There are spoilers in the analysis. Proceed to read according to your need.
Shah Rukh’s wife Gauri Khan and Alia Bhatt’s production beautifully wrapped two important but different themes into one story. The grip on Darlings is tremendous. There was applause and the audience was so immersed that they couldn’t understand the narrative of the film. The bad things the Darlings were supposed to criticize didn’t happen. The film must be seen as part of a vicious attempt at the same Bollywood narrative, which for the last 75 years seems to be trying to drive the Hindi belt its own way.
All the Bollywood movies did not give any solution in society and politics but on the contrary, they encouraged partition. He created public opinion by setting up a convenient narrative and influenced everything. At least this trend is seen in popular Bollywood movies to date. This is also a big reason in the debate that arose between Bollywood and the South. A jumble of stories. Southern movies have things clear. There is definitely ambiguity in Bollywood. The Darlings are the freshest and most spectacular specimen of it.
Well, there is no question that Darlings is not a good movie. Absolutely good movie. Whether it’s an interesting script or the acting of the actors, Darlings will be called a great movie in many ways. Her story is about the mischievous Badrunnisha (Alia Bhatt). She lives with her mother Shamsunisha (Shefali Shah). The shadow of her father has risen in childhood itself. Badru is in love with Hamza (Vijay Verma). After getting a TC job with the Railways, Hamza-Badru gets married. Everything is fine for three years. But later, a drunken Hamza often starts brutal attacks on Badru.
Alia Bhatt and Shefali Shah in Darlings.
In India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, women become victims of violence at the hands of their husbands for much the same reasons: Badru also suffers in a similar way. There’s no difference. Shamshu is feeling bad. She keeps asking the daughter to divorce her. Badru does not want to divorce Hamza. However, later the situation becomes such that Badru decides to teach Hamza a lesson. How does she teach her a lesson? Only this thing has been shown in the movie. The craftsmanship is amazing. There is tremendous emotion in the last 30 minutes of the film, infused with humor.
Darlings who have become everyone’s story despite being the story of a Muslim
The greatest beauty of Darlings is that despite being the story of a Muslim in the subcontinent, it does not seem to be the only one. Although it is not the history of Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains and Christians, its history is made. Without a doubt, this is a common story of women throughout the subcontinent. At times it seemed that if the Muslim characters were replaced with others, it would probably be the only film in Bollywood where there seemed to be no difference. In the background of the film, ‘Islam’ or any other religion is not visible as a religion. it is in the signs. And somewhere the signs are on the defensive and somewhere Nina is seen as an attacker out of necessity.
The sound of the mosque is heard in two places in the film. No Maulana is seen. Badru, Shamsu and Hamza live in mixed rides. The film’s story is also not like BR Chopra’s ‘Nikah’ that came 40 years ago, in which ‘Halala’ was criticized. The Darlings story would have impressed any Indian audience in every way. I wonder why theatrical content was released on OTT instead of theaters? Despite all the opposition, it was a movie to win 100 million rupees.
Was Gauri Khan and the team afraid that the issues currently facing Bollywood would have a negative impact? Especially- Hindu-Muslim issue. I think somewhere the creators had this fear. And there was reason for his fear. In fact, it can be understood as a case of straw in a thief’s beard. Even though there was nothing special against the Darlings in the public domain before its release other than nepotism, the film’s creators knew what else was really in their story.
When they went out to deal with the common problems of the common society, then why the fake victim card?
The film, under the guise of Badru, showed the story of an ordinary woman who faces the common problems of an ordinary society and deals with them in her own way, but also shows an illegitimate attempt to portray Muslims as victims in India. . This is dishonest with a story, false narratives were also coined through this. The Darlings story is written by director Jasmeet in association with Parvez Sheikh. Sharabi Hamza is the Khal character in the film. As long as her character is with Badru, Shamsu and Zulfi, it seems negative.
But as soon as it looks different from here, he tries to garner sympathy. Instead of being treated like a TC in the workplace, Hamza receives discriminatory treatment. The bathroom is cleaned. Officers are seen doing duty walks. While Hamza doesn’t seem to behave like that with his co-workers. Well, in the name of showing history, creators are entitled to get a discount. But the way things were generalized with a ‘Khal character’, is it really so? Movies are not just a matter of entertainment. It also prepares public opinion. What is the impact of the way Hamza is discriminated against as a Muslim?
There is no denying that there is some negativity against Muslims in the workplace on religious grounds. But his reasons are more political. But examples of such discrimination and that is also not seen in a metropolis like Mumbai. Yes, thanks to Emraan Hashmi it became known that even wealthy Muslims could not get a house in Mumbai due to religion. What a contradiction among the spoiled that Hamza’s neighbors and his mother-in-law are Hindus, that too. But he is abused in the workplace.
When it comes to cleaning at Indian Railways, this work is done by those who have been appointed to this job. Not only under the guise of Hamza, but also through Shamshu and Badru, Muslims were portrayed as victims. Watch Badru-Shamsu’s dialogue with Police Inspector Tawde at the police station. When Badrunnisha and Shamsunnisha reveal their names, Tawde seems to be creating religious divisions about their ‘Nnisha’ as if they had migrated from another planet and settled in Mumbai. Tawde explains what ‘Nisha’ means in his society.
Alia Bhatt in Dear Ones.
Even at the climax, when Tawde, who is suspected of murder in Hamza’s accidental death, is forced to divert attention from the case and ask his colleague what’s in the tiffin today. Listening to the non-vegetarians, he asks to bring Vadapav. Kind of like Shamshu and Badru who do tiffin business, after killing Hamza they cooked his meat and sent it to him.
In the film, Muslims are shown as second-class citizens and the poor treatment inflicted on them. Now the question is, when the film legally focused on domestic violence and also has the potential to become a common story, then what was the need to push the Hindu-Muslim narrative here? The producers could have made a separate film about Islamophobia or the daily plight of Muslims and released it in theaters on OTT, right? What was the need to defame a pluralist country and its institutions on the pretext of contradictory things?
Such coercion is not correct to answer about Islamophobia.
Things that are far from reality are shown strongly in the name of Islamophobia. But in reality, the orthodox structure of Islam that could be attacked was ignored. By law, non-Muslims’ irrational questions about the alleged persecution of women in Islam could have been addressed through the film. At least the triple talaq issue could have been discussed. The context also enters the film. Hamza, a modern urban Muslim, tells Badru that he neither imposed the burqa nor prohibited walking. Isn’t this a jumble of contradictory things in Darlings?
Despite this, if anyone finds the things shown in the movie okay, then the conclusion of Darlings is clear. Muslims have to face religious discrimination everywhere outside the home. Because of this, he is getting frustrated. They are using alcohol or other intoxicants out of frustration. Due to intoxication, we remove the frustration found in the wife from outside the house. Despite this, he loves his wife with all her heart. The reason for the oppression of the innocent Badru is the discriminatory treatment of non-Muslims and all institutions in India.
Other Shamshu and Zulfi agree, so I don’t see any sin in falling in love with an appetizing aunt or a beautiful old lady. It just seems that Sheikh Saheb saved Islam and achieved immense fame by putting a ‘feminist’ veil on her story.