Sallu Bhai Is Back In A Indo-Paki Love Story ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’

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Bajrangi Bhaijaan” is an upcoming Indian commercial movie-drama film directed by Kabir Khan, and produced by Salman Khan, who is the actor himself and Rockline Venkatesh. Others who feature in lead roles are Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Kareena Kapoor.

The film is slated for a scheduled worldwide release on 17 July 2015 during the Eid weekend.

The story plot revolves around a young speech-impaired girl from Pakistan who suddenly finds herself lost in India with no inkling about how to return back home.

For a Sallu bhai’s “Being Human” fan, the story-plot seems dreamlike, brilliant, fantabulous, epic, but for me, a neutral reader of pop culture movies, I drink from the glass of cynicism and try to see through my microscopic glasses because even a tiny stain from the movies reeks of boredom for me.

Reasons, I will sadly say, are many for rejecting the movie as a mainstream failure. Though box-office might crawl and jump with elated sounds of minting money, I will rather stop from venturing further and laugh at the bhai-halo circling a billion fool fans. Read them if you are a Sallu-fan to criticize me, non-Sallu-fan to agree blindly, a film critic to sit and wonder and add some more meaningful meats for me to wallow with interesting agreements.

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I won’t BE(ing) HUMAN if I watch this:

The logic of finding Nawazuddin Siddiqui to play in a popular commercial movie such as this is beyond me. Siddiqui Saab (because I respect him much), who orchestrated a very brilliant supporting portrayal in the epistolary romantic film, The Lunchbox, had to do a movie that has no strong storyline is what baffles me to no end. Salman earns his moolah by making movies for Chetan fans who gladly lap whatever given on plate. Considering Kabir Khan started his career from being a documentary maker, it’s shocking or rather, I am appalled to find him bow down to making only commercially viable story lines.

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Saffronization: Over doze of Ekta Kapoor’s Hinduism

In a typically numerology blessed K-K-K serial, we observe any protagonist, be it a helpless female damsel or a stripling handsome hunk with folded hands praying in front of a temple and promising to complete some unfinished business in some distant future. And not surprisingly, considering the 1000 successful run of the Ekta shows in Indian households, they are still under the spell of wanting to accept the scenic picturesque ideal enactment of the character’s divine connection with the Omnipresent and the Omnipotent-and a magical earthy device such as the mace-locket (gada) around the manly and sexy neck of Salman as a superstitious reclamation.  Not even months ago, another Khan tried to attack the religious-superstition in PK which is reinforced in this film, sadly.

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What’s in a name, you ask?

The title of the movie is taken to be “Bajrangi Bhaijaan”. Now, let’s break Bajrangi in meaningful small units to understand better. Since Bajrangi in the title song is also alluded to Bajrangbali, hence, we can practically make this break up  as follows:

Vajr = diamond,

ang = body parts,

bali = person with strength.

What we understand is that Hanuman`s body is as strong and shining like a diamond.  And we have to understand that, often V is pronounced as B. Hence, the motive of the filmmakers is to summarise the name of the movie in such a cunning way that it is able to squeeze the entire meaning of the movie in a two line seemingly-harmless grammar.

Understandably, Salman with the name Bajrangi Bhaijaan, is seen more as a metaphor for the Hindu monkey God, Hanuman, powerful and a great bhakt of Ram, a Brahmanical Hindu product.

Now, Bhai is a Hindi term while jaan if added to it to give a colouring of Urdu. Bhaijaan, means a respectful elder brother. The name of the movie itself, when understood in details boils down to bring out the hidden connotation of applying it as a movie based on the same age-old Bollywood-ish theme of overtly protective elder brother. And the trailer screams of exactly this revelation. Salman plays the elder brother to a little girl in the movie and he ensures that she doesn’t come to harm at all.

