Bollywood and clichés have shared a very strong bond since a long time. There are clichés which defy all the logic and yet are enjoyed by the loyal audience, for the love of their favourite actors. But there are some clichés that are awkward, or make us cringe, and sometimes make us question as to what motivates the film- makers and actors to portray such things. And we really wish such clichés should stop right away.
#1 Dress code for convent schools
Short skirts, pulled down socks, tattoos, makeup, coloured and styled long hair free from clips and clutches and other such things, which makes us believe that these girls are not students but models who are going to do a catwalk for some renowned fashion brand. Some of us almost believed that such schools do exist somewhere in our country, and invoked within us the extreme desire to study in such schools, because in our ‘real’ convent schools, the skirt had to be of knee- length, long hair has to be tied in a tight braid, and the face should not
bear the slightest hint of makeup, or else strict measures would be taken.
#2 Stalking girls and eve teasing them is romantic
Remember the scene from DDLJ when Shah Rukh hung the bra at Kajol’s face, and when he tried to come closer to Kajol and almost lie his head on her lap? And he was always known as the King of Romance in Bollywood. Probably, there existed no feminists at that time to be triggered, and the movie got safely released without any hassles. This was just one instance, there are innumerable movies which portray such pervert acts as romantic and the heroine ends up falling in love with the stalkers and creepy men. In real life, such ‘heroes’ would end up in jail or receive a good share of public thrashing.
#3 Unrealistic colleges
Which college professor takes classes about love and friendship the way Archana Puran Singh did in ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’ by asking ‘Pyar kya hai?’ (What is love?) in an amorous way to which Shah Rukh replied ‘Pyar dosti hai’ (love is friendship). In our colleges if a girl and a boy sat together in a class that was enough to attract the taunts of the professors who are the protectors of Indian culture and believe in moral policing.
#4 White clothes and heavy jewellery on holi
We always wear the old, worn out clothes for playing holi, and after getting smeared with colours, that old shirt was only fit for making the mopping cloth for the floors. Also, our mothers used to make us remove each and every piece of jewellery we had on us, as there was a risk of us getting injured, or it was more likely to fall and get lost in the vigorous play of colours. But Bollywood has this habit of playing holi in shining white new designer ethnic outfits, and oxidised ornaments. But few of the films have dared to break this stereotype, for e.g. “Balam Pichkari” song from Yeh Jawani Hai Diwani, and Sonu ke Titu ki Sweety gave the holi scene in a more normalised and acceptable way, which restored our faith in bollywood.
#5 Showing false locations
The big, palatial houses of the protagonists in Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, Mujhse Dosti Karoge, were shown to be located in India. However the locations, in reality were somewhere in England. Like really? Nobody would mind watching the real locations of one’s own country instead of exotic ones. Can the makers please work a little on content as much as they work on locations.
#6 Exhausting fight sequences
All movies packed with action have their share of never ending fight sequences. There was a time when audience enjoyed the fight scenes and cheered every time the hero attacked the villain, while we held our heartbeat when the hero was being attacked. One fight scene, especially the one at the climax, is usually approximately of more than fifteen minutes. And it’s unbelievable that the villain is not able to harm the hero with the help of his gang while the hero, with one punch or one bullet is able to reduce the goons to dust. It used to look amazing, but now the audience is fed up of these cliches. The protagonist may be a good human being, but he is not God. And good people do die of murders and accidents too. Bollywood, take notes!
#7 Love hate relationship
In most of the movies, it happens that when the lead actor and actress meet each other, they are initially aversive to each other, hate each other, but gradually fall for each other. Or it may also happen that the boy falls in love with the girl at first sight but the girl takes her time. Man, love at first sight can only be an infatuation, at least in reality you are not willing to die for someone just because you liked her face. These Bollywood folks don’t understand that love can happen gradually or normally. There has to be no hate between the two, or one- sided feelings, to initiate a passionate love.
