“Shall we watch a movie today?” I asked my cat. “Can you pick a movie?” I thought for a minute. “A happy movie? A happy lady movie?”
My cat, of course, could not.
We scrolled through the options, looking for something light and fun. Not rom-coms. I like rom-coms, but there’s more to a woman’s life than romance. I’ve seen Queen. Aisha. Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani. (And the latter two are still basically romantic comedies.)
I want a movie of women hanging out, being friends, having fun, having adventures. Dostana with ladies? Happy New Year with more than one woman in it? Tees Maar Khan with a female lead?
One of my favorite movies is 1986’s Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, about three teens playing hooky from school and having fun. Since it was the 1980s, the characters were two male best friends and one of their girlfriends, but why not. . .three female friends?
Movies about women that are not romantic comedies tend to be violent and tragic. Not “fun” violence (Dhoom, say, or a million Shahrukh Khan movies), but traumatic violence. An uplifting ending is one where the woman gets revenge, but she still had to endure suffering in the first place: Parched. Mardaani. Gulaab Gang. Kahaani. These are thrillers, obviously, and meant to be serious and gritty.
But where are the movies in between? Not about a woman’s fall (Heroine), or her suffering (Revolver Rani is fun, but her tragic back story involves an abusive husband and dead father). Not her love life (Ki & Ka is great, but about a married couple, so).
I have a few films on my list to watch. Paisa Vasool from 2005 is about two women blackmailing a criminal, and that sounds what I’m looking for. I’m concerned about this, however: “Ron Ahluwalia from Planet Bollywood gave the film 2.5/10 and stated “Burying your money in the ground would be wiser than even renting a movie like Paisa Vasool. It’s just that simple: don’t watch it!”
So many movie synopses, Bollywood and Hollywood, begin: a man, a young man, a father, a son. . . . Women are girlfriends, mothers, objects. They spur character growth, but do not get to be characters. Or if they are characters, they only get to chase tragedy or love.
More happy lady movies, please.