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Saturday, July 21, 2018

Smart questions

Bewakoofiyaan is refreshing for the questions it poses about equality in modern day relationships. Is it possible for men to accept successful women as their better halves without being resentful? And even more so, is it possible for women to treat men as equals and not conventional breadwinners?

Mumbai | Updated: March 20, 2014 1:28:19 pm
GENDER BENDER: Sonam Kapoor and  Ayushmann Khurrana in Bewakoofiyaan GENDER BENDER: Sonam Kapoor and
Ayushmann Khurrana in Bewakoofiyaan

The festival of colours is upon us and though none of its boisterous festivity is displayed in any of the films that released this week, what is increasingly on display in our films are the multi-hued women protagonists with a whole wide spectrum of situations they find themselves in. The premise of Bewakoofiyaan, a romcom about love in times of recession, directed by Nupur Asthana interested me enough to make a go of watching it all by myself at a neighbouring multiplex. And despite the “flatness” that has been mentioned in the reviews in context of the film, I found it engaging. Call me shallow but when it comes to the movies, a light-hearted take on most things serious is always a good way to go.
Mohit Chadda (Ayushmann Khurrana), an ambitious young MBA ostensibly doing well in the job of his choice — a senior marketing executive in the airlines — believes that love can be smooth sailing even in bumpy recession ridden times. Ditto, his girlfriend Myra (Sonam Kapoor), who has a well-paying job and is earning more than him. It’s not something that bothers them. After all, he’s a bright guy who will soon catch up. Father of the wannabe bride, V.K. Sehgal (Rishi Kapoor in yet another endearing outing) of course, is not convinced about Khurrana being the suitable boy. His argument is sound — he does not think a senior executive in an airline is capable of keeping his daughter comfortable through life and let’s face it, Myra is a smart, personable young girl who splurges on shoes, is sharply turned out in high street labels on all occasions— certainly not someone who would be keen to slum it out.
The premise which questions both the veracity and wisdom of marrying daughters to willing, well settled money minting mundas is rather intriguing. Equality, after all, is a double-edged sword. Can the so-called modern generation, which prides its modernity, handle true egalitarianism when the convention is turned on its head and the woman is bringing home the bacon? Abhimaan, a film rumoured to be based on sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar and his immensely accomplished wife Annapurna Devi dealt with a similar query that — of whether it is possible for a marriage/relationship to survive if the wife is more accomplished, famous or rich than her spouse. In fact decades later, Bewakoofiyaan goes a step further and questions the notion of unconditional romance without the creature comforts that wealth and power brings. Can love really last through trying times?
These are pertinent questions, more relevant today than before, questions that the young and old find asking themselves. V.K. Sehgal’s dilemma when he discovers that his future jamai has been rendered jobless, just as he suspected but is a real nice guy for keeping his promise to his prospective father-in-law despite a major lovers’ tiff, is one worth considering. As also the clash of the new age independent woman and the well meaning new age man caught unaware in the changing times. Myra is willing to be supportive both financially and emotionally, but she is no sacrificing devi— she enjoys her creature comforts including expensive rock show tickets and is unwilling to settle for someone not trying hard enough to get out of a sticky situation. What does that make her? A terrible matlabi materialistic vamp or a woman who knows her mind and her limitations?
Enough questions and answers out there to keep you pondering for a while and for that alone, all else is forgiven.


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