#8 Girl falling for the bad boy
In this era of feminism, movies like ‘Tere Naam’ force us to ponder over the situation that how can a girl be so dumb to fall for a boy who harassed her and tried to kidnap her. A man who is abusive even when he’s not in the relationship, God knows what is he going to do after marriage. But the dumb actresses take their harassment to be the sign of love. Similarly in ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’ when Salman Khan tries to get physical with Aishwarya against her will and she slapped him, he started behaving as he was the poor victim, and Aishwarya ultimately ended up placating him. Such progressive message to our society.
#9 Unnecessary item songs
Since ages, bollywood is promoting sensuality and sexism, and a major share of it goes to the item songs inculcated in the movies. No matter what is the storyline or content, a movie without the item song is incomplete, which appeals to the masses, especially when the female is mere cynosure to the eyes of the men. And it’s even better if it casts a renowned face, and calls it a special appearance. Songs like ‘Sheila ki jawani’, ‘Munni badnaam hui’, ‘Fevicol se’ are not a new in the list. Songs like ‘Choli ke peeche’, “Ye mera dil” have been adding sensuality to the movies since decades. It needs to be stopped, as the sole purpose of the scantily dressed female performer is to promote sexism and treating women as objects meant for gratification of one’s pleasures.
#10 Switching locations in a single song
For the purpose of making the trailer or the song appealing to the eyes, makers shoot one song at different exotic locations. The big production houses like Dharma Productions and Yash Raj Films have been doing it till the date. The romantic lead pair magically switches the location in a single song, with colour co- ordinated outfits. Thanks to Yash Raj, even though we can’t afford to fly to Switzerland, we have still seen most of its locations in the movies and songs. And not to forget the actresses who should be applauded for wearing chiffon or net sarees with a bikini blouse even in the snowfall without showing any signs of tremors. Still, we would suggest that the instead of enhanced budget on fancy locations, the writers should be paid more to create a great content and storyline. Small budget movies have started doing good lately.
#11 Stereotyping the characters
Our notion about the different cultures is mostly formed by the bollywood movies. It’s good as long as it is informative and helps us to understand various races and ethnicity. But bollywood has gone far beyond that and has started stereotyping the characters, sometimes in bad light. Punjabis are deemed to be loud- mouthed, alcoholic, money- minded, one who always believe in dressing up in heavy makeup and jewellery even while going out for a casual dinner. North Indians and South Indians are shown as hating and condescending each other. Grandmothers are shown to be quite cool and modern, contrary to the reality where grandmothers are bit too conservative (not their fault, they were brought up like that). What’s worse, girls with long hair, dressed in ethnic outfits and jewellery and the one who knows how to sing bhajans and does arti every day is deemed to be sanskaari and a marriage material, while the girl with short hairs and western outfits who loves to party is too modern to be married. While a tomboyish girl is neither attractive nor can be treated like a girl.
#12 Men falling in love post transformation of women
We all felt bad for Anjali in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, because she had a fondness for Rahul though he completely ignored her because she was tomboyish, and he fell for super stylish, girlie Tina at the first sight. What’s worse, he even made fun of Anjali in front of college friends even though she was her best friend. But years later he fell for Anjali again as per the plan of his daughter, because now Anjali was all clad in saree and had long hairs. In Yeh Jawani Hai Diwani, Ranbir Kapoor never liked Deepika ‘that way’ when she was a geeky, spectacled girl, but fell for her in her glamorous avatar. Even in Main Hoon Na, Zayed Khan used to ignore Amrita Rao because of her crude fashion sense, but fell for her after seeing her in girlie look. And in all these movies, their love story ended as happily ever after. Hence our Bollywood clearly states that nature, character, and the heart of the person doesn’t matter. Just change your wardrobe, get some girlish style, imbibe some grace and you are ready to get the man of your dreams. Seriously girls, you deserved better than those jerks who kept sliding from one girl to another till he got lured by your outer beauty.