It is the season of adrenaline rush on screen. Every screen-hero is scampering to the perilous peaks of virility, killing, maiming, shooting ,slaying and mowing down adversaries with lawless impunity.
These dilating parameters of lawlessness in recent films are explained by my friend filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali explains as “a reaction to the physical and emotional pressures and constraints during the pandemic,everyone wants to go into movie theatres for an emotional release,like Shahid Kapoor screaming at a hurling train in Jersey.”
I quite agree with that assessment of the high-octane actioners ramming into the theatres . You wouldn’t expect Yashraj Films’s Ranveer Singh’s Jayeshbhai Jordaar to do a Pushpa , RRR or KGF on us. However this is exactly what Ranveer Singh is seen doing .Even as he starts as timid and tremulous he turns violently aggressive towards the climax, unleashing a feast of fury in the trailer when his father, the sarpanch of a village who believes that girls must stop using perfumed soap to avoid getting unwanted public attention, commands Jayeshbhai to get rid of his unborn baby girl.
This is Boman Irani’s LOL moment. And I plead guilty of obliging. However titivating toxicity and turning it into titters is not the solution to social evils. Just because Boman’s patriarchal arrogance is humorized it doesn’t take away the venomous sting from a social malaise.
Ranveer Singh thinks addressing female foeticide in a light facetious manner will change society. Rest assured, it won’t . Some social malaise run too deep to be cured with laughter. Killing of the female child in the womb is one of those incurable afflictions that our social system seems to feel it is entitled to propagate with intrepid brazenness for generation after generation. And what can cinema do about it?
Plenty! If cinema tries. In Manish Jha’s disturbing dystopian drama Matrabhoomi we encounter an entire village denuded of feminine presence after generations of foeticide.The film was a tough watch , as any film on a burning social issue must be. Why trivialize a social evil by making light of it?If tomorrow someone makes a film on the Kathua rape case would we expect comic relief to make the brutal crime more digestible for the audience?
Ranveer Singh’s overt energy-level is all wrong in Jayeshbhai Jordaar. When a meek man rises above his temperament to save his unborn child we must not fritter away the gravity of the moment in crowdpulling tactics.
It is one thing for Ranveer to play the desi Elton John off screen. But to flirt with fleet-footed flamboyance in the role of a anxious father fleeing his unborn child’s murderous marauders is just not right.