- Film: Anaarkali of Aarah
- Director: Avinash Das
- What you need to know: Anar of Aarah, shows you why backing down in the face of assault, molestation or rape cannot be the norm – No surrender, no retreat
Swara Bhaskar is our star for the weekend and personally, a woman who knows how to be kickass without saying it in so much words.
Hum koi dudh ke dhule nahi hai and those words are enough to establish a woman who knows what she is and where she stands with respect to society’s versions of purity, virginity and womanhood. She creates no excuses for her profession as an erotic singer and performer, she delivers what is asked of her in the most explosive way and in no way are you judging her for being so bold (for lack of a better word).
Anar and her chamakdar (gaudy) lehenga charm your socks right off. No, you don’t have that warm, spongy, syrupy feeling that you would normally associate with a heroine, instead you get this feeling of free-spiritedness and the guts to take on the world. She is quite unlike her namesake Anarkali who meekly went and got herself shoved into a wall for loving a prince.
In short, without revealing the story in any manner, here’s the turning point in Anar’s life. Her life is spent singing and dancing in the small town of Aarah. The moment a drunk, over-excited, lusty political honcho gets handsy with her on stage and our woman of the hour, gives a resounding slap to keep him in limits.
Following that is a journey of incensed male egos, societal pressure, question about professional choices and more such melodrama. However, in all that melee the one thing that shines through is the unwavering spirit of Anar. The whole of Aarah might judge her, say that she deserves what she is getting because of her profession or that she is automatically branded a prostitute, Anar fights and boy, the smile on her face at the end, justifies the whole case.
Pankaj Tripathi, Sanjay Mishra and Rekha Bharadwaj are best support in the movie. You may be wondering why singer Rekha Bhardwaj? Her voice lends immense character to the role and to the movie.
A lot of people have compared it to Pink, for the fact that this movie teaches that woman is to be respected no matter what her profession – prostitute or an actress. And even though a woman may be a prostitute or an erotic singer, she has the right to say No to whom she chooses and men should learn to accept that fact. But where this film stands out is that while in Pink, Amitabh Bachchan as the lawyer gets the meatiest dialogues, the one who threw all the punches, in Anaarkali of Aarah it is Swara Bhaskar, the hero who does the talking.
The story kind of holds of the torch for women’s empowerment. What is going on in India at currently is completely relatable.
Every time a woman/girl complains of harassment, assault or rape, her intentions, integrity, sexual history, clothes, choices in life, etc. are first questioned.
It also shows how women are even classified according to their class and choice of profession. Anar, as you know, is what you call a – dancer, naach-gaane wali, so obviously her standing in society in comparison to three working girls from Pink is quite low down the ladder and her battle shows how in some wars you have to win it all by yourself and no lawyer in black coat will come knocking on your door to rescue you.
Rather than the criminal being in the dock, it is the victim who is shamed, judged and forced to believe that she brought it upon herself. Anar of Aarah, shows you why that cannot be the norm – No surrender, no retreat – A battle every woman wages at some point or the other in their lives.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:32 PM IST