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Raazi: A Film That Has Broken The Stereotypes Attached To Women

Director Meghna Gulzar’s latest movie Raazi, based on Harinder Sikka’s book Calling Sehmat, has had its voice loud at the box office. The movie not only firmly established actress Alia Bhatt as one of the most promising upcoming actors of B-town but has also successfully broken a number of stereotypes that had never been seen before.

The Pakistani Trope

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It would have been an easy path to make an aggressive, out an out patriotic Indian, but Meghna Gulzar is not one to choose the easy way out. She chose not to create Pakistani characters inherently untrustworthy just due to their nationality and instead focused on emotions and beliefs that all humans possess irrespective of their caste, culture and nation.

The ‘Heart of Steel Woman’ Notion

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Many spy thriller movies have showcased women spies as either emotionless or the ones who fall weak because of their emotional weaknesses. But Raazi defied all these globally accepted notions. Alia, who plays Sehmat, is a strong woman who can keep calm in a moment of danger or crisis and make tough decisions. She is also the carefree person at heart and does not shy away from displaying her emotions.

The ‘Abused Newlywed’ Vision

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Indian Bolly movies have one thing in common – the newlywed girl is always the victim of the abusive in-law family with one or maybe two people being sympathetic towards her. But surprisingly and thankfully there was nothing such, as Sehmat, is openly accepted by the whole family completely. 

The ‘Husband is God’ Perception

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At a time, when women were never asked about their opinions or their feelings and are subjected to become mere objects for their husbands, Iqbal, played by Vicky Kaushal, comes as a breath of fresh air. He is an example of how to ask a woman for consent, even in marriage. Iqbal feels it would be a great idea if he and Sehmat would first get to know each other better even after he is married to her. Even after the two of them get close, he does make it a point to seek her consent before making any advances towards her. This is a sign of a true gentleman who knows his limits and also respects a woman as a human being and does not treat her like a toy or sex object.

The ‘Hard Headed Spy’ Idea 

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Sehmat’s husband Iqbal, is a Pakistani on whom she is supposed to spy on and pass on relevant info to Indian Intelligence. But while doing her job, she eventually, falls in love with him and is not ashamed of her feelings. Rather, she displays the emotional cost that humans have to pay for the wars.

The ‘Mother-in-Law / Daughter-in-Law / Sisters-in-Law tension’ Conception

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Almost all television serials and Indian movies show how a newly wedded girl faces criticism from her in-laws, especially, her mother-in-law and sister-in-law. But Sehmat is different. She is openly accepted by the family and her in-law's behaviour towards her is something worth noticing. Sehmat and her sister-in-law express a healthy relationship between two female companions who were complete strangers to each other at the beginning. This expression of a healthy bond and relationship is very new and unfamiliar in popular media.

Meghna Gulzar is one director who chooses the less trodden path and successfully displays human emotions and the price countrymen have to pay for a few people for whom terrorism is a choice made on their own.

pic courtesy: twitter
Sehmat, played by Alia Bhatt, is indeed a strong personality but she is a carefree lively person too. She can spy on someone and at the same time, she is aware of herself falling in love with that person.

This was just a small glimpse of the stereotypes that have been broken by the movie. Hopefully, many such are on their way to come and change the perception and preconceived notions of the society as a whole.

Written by
Ruchika Mertia

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