I watched Badrinath Ki Dulhaniya (starring Alia Bhatt and Varun Dhawan, as you already know) only and only because of two songs- Tamma Tamma and Badri Ki Dulhaniya. Not even halfway into the film, I realised I should have just watched the songs on YouTube.
Not only was the film overtly dramatic (the performances were good, though, keeping in mind the dialect that these actors picked up), but also the crowd that I sat watching the film with was absolutely unruly. Therefore, it contributed exceptionally to my bad experience of the film.
Quite a number of the film’s sequences were drowned in the crowd’s hooting and cheering. The film dragged on and all the sad songs came first, so my wait for the only thing I was looking forward to- the two songs- grew longer.
Among all the things in between, one scene, and how the audience received it, caught my attention- the scene where Varun Dhawan is molested on a deserted street.
While Dhawan was cornered by a pack of masked men leching at him, touching him inappropriately and commenting how his face and lips were so beautiful, the people around me in the theatre burst into a laughter and hooted.
You know why? Because it was a man being abused in the scene. Moreover, the music to accompany the scene was comical in tone. Not only that, after rescuing him from the lechers, Alia Bhatt and her friends try to comfort Dhawan, whose clothes are shredded by that time, while attempting to suppress their laughter. It was especially rather unbecoming of the feminist that Vaidehi Trivedi (Alia Bhatt) is, to laugh at her love interest’s ordeal.
Most certainly (and shame-worthily), the filmmakers wanted to bring laughter out of the viewers too. Only, the viewers didn’t try to suppress it.
Well, I wondered why the abuse of men is not taken seriously in our country and this particular scene made me see why. It’s a funny thing, just laugh it off and get over it because how can a man be raped/molested?
Seriously, had a woman been placed in the same situation, had she been touched and leched at and had her clothes been torn apart, neither the music would have been comical in the least nor anybody would’ve tried to suppress their laughter after rescuing her.
The sexual abuse of men is a fundamental problem that needs to be seriously dealt with in order for our country to move forward in a sphere that’s much more important and primary than great buildings and development- human rights.
Although BKD defeats patriarchy, in the end, it forgets how it played into the hands of the same patriarchy when it showed that the sexual abuse of a man is hilarious because isn’t patriarchy the reason we all believe all men to be macho and sexual abuse-proof?