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The female body image and indian popular cinema: An analysis of three films—Jism, Murder, and Aksar

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The female body image and indian popular cinema: An analysis of three films—Jism, Murder, and Aksar

  2. 2. There was a time when kisses were a big 'no no' in Bollywood. Coincidentally, this is also roughly the period of time in which the medium of cinema has become the most popular form of entertainment in our society.
  3. 3. The question then is, how are women portrayed in films, in a world where social change in attitudes is occurring?
  4. 4. Now ,This study ►The Female Body Image and Indian Popular Cinema ►A textual analysis of three films – Jism, Murder and Aksar
  5. 5. Explores around how women body image is described in ►Jism ►Murder and ► Aksar
  6. 6. The charge very often levelled against cinema is that it acts to reinforce and perhaps even worsen sex-role stereotypes of women (and men). ► These would include the idea that women are supposed to look very pretty, be domestic, have children and then look after them while the man goes out to work, and these kinds of things.
  7. 7. Furthermore, when a female character is powerful and strong (and ‘unfeminine’), she will often ultimately fail or flounder, and either change to become more sensitive and caring, or be condemned to a life of misery and loneliness.
  8. 8. ► With less taboos in the late nineteen nineties, films are often more and more sexual in nature and may show women being dominant, or may represent women as able to be the voyeur as well, but it is all still through the ‘male gaze’, from a man's point of view with men still superior.
  9. 9. ► Provocative images of women's partly clothed or naked bodies are especially prevalent in films. ► Women become sexual objects when their bodies and their sexuality are sold as commodities. ► Women’s bodies are often dismembered into legs, breasts or thighs, reinforcing the message that women are objects rather than whole human beings.
  10. 10. ► Nicole Krassas, communication researcher found that films contain a single vision of female sexuality—that "women should primarily concern themselves with attracting and sexually satisfying men.“ ► In 2003, David Buckingham and Sara Bragg reported that two-thirds of young people turn to media when they want to learn about sex - the same percentage of kids who ask their mothers for information and advice.
  11. 11. Feminist film theory ► Feminist film theory is theoretical work within film criticism which is derived from feminist politics and feminist theory. ► In considering the way that films are put together, many feminist film critics have pointed to the "male gaze " that predominates in classical Hollywood filmmaking.
  12. 12. ► Laura Mulvey's essay "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema" gave one of the most widely influential versions of this argument. ► include discussions of the function of women characters in particular film narratives or in particular genres, such as film noir, where a woman character can often be seen to embody a subversive sexuality that is dangerous to men and is ultimately punished with death.
  13. 13. In Classical Film Narrative… ► women are negatively represented as 'not-man'. The 'woman-as woman' is absent from the text of the film ► The female character is passive and powerless: she is the object of desire for the male character(s)
  14. 14. Classical film narrative attracts the viewers through : ► Scopophilia which is the integration of 2 kinds of pleasures :Voyeuristic visual pleasure And Narcissistic visual pleasure ► This is obtained by showing Females as passive and powerless or showing them as the object of desire.
  15. 15. The classical film narrative arouses audience through : ► Evocation of Castration anxiety —a fear of lacking penis and the female character as a source of deeper fears. ► And, solving this is in two ways 1 st , In the narrative structure. 2 nd Through Fetishism.
  16. 16. Methodology Aim : The aim of the project is to determine the portrayal of the female body in Indian Popular Cinema.
  17. 17. Objectives To study the characterization of the actors, especially that of the lead female. ► To analyze the type of behavioral pattern the female characters exhibit. ► To find out how they are put into the story? Whether the characters reveal any antifeminist stand. ► To analyze the way the female body is portrayed. ►
  18. 18. To study the dialogues to find out if they are gender biased ► To analyze the position of the female characters in different scenes and in thematic structure. ► To analyze the similarities among all the films i.e. the plot, the situations and suspense etc. ►
  19. 19. Sampling ► Sampling is one of the important steps in research. For the project, the researcher selected three popular Hindi films► Murder, ► Jism and ► Aksar. ► All the three films have certain common elements because of which they were chosen for the studyexplicit depiction of sex, infidelity and extramarital affair. Also because in all the films the lead female character is subject to ‘the male gaze’.
  20. 20. Variables ► The method is dramatistic analysis, based on the work of Kenneth Burke. Although Burke can be read as a theoretician of drama, he was adamant that drama provided a methodological key to the study of symbolic action. Burke’s method begins by breaking down a story into its essential elements-
  21. 21. ► Actors. The analysis isolates and identifies all characters in each film. How is the individual actor portrayed in the film? ► Acts. The pattern of action within each episode-the plot-is examined for its logic and assumptions, origins and conclusions ► Scenes. The analysis notes the setting of the serials. What is the scene like-friendly or forbidding, foreign or familiar? Does the scene play a role in the action? If so, in what way? Is the individual scene placed in a larger context?