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Hindu/Indian Supremacist Movie

The whole world sniggers and laughs at the enemy of two brothers at draggers drawn. And India and Pakistan, as usual are acting as if they know nothing. And when there is a war (Kargil) or a Match (IPL/ Cricket/ Football), the world enjoys the bitter enmity that gets played out in open. And that includes Lollywood, (the unofficial nickname of the Pakistani film industry) and our own Bollywood.

If you observe carefully, most of the times, when any narrative about Pakistan gets a mention in Indian movies it’s usually always about a war with the other country. The hatred between these separated at ‘kumbh ka mela’ bhais is utterly revolting. Even in the hugely popular- another Eid release of Salman- “Ek Tha Tiger”, the theme veered towards a critical overhaul of the fictitious Pakistani ISI agency. Elaborating on the issue, the vice-chairman of the Pakistan censor board, Muhammed Ashraf Gondal said, “We have a strict criterion due to which films that have themes that touch on anti-terrorism and are against Pakistan’s national institutions or security agencies ultimately have to be censored because they are against the national interest.” Even the flopped Saif Ali Khan starrer “Agent Vinod” thrashed the image of Pakistan by dubbing its ISI as anti-India. Interesting to note- Muslim actors playing Hindu roles to bash a Muslim country; and India being shown as superior to Pakistan as a more accomplished and civilized and developed country. Bajrangi as Hinduism and the little girl as Islam, metaphorically, is not difficult to understand. Islam needs the helping hand of Hinduism to be saved.

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The Patriarchal preference for hypergamy

In any Indian society where patriarchy rules the roost, it’s a natural occurrence that hypergamy is followed to the hilt. By hypergamy, one can understand the Indian mentality to opt for choosing to want to look for upper social mobility, either caste-wise by marriage or class-wise by occupation. In India, people quiver from the thought of hypogamy, the opposite of hypergamy, and hence, it’s quite natural to observe the prevalent practice to follow this dictum to feel superior. And sadly, women are made to be a tool or a vessel for the idea of social mobility to occur. Be it Paro’s mother getting her married to a Zamindari family to belittle the status of hereditary zamindar Devdas’s family. Here, Paro (Aishhwarya) is sealed off as a good to uplift the plight of her family status. Just like maligning Saniya Mirza cheered the sick Indians who felt it as an insult to Pakistan’s daughter-in-law women have always been subjected to.

Even in the movie, Pavan Kumar Chaturvedi (Bajrangi Bhaijaan), saving the little girl from warm and practically shipping her off to her country back is as simple as returning the “lajja” to Pakistan back. Being the epitome of a savior, a staunch Hindu hero tries to give an edge of superiority to the orthodox Brahmanical Hindus back home as opposed to Jodha Akbar, where the male Muslim played the politics of hypergamy. In simple words, women as a whole belong to a weaker section and need to be taken care of by a “MARD” (#FarhanAkhtarMARDCampaign). The same theme played by another Khan, the chota Badshaah of Bollywood, King Khan- Shahrukh Khan (SRK) IN “Veer-Zara”(2004) where he, as Squadron Leader Veer Pratap Singh rescues Zaara, a helpless Pakistani woman. He is a pilot in the Indian air force.

Any movie, for that matter, that has a slight iota of mention of the two countries is bound to be biased in one way or the other. Though, the protagonists promise a very different treatment than the traditional Indo-Pak movies, it has been found to be a likely false claim. Not that it’s a direct bashing of Pakistan, but it’s done at a particular psychological stage. True, there’s no war in the movie, but behind the facade of love and harmony, lies the dangerous face of Hinduism and Supremacist Indians. The rigid religious inclinations of a staunch and orthodox Hindu is slightly touched upon as well as the Pakistani terrorism. Just like his earlier movie Kick, Salman tried to play with the sentiments of Indians with no deep story plot and loads of cute innocent helpless children. On top of that, highly illogical and stupid track recordings such as “Selfie Le Le Re” and “Chicken Song”-  which are sure to get on my nerves- I hope the saving grace might be Nawazuddin Siddiqui.

 

 

Asp Auplish

Image Source: The Viewspaper

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