Updated May 11th, 2024 at 23:21 IST

Ratna Pathak Shah Labels Guru Dutt, Bimal Roy's Films As Misogynistic: I Never Understood...

Ratna Pathak Shah last appeared in Dhak Dhak, as a female biker. She recently reflected on the inherent misogyny present in several Bollywood classics.

Ratna Pathak Shah | Image:ratnapathakshah/Instagram
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Over the course of her rather critically celebrated career, Ratna Pathak Shah has time and again embraced roles that have swam against the current of mainstream narratives. In the same breath, the veteran actress has also never shied away from critiquing the latter.

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Ratna Pathak Shah believes misogyny is a recurring theme in Bollywood


In a recent interview with Hauterrfly, Ratna Pathak Shah opened up about how for long - everything in Bollywood, was black and white, something which only appears to have slightly faded with time. She said, "Good people could only be good, bad people could only be bad, everything was done in broad strokes."

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Ratna particularly spoke about Guru Dutt and Bimal Roy's body of work. Though she acknowledged them as "more sensitive" than the rest, she still appeared rather perplexed over the need for women characters to always be seeking validation from the men around them, quite literally, falling at their feet. She said, "Even in some of the more beautiful films, made by some of the more sensitive guys. Guru Dutt’s films, or Bimal Roy’s films, the women are constantly diving for the men’s feet...I never understood it. I find it offensive now, and I think for a while, I also bought into it."

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Ratna Pathak Shah calls out the industry's persistent failure to represent women authentically


In the same beat, Ratna also proceeded to call out the industry's startling inability to represent a woman as a normal, complex being. The usual narrative, as per the actress, either treads on unreal pedestalisation, or conversely, denigration - both as problematic as the other. 

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She said, "It went straight from the 'Devi' to the tart, and neither is nice. I think we are as complex as men, and it’s a pity that our storytelling never wanted to explore the more interesting areas of human beings and human interaction." 

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Published May 11th, 2024 at 23:21 IST