Month: April 2017

Who Do You Think You Are, Dhoom 3?: Bollywood and Cars and Me

After renewing my learner’s permit twice, and totally failing to parallel park during the road test, I finally got my driver’s license when I was 18. A few days later, I was in my first (and only) accident: driving home from a party in the rain, I panicked when the gate to our apartment complex… Read More ›

“Dard-e-Disco” (Om Shanti Om, 2007)

Are item songs about power? Is sex about power? An item song is an opportunity to show off a body. I was about to add this is also an opportunity to use sexually charged lyrics, yet the actual song is often not very different from a duet between the hero and heroine. Those duets are… Read More ›

Review: Ki & Ka (2016)

Kia did not want to make a political statement. But to exist and be female is a political act. Any choice will be scrutinized. No choice can be made in a vacuum. And unfortunately, a decision can feel forced, and the decision not to choose can still be a choice. And as is so often… Read More ›

Who is Leela?

Fanfic Friday: Ram-Leela

Leela and Ram faced each other on the balcony, guns in hand. Her life had been so short and now it was to end. She had love, she had power, now she would have nothing. Maybe another life, another cycle. The time passed slowly as they stared at one another. Her family name had been… Read More ›

“Kamli” (Dhoom 3, 2013)

“Kamli” is an acrobatic strip tease. Katrina Kaif performs alone, amidst metal and sparks, as others watch. Aamir Khan sits in a chair, watching, unimpressed. She starts the song fully clothed, but it is clear she is vulnerable and he holds the power. Yet the sequence reveals the power of Kaif’s body (and any stunt… Read More ›

hell yeah

Review: Gulaab Gang (2014)

“Live for yourself.” A startling rallying cry. We are told to live for our families, children, lovers, to dedicate our lives to finding a man, to having it all, where all refers to serving the forces of capitalism, the patriarchy, society. Live for yourself. You are valuable, you are enough. The movie opens with a… Read More ›

Fanfic Friday: KKHH

It had been so romantic at first. Rahul was handsome, charming, and loved big gestures. And everyone loved him. “Love is friendship” he would say, and he was the friendliest guy on campus. He had a philosophy, simple, perfect: “We live once, we die once, we get married once and love, love also only occurs… Read More ›

All eyes on you

Dancing Around Item Numbers

Short answer: I enjoy item numbers. Long answer: Every feminist has to wrestle with media and decide what they will tolerate, what they will turn off their brain for, what they will refuse to engage with. The difference between female-driven and male-drive item songs are striking. While an individual song may focus on a woman’s… Read More ›

Writing about Bollywood

Inevitably, when I tell people I enjoy Bollywood, I’m met with stares or “what?” or “oh, with the dancing, right?” The largest film industry in the world is still often treated like a joke, while American films, Japanese films, British films, receive thoughtful critiques and breathless recommendations. However, movie theory largely remains a male dominated… Read More ›

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