Jawani Phir Nahi Ani by Humayun Babar

At the age of 15, when I watched this movie for the first time, I was completely clueless as to how cinema can subconsciously normalize or internalize behaviours that are blatantly hypocritical and abysmal. Infidelity is no secret to cinema, but surprisingly, the way male infidelity is glorified or at least depicted as forgivable is both a reflection on our society’s views on unfaithful men and also a tool to defend it and lessen its devastation. Surprisingly, it seems as if 4 Pakistani friends finding it okay to cheat on their wives is the biggest problem in the plot, but it’s actually their wives’ unforgiving attitude being the ultimate hurdle and not their actions that lead to all the problems. And the solution to the problem in the film is their wives forgiving them for being unfaithful, which has been prevalent in Bollywood as well.

I remember when I was 6, I used to watch Raaz (2002) a lot, and I had no issue with the fact that in order for this movie to have a happy ending, the wife must forgive her husband’s unfaithfulness. A very good relative hypothetical scale to point out the hypocrisy would be to reciprocate the situation, and have all these women cheat on men the same way they were cheated on. I am not saying that it would be okay, I am just saying that PEMRA would explode. And also Imran Khan fans.

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