If you haven't seen the movie yet, don't read past this para as I have written some heavy spoilers. Also, I have used some profane language and I thought I should warn you. If you were here just for the review, I liked the movie a lot. Anushka Sharma did a fantastic job acting as well as producing. All the other actors did quite well as well and even the direction was gripping and better than the movies Bollywood is throwing at us off lately.
I had to watch the movie NH10, not because I love Anushka Sharma but because it was not another south Indian remake or a commercial entertainer. Oh, and by the way, I do like Anushka Sharma.
How many times have you seen the audience treating the climax with a thunderous applause? Not much, right? This movie takes you exactly towards that moment.
Meera (Anushka Sharma) sits there, lights a cigarette and waits for her prey, the prey who is now dragging himself away from Meera in order to save his life (?). That moment builds up the environment. People are holding their breath. She is now standing on her feet with an iron rod. The moment pauses for a while and everybody is waiting for the rod to smash his head or pierce his body. When it finally does, it goes on and on and on and people start clapping, finally satisfied with the justice being served. However, the claps did not emerge from every seat. Some were too shocked at the brutality and some thought they had wasted their money and two hours on a shitty movie (?).
The movie NH10 is largely inspired and from the Hollywood’s ‘survival movie’ Eden Lake. I watched it long back and I had liked it. You can find ‘n’ number of similarities here. The only difference is that the writers fused Indian social issues into the script and gave us a dose of something that has haunted us for years.
NH10 focused majorly on honor killings and the brutality of the heinous crime. I was impressed with the level of violence that was portrayed in the movie. It is a big thing for Bollywood and I am glad it is coming of age finally. We say the violence in that movie was too much, but consider that it has actually happened to so many people. We all read news, right? I was disappointed with the censor board with the edits they have made. The slangs were edited and the one that were present were ‘silenced'. I think it could have given a lot more weight to the characters.
Moving aside from the censor issues, I really liked the movie NH10. It reveals the roots of patriarchy and gender based crimes. A child is standing nearby when his mother is hit by his grandmother and he laughs. Why? Because he is used to watching the domestic violence and it is perfectly fine for him to watch his mother beaten, he rather enjoys it. Who will he grow up to be? An abuser? A Rapist? A person who thinks women are just for doing the household, having sex with, and producing babies?
The question raised by NH10 movie is thought provoking. It also shows us that even the women themselves are responsible for the present fate of their own gender. The grandmother was equally responsible for the honor killing and even with her last dialogue; she confirmed that it was perfectly fine for her to have her daughter killed just because she loved someone from the other caste.
It all began because Meera’s husband chose to interfere. So, the next thought provoking question for me was what would I do in a similar situation? Consider yourself in the place. You are with your wife when a guy along with some of his accolades comes and beats up another guy and his sister. You know why it is being done. Would you interfere and become a victim yourself? Would you go to the police and become a victim yourself? Or would you simply close your eyes and look at the other way as if nothing is happening? Should I be ashamed of myself if I choose to look away to save my wife from what might possibly happen if I interfere?
The next thing I wanted to discuss about the movie NH10 was about some viewers. The ‘tau’ (elder most among the family who performed the honor killing) asks the victim’s brother to kill Meera’s husband and take Meera to his room. This is when I heard some people whistle and hoot proceeded with some filthy comments. Meera’s husband has been hit and bleeding. She’s crying and it is a bit of a poignant moment when I hear someone from the front row saying “Ek bar ise apni dede khush ho jayega wo (Allow him to fuck you and he’ll be happy).” A male slaps a female and some guys hoot again. “Maar Sali ko (Hit the bitch.),” I heard. The victim’s brother is hitting Anushka repeatedly after his mother has locked her inside his own house and I hear, “chhod de ise yahin (fuck her now).” And then when the movie finished, I heard, “Chutiya movie this paise barbaad ho gaye. (It was a dumbass movie, I wasted my money)”
I decided to write the exact words because I wanted you all to think patiently about the situation we have here. No, it was not a cheap theater with all the low life people. Yes, there were families sitting in the same theater. No, not all people can afford tickets worth 400 bucks to be with a better crowd of people. Yes, I felt enraged about the comments. No, it was not coming from the same bunch of guys, but threesome different groups.
What world are we living in? What sort of people are they? No, they did not seem like the educated ones. Educated people do not talk like that. However, is it because they have been taught that ever since their childhood? What is being done in that direction? We all come on the streets when a rape happens and we feel the victim’s pain. However, what is being done to cut down the roots that has taken a firm position in our society especially in the rural areas?
When Meera climbs up a rock to escape and shouts back at them, “Fuck You!” Does she actually shouts on the entire patriarchal system of our society. Just before deciding to hunt down the men who were hunting her a while back, she is inside a giant pipe with her husband who is dead by now. She reads on the pipe - “Randi Sali (Fucking Whore)”. Then, she shouts repeatedly in rage and frustration. Is she shouting on the society who objectifies the women, beginning right from their homes?
In the end, I will leave you with these questions to ponder upon along with the fact that Anushka Sharma has done an appreciating job of producing the movie NH10. It does require much gut to make a movie like that when the masses are enjoying the stupid movies and making them earn millions.
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