?

Log in

 
 
05 June 2013 @ 06:57 pm
Movie Rec: Jab We Met (Bollywood)  
"Jab We Met" is a pretty traditional romance narrative at surface level, which is also quitely but very effectively subverting a lot of the common romance tropes.  It's one of my favorite Bollywood movies, but it's rarely one that I use to convert people mostly because it isn't a movie that could only exist in Bollywood.  It's a pretty universally awesome romance narrative, all around.

HOWEVER, there is an aspect of it that makes it more subversive given the cultural context, which is that the heroine, while wanting a romantic happy ending for herself, wants one that's traditionally frowned upon by her culture.

While the narrative starts with the premise of a Brooding Hero meeting his Manic Pixie Dreamgirl, that's where the similarities end.  Because we find out a lot more about Geet, her hopes and dreams, and her family than we ever do about him.  One of the only things we do know about him is that at some point in his childhood, his mother ran off with another man because she didn't love his father.  Brooding Hero clearly feels that his mother's elopement has brought great shame to his family, through which the narrative gives us a glimpse of what kind of social disgrace Geet is possibly setting herself up for by wanting to elope.

However, the movie has Geet identifying with the mother pretty early on, and before the movie ends, this turns into an epic commentary on women and their choices and about doing what makes you happy rather than following patriarchal social conventions that stifle you.  So the most important thing we DO know about him still becomes about her.  <3

I never have much to say about men in fiction, but the male protagonist of this movie is one that I quite like.  He spends a good part of the movie being in love with her, but never even telling her, because he sees that as his own issue, and nothing *she* should be burdened with.  Like, he has ZERO need for his feelings for her to be validated or returned.  Which NEVER happens in romance narratives (except for in "Pride and Prejudice," and that's why it's my favorite.)

And Geet!  <3  Geet is one of the most self-assured and confident heroines I have ever come across in any narrative.  She knows what she wants, and she has no hesitation or doubts about how she's going to get it.  She has a strong sense of self that briefly wavers in the face of the utter force of everything that's against her, but comes back stronger than ever.

This is, by all means, set up as a narrative where the heroine would Learn Her Lesson about Wanting Unconventional Things, but the entire movie sets out to show HER way of life as the correct one, with everyone around her adapting to her worldview.  Even though the specifics of what she wants for herself change, she still gets the exact kind of happy ending she set out to chase for herself.

I also love her need to create drama and constantly strive to write out a more interesting narrative for herself than the one life would otherwise give her.  She reminds me of Jane Austen's Emma Woodhouse or Catherine Morland, except that both of these women had to learn a lesson about Needing to be Serious/Mature, while Geet keeps on being herself.  <3

Like, the speech that both Emma and Catherine get from the Men Who Love Them and Know Better?  Geet gets that about halfway through the movie, only to totally set the guy straight, and that is literally the actual moment he falls for her.  BECAUSE SHE REFUSED TO SUBSCRIBE TO HIS WORLD VIEW.  And then he subscribes to her awesomeness.  You should, too.

This movie is streaming on Netflix, but the subtitles are questionable.  I may, um, have resources here later.  I am currently working on rewriting large bits of the subtitles, hopefully improving them.  I will also upload that file once I am done.

This entry was originally posted at http://prozacpark.dreamwidth.org/123398.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
 
 
 
tigerpetals (Gabriela V.): Shuntigerpetals on June 6th, 2013 01:57 am (UTC)
This is, by all means, set up as a narrative where the heroine would Learn Her Lesson about Wanting Unconventional Things, but the entire movie sets out to show HER way of life as the correct one, with everyone around her adapting to her worldview. Even though the specifics of what she wants for herself change, she still gets the exact kind of happy ending she set out to chase for herself.

Sold.

(Also working my way through Pretty Little Liars. What have you done to my free time.)

hell to ships, hell to men, and hell to cities.prozacpark on June 6th, 2013 05:43 am (UTC)
BUT! The reason we even have free time is so we could use it to watch things with awesome women! ;)

How far into PLL are you?
tigerpetals (Gabriela V.): Shuntigerpetals on June 6th, 2013 05:58 am (UTC)
This is true. It is a healthy choice!

I watched the first twelve episodes. If I keep going at the rate of six episodes a day, I might finish by the end of next week. I probably will take a day or two for a slower pace, though.
hell to ships, hell to men, and hell to cities.prozacpark on June 6th, 2013 07:21 am (UTC)
Ha, ha, six episodes a day is totally my preferred pace of binging on awesome tv. And I support this plan to catch up in time for the season four premiere. <3
tigerpetals (Gabriela V.): Shuntigerpetals on June 7th, 2013 02:12 am (UTC)
<3

I binged and finished the season. x.x I am incoherent about my feelings right now. But Hanna's my favorite.

And, for some reason? There were so many times when I looked at Hanna and saw Buffy, most often season one Buffy. Just, looking at her face especially. It increases my love for her even more. And I am spoiled for Caleb leaving the show, so I am preemptively sad.
redbrunja: lbd | modern romanceredbrunja on June 6th, 2013 06:17 am (UTC)
That sounds very interesting and I'd love to give that a watch, if you end up *hem hem* making it available.