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Kangana Ranaut as Rani Laxmibai: Violence and society
Cinema and society are intertwined. Bollywood, Hollywood, Kaliwood or any entertainment-wood has now become a part of our lives like cricket and politics. So many of our youth, oldies or even children have one or more film icons in mind when they talk of their ideals.

It's but natural that these icons affect the behaviour and life-styles of multitude. It is professed that cinema or literature reflects society or they're a mirror of society. That doesn't entail that in the name of 'reflection of society' or 'freedom of expression' we're at a liberty to churn out what we want. The films influence several aspects of our lives like what we wear, what kind of hairstyle we get, what brands of gadgets we use, where we holiday and even how we approach potentials love interests. Covering the vast canvass of present existence, should we be free to dish out all evils, vulgarities and nonsense that appeal the shady side of human nature and make easy money? Is there no responsibility of these so-called creative people to see what demoralises, generates chaos or inculcates depravity in immature minds? Is it the cart before the horse syndrome?

Violence had always been the integral part of animal nature and human is no more than a social animal or a refined idiot. That's why we have wars, clashes and sufferings. However, instead of suggesting palliations, analysis and method of control, cure or prevention, if we glorify violence, we're doing a disservice to society.

Once upon a time, I was an avid moviegoer. I would end up watching three to four films a week. In my spare time I would analyse them and try to understand the characters, plots, dialogues, music, frames and study the camera work. I loved Guru Dutt's excellent projection of lights and shades in his films. However, I would leave the theatre half-way if I found a surfeit of violence on screen. I would always ponder about violence in cinema. The pertinent question that haunted was "does violence in films influence society or society inspires a filmmaker to create the violent miasma?"

Very few in the towns and in the country side had access to English movies in India. So, Holly wood is not my cup of tea. However, Bollywood had always minted money on unabashed violence as the block-busters like Sholay, Don, Ghajini, Satya, Vaastav and many more likes set the new box-office records. We learned slowly but surely to appreciate the violent attitude and thought process of angry young man that made Amitabh Bachchan a 'sadi ka mahanayak' from a tall and emaciated poet of Khwaja Ahmad Abbas' 'Saat Hindustani.' I'll not discuss what role he is playing these days. We, as society, graduated from the romanticism of Dilip Kumar, Guru Dutt, Rajendra Kumar and Rajesh Khanna to the 'romance in violence' or the 'violence in romance' of Amitabh, Gabbar Singh, Sanjeev Kumar and Sunny Deol. Violence acted out by these heroes is taken as a sign of strength and courage, something to feel proud about.

Forget about the beautiful picturization of wars in films like Mughl-e-Azam. Our Bollywood is not yet competent to make a genuine war movie.

In the movies packed with local sort of violence, the heroes are often required to kill to win their lovers. Their violent behaviour is cheered by viewers. How and why do Indians, the followers on non-violence, accepted murders and physical brutality in cinema over the depiction of loving individuals? Why did we develop a taste of sharp rapiers making the easy way into abdomens? Why do we love to see the cars and motor cycles being blown high up in the air? Why violence is accepted as one of the biggest forms of entertainment?

Of course we have had violence in real life but those were the isolated and abominating aberrations. No, we were not and still we aren't that violent in real life! I believe that the violence shown on TV and cinema is influencing the innocent life. Movies have inspired and offered ideas on ways to kill or be violent to achieve an unfulfilled ambitions. The 1972 film starring Amitabh Bachchan, Bombay to Goa, inspired three working professionals to break into a safe in a warehouse. They admitted that they saw the film for reference. Even children often like to imitate what they see on television and in films. They cannot differentiate between fact and fiction. The glorification of violence brings back millions to the coffers of these creative beings.

I've had a soft corner for Kangana Ranaut as she is beautiful and has come up a hard way, and I don't approve her increasing closeness to the BJP. However, she is a good and bold actor. Her latestteaser for period drama, Manikarnika that was released on Tuesday was abhorrent to my senses though it got the immediate attention of Bollywood buffs online. With over 10 million views in just 24 hours, the teaser is undoubtedly a big hit. Many thought Ranaut as Rani Laxmi Bai was regal and breathtaking. Her violent looks don't inspire and do any favour to the chivalry of fighter of independence. Even before I readjusted my thoughts about the fine actress and her works, the teaser started began to generate plethora of memes and jokes. One particular scene caught their fancy: it's the one in which a bloodstained Ranaut shows her bloodied face and teeth. While some compared it to a scene from their "root canal surgery", there were also comparisons with Nicholas Cage, Shah Rukh Khan and Lord Voldemort! It was unwelcome.

The film-makers could have been made without those monstrous images.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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