  22. 22. ► Purposes. Dramatism studies the motivations and intentions of the actors. Does the film portray the purposes in positive, negative, or neutral terms, or not at all? ► Agencies. The study examines the means, tools and channels that the actors use to pursue their intentions. Gestures, actions, language etc.
  23. 23. Rationale of the study ► ► Women are portrayed in cinema in a stereotypical, often sexist and usually impossible way. And although the world would remain sexist even without films, the medium does open up a whole new door for people to gaze through, and believe what they see. Cinema allows people to see more things and so choose what they want to be – but unfortunately that choice for girls is often one full of impossible contradictions in what they are shown, meaning that films perhaps confuses further an issue which it could help to resolve with more equal and less stereotypical portrayals of women. The researcher felt women deserved a better deal and that the portrayal of the female body as a ‘sexual object’ was an area that needed to be studied.
  24. 24. Limitations ► The study had to be limited to only three films because of time constraint. ► The study had to be restricted to the portrayal of only the female body due to time limitation.
  25. 25. Background informations about the films
  26. 26. Murder ► Sudhir (Ashmit Patel) and Simran (Mallika Sherawat) are a happy couple settled in Bangkok. Workaholic Sudhir ignores his wife. In an alien land and novel atmosphere Simran gets terribly bored and a chance meeting with an old flame (Emraan Hashmi) ends up in a passionate relationship as they become emotionally and physically involved. ► At this point, Sudhir decides to confront Sunny but this meeting leads to some shocking revelations.
  27. 27. Jism ► Sonia Khanna (Bipasha Basu) and Kabir Lal (John Abraham) are illicit lovers conspiring against the former's minted husband Rohit (Gulshan Grover) in between singing and romping around together in the sweltering heat, ultimately Sonia turning out to be traitor to Kabir.
  28. 28. Aksar ► A millionaire Raj (Dino Morea) hiring a casanova Ricky (Emraan) to have an affair with his wife Sheena Roy (Udita Goswami), the millionaire-husband then catching the wife red-handed with the other guy , the wife not regretting her decision leads the husband to manage the casanova killed by the wife and getting rid of her.
  29. 29. Findings
  30. 30. ► Women in these movies are shown as erotic objects only, in the eyes of the male viewers whose castration anxiety is reinforced throughout the three films. ► The lead male in all the three movies have been shown as a playboy reinforcing the audiences thought of unification with the male lead.
  31. 31. ►The exposure of women in all the three movies is woven into a pattern: Interest - Restraint - Interest or Front projection , then back or side projection, then again front , then back projection fully.
  32. 32. ► First, the central lady character’s body is exposed , and then they show the lady in extra marital love affair, illicit love making action. ► In all the three movies, seduction scenes or bed scenes have been given extra importance, making them the central point of interest. ► Jism = 2.53 Secs. ► Murder = 2.24 Secs. ► Aksar = 1.21 Secs.
  33. 33. ► In most of the films (not all, exception, Jism) Aksar, Murder-there is a tendency to establish the lead heroine as an erotic object. In Murder - it is done at 1.18 to 1.21 Secs. The viewers before getting to know the names of the characters get to see Udita Guswami or Mallika Sheawat’s body parts.
  34. 34. ► Ladies inner wears are shown in two movies, Murder and Aksar ► Men as savior = Murder - Whenever the lead woman Simran is in crisis, a man comes to save are. ► The films give a message that men are good essentially . They are at least morally good. He’s not shown as villain, rather as an anti-hero only.
  35. 35. ► There is assertion of the dominant belief of women’s motherhood and the role of wife, rather than asserting her as woman only. Murder shows this, Aksar also. ► Seduction scenes describe men as aggressive. Women only allowing to do in turn. ► Women are there , in every film, to take the blame.
  36. 36. ► ► Duplicacy of women - is shown in full vigour. Women are shown as an object, commodity throughout the narrative of the film Aksar. They are only photo images to be sold ( Time Scale=4: 11, 5: 14, 6: 57 etc ) ► Women are dependent to man for their survival. In Aksar ,Sheena is continuously depending on her husband or in Ricky. In Jism also Sonia is seen using the male strength time and again. ► Women are vulnerable In Murder, Simran is shown allowing herself almost all the time to the will of the male characters especially Sunny’s. In Aksar , it is shown that Sheena is almost a puppet in the clutches of both her husband and the lover.
  37. 37. ► In every film the women are shown in negative shades, either as vulnerable or as villainous. In Murder and Aksar, they are vulnerable, under the shadows of dominant male characters, and in Jism they make the men as puppets. ► In all the three films, the women are hardly shown as workingwomen. ► Among the three films, women are shown as subordinate in two films, Murder and Aksar. (Sheena, Simraan and Nisha). They are no equals to men in any case. Only Jism shows women as superior, but that is also shown with enough of negativity.
  39. 39. ► The filmmakers should be more concentrated to portray women impartially, without any gender bias. ► Survey researches should be done on the viwer’s responses. ► Studies can be done, on feminist film maker’s films, like Aparna Sen’s, Meera Nair’s, Deepa Mehta’s and so on. ► Studies can be done taking films from different genres also.