Madhuri’s new film kills Bollywood’s ‘patriarchal’ ideals

Bollywood has forever been dominated by male protagonists and masochistic ideals. Regular Hindi cinema-goers associate their movies with the starring male actors in the lead role. Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan and Hritik Roshan are just a few of these names that have made their forte in many a hearts of an avid Bollywood fan. Female leads however are left to rot in the caverns of forgetfulness. The Indian society is afraid of successful women. Not any more!

With the latest offering under the Benaras Productions banner, Madhuri goes all out ‘ninja’ on goons and fights political tyrants played by her co-star Juhi Chawla. This is one of those movies where the male leads don’t require mentions at all. The female leads are sufficient to serve as the power-horse for this production.

‘Gulab Gang’ sees Madhuri as the female Maula Jatt (after all, she holds a ‘danda’ instead of a ‘gandasa’). She commands a bevy of pink-sari clad dames who karate-chop-slap the local goons in check. Similar offerings in recent years, like Lajja, touched on female assemblages against strong men but this movie differs in one aspect. ‘Gulab Gang’ shows the 46-year-old Madhuri kicking butt like never before. See for yourself:

This stark change in cinematic idealism is a direct consequence of the countless reports of rape against women in India. The Bollywood film-makers have come to realise that keeping their female protagonists in the shadows only manages to strengthen the negativities one sees in real lives. As if ‘rape commandos’ and ‘rape-is-good-after-midnight brigades’ weren’t enough.


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