Every time I have seen a stand-up comedian joke about their race or ethnicity beyond the subject material the reason for their jokes landing is due to the same experience it is eating with so many from the section of society.
So, whether it is Kenny Sebastian talking about his dramatic Malu grandmother or a bee shake upon you talking about his experience in Mumbai as Adele yet these stories come from a personal experience and the masses especially from that state connect with such material.
Now, pertaining to a stereotype is a fixed or oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing. This is a feature we sadly get to see a lot of in Hindi cinema where stereotypes exist for a reason of course but with such a huge audience storming into theaters for your product, there is a responsibility of the impression you are creating for the masses that becomes set in stone getting right into some of the grossest generalizations and Hindi cinema.
Here are the top 5 worst Bollywood movie stereotypes that will make you cringe.
The Fat Girl
The fat girl and aspect of films had carried on her several decades was the caricaturist and borderline repulsive depiction of overweight women in the Hindi cinema. This feature was something that we brushed off but was a clear representation of how superficial and insensitive we are to body image standards in the country.
There is an eye-opening article written by steeper numbers under the Vagabond website that I would highly recommend you check out regarding this recurring feature in films. Do you remember the actress Uma Devi known as Tun Tun? An extremely hilarious and capable singer turned actor that appeared in several comical roles for over three decades?
If you see tone tones appearances, you’ll see what a natural performer she was. The sad reality is that most of her gags revolved around her huge appetite or size in the movie. She is seen getting stuck at a doorway due to her size and in the film, lucky number the only gag that follows her character is her devouring food much to the annoyance of the supporting characters.
According to me, it sheds light on overweight people as despicable and unwanted is in the movie bill where there is a boxing match for a kiss with Madhuri Dixit.
Madhuri Dixit sets the stipulation that if the army loses he has to kiss Miss Minnie an overweight doll presented in the most unattractive and grotesque fashion at each point of the fight. The men see the girl in horror and therefore try their best to win the match while at the same time the girls salivate at the same thought. The gags are absolutely repulsive.
The LGBTQ community tell me what is the first thing you think of when you hear a particular soundtrack. For Hindi film fans it has become ingrained in our subconscious so deeply that this soundtrack represents a gay character in Hindi cinema.
The LGBTQ community has been depicted in some of the most insensitive and over the top manners in Hindi cinema. In the movie Pyaar Kiya Toh Darna Kiya, the effeminate character just stands in his fielding position and the batsmen and umpires are just uncomfortable at his presence.
The character flails his arms and hops and escapes and this didn’t seep in our memory from this film. If a character from the community was depicted as gay their sole purpose in the film would be to hit on one of the characters. Copping a feel everywhere and all of this was a comedic gag by the way if they loved the same sex they will take advantage of you.
The Gorka community
Bava the Gorka community the gold cause of the Nepalese community has always fallen prey to caricaturist representations in the Hindi cinema if you have watched the 1999 film Haseena Maan Jayegi.
Just the same movie in which Karishma Kapoor was tennis attire bounces a football like a basketball in a golf course. Yes, that movie Nepali character plays the role of bhoothnath who is the guard of the house, surprise right? And literally starts every dialogue in this way “Ohh Shabb Zee”.
Even when Anil Kapoor comes with his Nepali son and he tries to pick out outfits the first thing he does in a clothing store and the lines he utters are a stereotype. In the film Apna Sapna Money Money, Chunky Pandey plays the role of Rana Jung Bahadur a man who again in a heavy accent portrays the most caricaturist version of the community. As he is surrounded by sidekicks that support the cookery in every frame.
Place black people where everyone is getting canceled due to blackface on Twitter. Insensitivity towards the portrayal of marginalized sections of society. Hindi films have also had the most offensive stereotype regarding the African continent.
Iconic songs like Hawaa Hawaai present background dancers ranged in black paint. Yes, Indian dancers drenched in black paint to represent another community.
Another song featuring Helen kisses background dancers in blackface. One of which is bound in a cage lusting to devour the actress dancing the dancers are represented as savages that shout in agony as they are bound by shackles. The worst of the Lord has to be from the movie, Hadd Kardi Apne and All the Best.
In the Govinda film, Rani Mukerji entices Govind her to come to her hotel room but gives him the wrong room number and she is giving the instructions there is a girl in the background that verbatim is done and seeing who shaka-laka-laka you shaka-laka-laka.
Rani instructs the woman’s husband that she is ready where a man in blackface answers the phone and says he is coming. Govinda finally appears in the room he is surprised to see the woman next to him and the husband appears and says “la ilaha kasha” to which Govinda replies in some godforsaken gibberish.
It is offensive and absolutely painful to witness even if you see the final scene of the Rohit Shetty film, All the Best. Bipasha Basu appears with the excessive bronzer and cornrows as the princess of Lesotho. Yes, a town in Tanzania scented earthen Bipasha Basu speaks in broken Swahili, and then a gang appears from Lesotho charge it some gee by the way the director of entertainment is one of them in blackface who appears to give threats in broken Swahili.
It’s a mess that’s best left forgotten why like why South Indians one of the most over-the-top and offensive stereotypes was a generalized version of what a Tamil protagonist represents.
With Shahrukh Khan’s portrayal of Shaker Subramanyam in RaOne pressure on the content creator that owns the channel hit f5 has done a comprehensive analysis of the over-the-top portrayals of South Indians in Hindi cinema.
Even though I don’t agree with his analysis of IRI deliberate on the nose attempt by the creators. The video perfectly captures the generalized assumption of what all the five states represent you know. When you see Shahrukh Khan showcasing a layered and no one stole like Rizvan Khan in My Name Is Khan a movie that effectively sheds light on the basic human struggle of Muslims to prove themselves as upright Noble and responsible citizens of the nation.
You would think that Shah Rukh would represent the South Indian states with the same sensitivity. Not sure, if it just me as a North Indian who felt this character portrayal was unnecessary.
If a section of India can’t be represented authentically then why even do it. Especially, when it’s the biggest movie in the Hindi film industry setting. The precedent for the masses to assume that this is what the states represent a man who shouts an “Ayyo” at every opportunity in every frame and soaks his noodles in curd and corrects his wife’s Tamil by saying that it’s not condom-condom, it’s “khun jomkwan Geum”.
I understand that the representation has a lot to do with the awful writing but it was just sad to see Shahrukh with so much influenced to represent the Tamil protagonist when such inauthenticity in the biggest Hindi film of that I am to the entire world.
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