I watched Garam Masala on DVD yesterday. There is no logic in the movie, yet I would give it 9.5/10. It is funny, completely entertaining and laugh-out funny. This year Akshay should get an award, not Shah Rukh Khan. Rediff review here.
What struck me as I watched the movie, was that I knew how Akshay's relationship would end. He would be three-timing the pretty air-hostesses, living with them, enjoying from a fiancee, as he tells his friends, 'the conveniences of a wife minus the hassles', or as Raymond's dad from Everybody Loves Raymond put it so eloquently, 'all the bagging and none of the nagging'. The flight attendants dress in skimpy Western clothing, live life in the fast lane, change relationships like musical chairs (from Mac to Sam in one night), all the while Akshay's fiancee lives with her old uncle, dresses in shalwar kameez or saris, and forgives Akshay for EVERYTHING in the end.
Indian culture (and on reflection desi culture as a whole) has never gotten out of the medieval era. Different standards are still being applied to men and women. Ram goes off to live in the forest, his wife Sita has to follow him. Ram suspects his wife Sita of an affair with the guy who KIDNAPPED her, and Sita has to prove her chastity by walking on coal. These are straight from old Indian scriptures, and the standards are still being applied today. The air hostesses are being portrayed as sluts (a standard the West used until recent times) while the homely girl 'won' in the end. The only progress I saw was that the family-chosen fiancee was studying to be a doctor. In real life it would have been fair for the fiancee to dump Akshay. If she has held herself to a higher standard, it is her right to expect Akshay to live by those standards as well.
What about Muslim culture? Or even Western culture? I admit both guys and girls ARE expected to live life chastely, but in real life 'guys will be guys' is more suited for guys then girls (hence the expression). At the end of the day, Rahul (from the movie Kuch Kuch Hota Hai - another classic and great movie) still wants to come home to momma with a sari-clad Anjali rather than a skirt-wearing Tina.
PS. I will be attending RIS over the next 2-3 days, so if anyone wants to meetup, email. My main reasons for attending is to review it, and hear from Eric Margolis and Ms. Atalla Shabazz (daughter of Malcolm X).
PS2. Check out the spirited comments in this post.
Tags: Garam Masala Ram and Sita Guys and Girls