Holi is a sacred festival of colours filled with joy. But unfortunately, we have heard of instances that have scarred this festival for many. Movies cannot be let off the hook for partly contributing to such horrors of Holi. Movies have played a major role in shaping society. Specifically, Bollywood movies unknowingly romanticize Holi to the extent that recreating such instances have been normalized. What might seem like a romantic scene from ‘Raanjhanaa’ to one, might actually be a traumatizing Holi scene from ‘Kabir Singh’ to another.
The Hindi remake of Arjun Reddy portrays the sad realities of Holi a woman has to undergo under unfortunate circumstances. In this movie, the rival of the hero seeks revenge by outraging the heroine’s modesty on the day of Holi. This is one of the rare films that showcase the flipside of the festivities.
Shahrukh Khan’s Darr is another such film that gives the audience a creepy vibe to this festival of colours. The Ang Se and Laga de song haunt the watchers with the fear of being constantly watched by someone.
These two films make a bold move at exhibiting the darker side of an otherwise colourful, happy festival.
As much as setting the tone and reading the situation are important, movies have romanticized Holi and done some irreparable damage. Here are stills from Bollywood movies that romanticize Holi.
Two school kids meet outside on the streets where the festival is being celebrated in a full-fledged manner. Their first touch by applying these colours on the occasion of Holi is shown as a romantic, cute moment. This might be setting a wrong expectation in the young minds and misleading some of the youth.
The erotica represented through the celebration of colours, though visually appealing, is an inaccurate representation of Holi. Such romanticizing of festivals should not be encouraged as they might lead to real-life imitations which do not keep in mind the concept of consent. Normalizing such acts in public also disturb the decorum of society.
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A similar trope is followed in this movie too. The hero chasing the girl and playing Holi might lead to a recreation of the stunt in real life. A festival should not be monetized for mere visual appeal.
Celebrating Holi is not being criticized in this article, but the wrongful depiction of it. For the same reason, the fun and playful ‘Balam Pichkari’ song from Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani has not been deemed problematic. It is a matter of intent vs. impact here.
Comment below and let us know your favourite Bollywood movies that do not romanticize and celebrate Holi the right way!
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