Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Kantara: Bollywood is taking the wrong lessons from the wrong movies


Scene Post Credits:The sensational Kannada film Kantara, directed by Rishab Shetty, celebrates the kind of behavior that ought to be repulsed;another "Hombale Film" that requires a lesson on humility.

At the point when people like Sanjay Dutt and Ranbir Kapoor say that the primary justification for why most Bollywood films have floundered for the current year is on the grounds that they aren't 'established' in Indian culture, they're talking in code.They're not even talking about Bollywood movies; rather, they're talking about how those movies portray masculinity.In addition, despite the fact that it might appear as though they are advocating tales set in villages, they are actually talking about the stern men who rule them.

The film Kantara, in which men with beards race buffalo, harass women, and fight in the mud, is what these people really want, and they say it straight.

This week, Kantara made its debut on Amazon Prime Video—albeit in a slightly altered form—after months of positive reviews.I sat down to watch it, slightly intrigued to find out what all the fuss was about, despite having only seen the striking images of writer-director-star Rishab Shetty's painted face in the promotional materials.But just ten minutes into Kantara, I realized that it wasn't a magic-realist fable set in rural India at all. Instead, it was a toxic KGF clone with a plot that was denser than the forest where its hero lives.

Shiva, portrayed by Shetty, is introduced during a fight scene in the second most irritating film of the year.He shrugs off the mere idea of receiving "permission" and maintains a permanent expression of rage on his face.Clearly, Shiva has a long history of mistrusting the authorities.In his village, he is regarded as somewhat of a troublemaker because he plays by his own rules.He picks a fight with a local forest officer for doing his job and repeatedly molests a woman until she falls in love with him throughout the movie.He is the kind of person you would want to avoid, but for some reason, this movie chose to make him the main character.

You could argue that Shiva is a true representation of what it would be like for an alpha male to live in a Karnataka village in the 1990s.You would be correct.In any case, that isn't the issue, right?Shiva can be as horrible as he wants to be.However, the question of whether the film is at an ideological impasse only arises when it begins to accept his terrible behavior and then rewards him for it.Kantara delays Indian filmmaking by many years.

People like Ranbir Kapoor are rejecting not only the significant progress that mainstream Hindi cinema has made in the last decade, aided in no small part by the sensitive portrayal of masculinity in Kapoor's own films, but they are also undermining the contributions of colleagues who have spent their careers attempting to distance themselves from the industry's problematic past by declaring that Bollywood movies have forgotten what made them special in the first place.

Despite the fact that Bollywood filmmakers are convinced that this is the only thing keeping their films from success, they are desperate to return to this past.They have arrived at this conclusion as a result of witnessing multiple South Indian films grossing millions of dollars in territories where Hindi is spoken, frequently at the expense of major Bollywood films starring pretty people whose single Instagram post would attract more "likes" than audiences for their films.

It's one thing for big-budget films like Pushpa:Rise, RRR, and KGF:Ponniyin Selvan and Chapter 2:They were always meant to make money, but when a movie like Kantara succeeds without even being re-engineered for "pan-Indian" success, you have to stand up and pay attention.You have to ask yourself what draws audiences in and, more importantly, why they keep coming back for more.The Kannada-language film was made with a relatively small budget of Rs 16 crore and has made more than Rs 400 crore thus far.For context, that is roughly three times the total box office of Gangubai Kathiawadi, which was directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali and reportedly cost ten times as much.

We've set the stage for creative doom by treating it like a badge of honor and not pointing out its many flaws.Simply examine the type of behavior it endorses to identify trends.Although Vijay's mother in Deewar was his moral compass in many ways, Shiva's mother in Kantara and Liger's mother in that absurd film are mostly nags. This new wave of Angry Young Man films owes a lot to the 1970s.They are just there, sometimes literally, to "serve" their sons.The typical Indian man may identify with this stereotype.In one Kantara scene, Shiva lashes out at his mother for not making his favorite dish.

He violently pushes Leela away in another scene when she brings him food while he is chained to a tree or something.Leela is an intriguing contextual investigation, incidentally.Shiva pinches her bare stomach without her consent the first time he sees her.He later observes her while she is taking a shower.It appears for a while that the film is about to hold him accountable for his behavior the following morning when Leela and her father come looking for him after he has touched her in an inappropriate manner and appears to be angry at his actions.

But no, it turns out that they had come by for a completely different reason, so Shiva, who was briefly concerned, is exonerated.He smirks as he coerces Leela to squeeze herself between him and her father on his motorcycle, perhaps encouraged by the lack of consequences.It's actually disgusting because the movie knows what you were thinking and chooses to make fun of you for it, even though it wouldn't have done so otherwise.

Films like Kantara, KGF, and Liger not only show a big middle finger to virtually every well-rounded female character created in the last decade, but they are also actively rejecting the millennial concept of masculinity.It is not a problem that Leela is in the movie; however, Leela is a character who barely speaks, has no agency, and exists solely to revolve around Shiva.He explicitly threatens to beat her at one point.She is tertiary supporting person, best case scenario, yet by projecting her as the 'female lead', the film is savagely contaminating the actual significance of those words.It is analogous to a woman receiving a significant promotion in a business setting and then being limited to coffee ordering.

The epic, operatic narrative, anti-caste allegory, and depiction of ancient rituals all resonated with viewers of Kantara.But I saw violence.Kantara isn't clueless, unlike most bad movies.It decides to remain conservative.Another "Hombale Film" with a severe lack of humanity and humility, it is a disgrace centered on dinosaurs.

Catch Daily Highlights In Your Email

* indicates required

Post Top Ad