing her movie to Sunny Leone’s movie, let me spill the beans on this one. Apart from the fact that these three movies have done noteworthy business and shown some excellent performances from the lead actors, these movies cleverly dealt with saga of women liberation.

If Highway brought the issue of sexual abuse under the layers of a self-discovery and journey across north India milieu, Queen was a tale of internal misgivings followed by dramatic epiphany towards the end. Now, coming to Ragini MMS 2, I don’t have much to say about the story as it offered nothing more than cheap thrills. However, it cannot be ignored that even it has been shown thumbs up from the Aam Janta, and it –just like Highway and Queen–spoke of women emancipation (though in a sexual way). Is it an indication that Indian audiences are now open to women-centric movies that talk of empowerment, freedom and sexuality? Of course, Yes! And trust me it is a very good sign. Not that we didn’t see women orientated films earlier; films like Dirty Picture and Kahaani boasts of outstanding scripts. But, that was way back in 2011-2012. After that there was a dull silence for a long time. Soon theaters were flooded with multiple cores films and I thought that the judgement of Indian audience is clouded permanently. But, when this year started with the debacle of Jai Ho, I was confident that the era of meaningful cinema is back again.

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Gone are the days when women were only supposed to act coy, dance around the trees and share 5 scenes in a multi starrer film. The success of these three movies is, for me, iconic and epic. To start with, now our minds are gradually conditioned to see free women who live life on their own terms. She is the woman who can take all her decision on her own, including the sexual ones, without fussing over them. She challenges the Indian mindset and breaks out of the mould at every step. She can waylay an ordinary situation with her humour and quick thinking. She doesn’t beat around the bush; she comes straight to the point regarding her needs and thoughts.

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Secondly, we symbolize these movies more with the actresses rather than any A list hero. So, Highway is Alia Bhatt’s film, Queen is Kangna Ranuat’s film and Ragini MMS 2 is promoted completely with the brand name of Sunny Leone. These are feel-good films that make you walk away from the theatre feeling authoritative as a woman. Millions of people flock to Leone’s porn site on a daily basis, but no one has the impudence to come clean on this in public. But, the year 2014 changed every bit of this notion. Now, movie goers are letting their presence register at the theatre unabashedly even for a movie that was touted as India’s first Horrex (Horror+Sex) movie. I am not surprised that Leone’s movie earned 32 Crores in just 5 days, which is even more than the total budget of the film. I am not surprised that Queen is one of those rare movies whose collections kept escalating in the second week instead of dipping down. I am not surprised that despite the absence of any Jhatkas Matkas Highway earned more than what was expected from it. It is certainly a momentous step in the right direction for Hindi cinema.

Thirdly, these movies are encouraging the new as well as the established filmmakers to think out of the box and take a road less travelled. Earlier, armed with sense-deprived clichés, the filmmakers set out to make a so called 100 Crore masala movie that would break all records. But, today, thanks to movies like Highway, Queen, Gulaab Gang, Ragini MMS 2, people are ready to take challenges and pen down thoughts that are filled with ingenuity, strength and has a female protagonist.

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I am sure we will continue to watch the release of many trashy movies in future too, and the fate of creative cinema will trudge up and down the ladder. But at least for now, my intellectual appetite is burping after a hearty meal of good, empowering cinema.

Disclaimer: All photographs used are result of Google search.

 

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Comments
  1. Mancy says:

    Whoa! Kudos to your observation. I can’t comment much since I have not watched any of these movies as of yet. I hope I get to see them soon whenever I can.

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