Sunday, October 2nd, 2022

10 Bollywood Films Whose Stories Revolve Around Rape

Manish Mundra’s debut directorial ‘Siya’ has been released all over, and the movie has been garnering some rave reviews. The topic that the first-time filmmaker has picked up is what has intrigued audiences. Starring Pooja Pandey and Vineet Kumar Singh, Mundra has brought forth the story of a rape survivor. The 17-year-old girl doesn’t get bogged down after the heinous crime committed and decides to fight against the system, take revenge and make things right.

While ‘Siya’ should indeed be on your watch lists, here are 10 other Bollywood films whose stories revolved around rape:

‘Ghar’ (1978)

Ghar, which Manik Chatterjee directed, continues to be one of the most delicate depictions of rape’s aftereffects. Rekha and Vinod Mehra’s characters depict a newlywed couple whose lives are devastated when, one night, while coming from a late-night movie, four men approach them and viciously gang-rape the wife. Both are devastated by the encounter, but the wife finds it more challenging to deal with the tragedy and get over her mistrust of men. The movie goes on to demonstrate that while it is difficult to put one’s life back together after such an act, it is possible with time, respect, and most importantly, love.

‘Insaaf Ka Tarazu’ (1980)

In this BR Chopra movie, Raj Babbar portrays a serial rapist. While most movies have traditionally featured a group of guys raping a lady, this one demonstrated that the horrific crime may also be committed by a single individual. Due to the impossibility of the circumstance and the assumption that women were crying wolf after consenting intercourse, society and the courts have dismissed rape claims committed by a single man. Although it received criticism for its too graphic depiction of the act, this movie contributed to a greater understanding of the topic.

‘Mera Jawab’ (1985)

From the very beginning, this movie promoted vigilante justice. Meenakshi Sheshadri’s character who is Jackie Shroff’s wife is raped and killed by three serial rapists, and he makes it his life’s work to exact his own brand of vengeance by devising creative methods to kill the culprits. The movie was more of a pure vengeance fantasy than a tool for social change, providing a type of escapist relief to the victims and their families.

‘Teri Meherbaniyan’ (1985)

This Vijay Reddy-directed movie truly pushed the vigilante dream to its breaking point. When the criminal tries to rape Poonam Dhillon, she ends her life. Her lover, Jackie Shroff, also perishes in a fight with the villain’s goons. It’s up to his devoted dog, Moti, to get retribution on the criminals responsible for both offences and give them apt punishment.

‘Zakhmi Aurat’ (1988)

Dimple Kapadia and Raj Babbar appeared in the Avtar Bhogal-directed movie. Although Kapadia plays a police officer who is raped, the perpetrators get away with it because to legal technicalities. She then joins a vigilante sisterhood that devises a scheme to castrate known rapists. There’s little doubt that the movie influenced Lorena Bobbitt. For that point, chemical castration is an issue that the Indian judiciary is now dealing with.

‘Provoked’ (2006)

‘Provoked’, which was directed by Jag Mundhra, is based on the true account of Kiranjit Ahluwalia, who was imprisoned for the murder of her husband. Her life, which had been plagued by physical, mental, and emotional abuse for 10 gruelling years, served as her justification for this murder. According to a Google search for her identity, she has a criminal record, leaving her spouse as nothing more than the object of her fury. This film, which stars Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Naveen Andrews, exposes the appalling disparity of patriarchal culture, in which rape in marriage is not a crime but killing the rapist husband is very much a punishable act.

‘7 Khoon Maaf’ (2011)

Vishal Bhardwaj is the director, co-writer, and co-producer of ‘7 Khoon Maaf’. Based on the novel ‘Susanna’s Seven Husbands’ by Ruskin Bond, this film explores the delicate subject of marital rape. Susanna, played by Priyanka Chopra, is attacked and sexually assaulted by her third husband, Musafir (Irrfan Khan), a poet by trade. Despite her best efforts, the wounds from her abusive marriage start to emerge and devour her identity. As a result of being outraged by societal injustices, she kills her spouse. Injustice may have drastic results, and if it’s suppressed, it might manifest as evil.

‘Akaash Vaani’ (2013)

‘Akaash Vaani’, which was directed by Luv Ranjan, could seem to be just another collegiate love story with the standard patriarchal dilemma of the girl sacrificing her love for her parents’ honour. However, what happens when Nushrrat Bharuccha (Vani) weds the boy of her parents’ choosing is horrifying. Despite her objections, her husband pushes himself onto her. Vani’s numbed and traumatised facial expressions in such situations convey the reality to the viewer invisibly. When she exposes the frequent marital rape to her parents, the situation worsens. Her attempts to go back to her parents’ house are, however, not encouraged. It is disturbing to observe that her parents continue to stand by her violent spouse and demand that she treats him with the highest respect. No matter how much we applaud the phrase “no means no,” this film exposes us to the unsettling truth that some women never ever have the opportunity to say it.

‘Parched’ (2016)

The terrible predicament of rural women in India is shown in ‘Parched’, which Leena Yadav both wrote and directed. The film explores issues including child marriage, domestic abuse, and marital rape to show the negative aspects of patriarchal culture. It is a tale of rural women, with Radhika Apte as Lajjo, a lady despised for not having children, Tannishtha Chatterjee portraying Rani, a widow, and Surveen Chawla starring as dancer and sex worker Bijli. We are outraged and disgusted by scenes in which Lajjo is beaten or abused by her husband or when Janaki (Leher Khan), Rani’s daughter-in-law and an underage bride, is raped by her husband. Sayani Gupta plays Champa in the film, a woman who flees her husband’s house while being raped after marriage. The panchayat pushes her to go back to her marital home despite the fact that it has come to light that even her husband’s male family members have sexually assaulted her. Although the film’s brutality is brutal and upsetting, it also reflects the reality of our nation, which has to change.

‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’ (2017)

‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’ is one of the most frightening films that openly depicts the brutality of marital rape. It was directed by Alankrita Shrivastava. The film makes a strong argument that rape is not about sex but rather power. One of the four characters, Shirin Aslam, is portrayed by Konkona Sen Sharma. She had to deal with her husband’s violence while trying to covertly keep her sales work. The video illustrates the idea of implied consent, where the husband feels free to use his wife in any way he pleases and believes the act to be consensual. At times, Konkona Sen Sharma’s character in the movie even informs the husband that sex is painful. However, the husband still has a sexual encounter, which is considered marital rape.

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