Ms. Representation: What I dream for women in the cinema of 2018
This weekly column is a rumination on how women are portrayed in cinema, and this week it is about what the author hopes for from Indian cinema next year
This has been an exhilarating year for me as a lover of cinema. Unadulterated lover of Kollywood, Tollywood, Mollywoood, Sandalwood, Hollywood and what not… The woods are indeed lovely. This beautiful column allowed me to watch one film a week. And record my thoughts as a feminist lover of commercial cinema. It’s not exactly a match made in heaven. But once in a while, we strike on target and then it’s just pure magic.
For the year ahead, for all the woods, I have a wishlist. And that, I would like to be my column this week:
- Three words make the world go ‘round you guys. Three words. Agency. Agency. Agency. Please for the love of God, remember even if you make up this woman as a writer in the world of cinema – what makes a woman relatable is her ability to make decisions. However small their roles may be. Or bad. So long as she's making them, we are good with it.
- Believe in her. From Tumhari Sulu to Fukrey Returns to Aruvi, women who are believed in by those who are writing them to those who are playing them, have paid off really well this year. There needs to be a fundamental element of faith that then translates to confidence on screen. Do it. Just please for the love of God, believe in her.
- This year is also the year women like Nayanthara held their ground. And clawed their way to the top with monikers like 'Lady Superstar’. I cannot wait for more and more writers to write exclusively for women like her and Oviya and Anushka (who was phenomenal in Baahubali). Here’s to more women asserting themselves next year in ways we find inspiring and astounding.
- Finding more and more women like me on screen. And by women like me, I really mean like us. All of us. We need more women with more screen time. Is all. They can be hero, vamp, comedian, horror queen, feminist, not-so-feminist. Whichever. We want more of them.
- Badassery. We want more women just being really badass. Make it happen, please.
- Quiet confidence. Also. We don't want to always scream it out from the rooftops you know? We would appreciate a woman who can just be. And is allowed to be. Like Sudarvizhi, the sister character in Meiyadha Maan, played by Indhuja.
- Less dancing around the trees. I cannot imagine, for instance, ever seeing Aditi Balan of Aruvi doing that.
Here's wishing all of you a very happy new year. And hoping to see many, many women appear in front of the screen and wield the camera with the gravity and poise we have so come to expect from them.