Let me confess that I didn't take to Bandit Queen when I got around to watching it. I was a smug under grad and we had included it as part of a " film festival" organized for Women's Day—which should tell you how misguided we were; and as I (along with the other international students) cringed and squirmed in my seat, a little voice in my head would remind me. “And you know how this is all going to end. She will become a politician. The worst is yet to come”.
No the worst was yet to come.
A particular generation watched the movie and said Hey We Too Can Make This.
And so they did.
Sex scenes that made me respect what I sat through during Shootout At Wadala.
Taking a look at the So Bad Can It Be The 80s Again option and saying Nyaah. That May Be Too High Brow.
I should have taken my cue when the Shree Hari Om Films emblem came on the screen for an image of the Lord with his female consort paying obeisance at his feet (as in the world according to the film makers—all Good Women not involved in the making of the film, attending the film screening, or having even heard of the film, will be doing right now)
fading out to the opening scene where an ugly, angry gentleman screams MADER*%#
with I am assuming a scowling Phoolan Devi returning the favour by commenting on Ugly Angry Gentleman’s carnal knowledge of his sister
Five minutes into this and a kabbadi match where everyone is supporting Federal Republic Germany flags,
the trousers have started dropping
Worst foreplay ever
Cut to the village couple et cheerful daughter scene I thought we had left behind when we dropped Doordarshan for cable
After a merry go around of What Did You Bring For Me Oh Not This Dress Oooohhh Mithai You Spoil Her Too Much Who Knows Her In Laws Tomorrow, a well wisher has updated the father on Kusuma’s alleged extra curricular activities.
Kusuma is married off, her alleged paramour’s family sent to jail all along him vowing That Girl Is Mine, and before you are done wondering why Kusuma’s evil aunt is in cahoots with Angry, Ugly Man and Phoolan's Gang, Kusuma has been beaten up and abused by her husband and in laws into returning home.
Fifteen more minutes and Saccharin Sweet Kusuma has been kidnapped by the uglies, returned , kicked around, kidnapped lather rinse repeat three times already and they have even managed to play the requisite “corrupt police suppressed junta mortgaging land card” twice . Next....
Seriously are you guys following this still?
I could give this film the thumbs down if I wasn't using my hands to cover my eyes. For Evil Aunt has just offered her calves “Ley Chaat Ab” to evil henchman number two to lick.
And there are gentlemen sitting behind me in the theatre sporting saffron silk scarves embossed with VVIP so very content that they have reached the top of the food chain and never have to scavenge in the ravines again
and three preschoolers are standing on the steps staring at the screen mouths agape as ghagras rise and trousers drop
And I know yes I am in my own Beehad hitting a moral abyss.