Bollywood in the 90s?

TW:// Rape





Before Amir Khan became an A-list celebrity in Bollywood he did movies like 'Tum Mere Ho'. The plot of this movie from 1990 would be impossible to explain in a post, so I'll be focusing on one of the most peculiar music videos I have ever seen.

The song revolves around one of the female leads trying to seduce Amir Khan who keeps refusing her and claiming to be a free bird who cannot be chained down no matter what she does. Other than the weird choreography there seems to be nothing wrong with the song until you get to the main part.

All the characters in this song are celebrating a festival where the men choose their wives by forcing themselves onto the women. It is explained by one of the men by saying 'she will struggle to free herself, but it is only for the show and entertainment, and if she thinks you'll make a good husband, she'll give in after a bit of kicking and screaming'. So the song shows the men trying to force women into their houses in order to bed them and make them their wives. Blatant violence against women and their fighting back is shown in a festive light in this song.

The song perpetuates the rape culture which victim-shames and romanticizes the idea of a woman struggling against unwanted advances. It's extremely triggering for various reasons; the romanticization and normalization of rape being some of them. The women are happy at the end of the song/festival despite being forced by the men.

The song tries to romanticize the dark plot with a fast beat and romantic music but it still cannot get rid of the image of a man carrying a woman kicking and screaming into a hut, and then coming back as a happily married couple.

Not only this but it also presents tribe people as non-cultured people who have such rituals and have no sense of decorum whatsoever, represented by such festivities. The female character trying to seduce Amir Khan's character is also a representation of the lack of culture and etiquette within tribe people by showing her to be a wanton woman, whereas a respected woman would never do such things.

The movie ends with Amir Khan and Juhi Chawla undergoing the same ritual and having a public struggle before the male lead overpowers her, and they get married.



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