The Race Franchise and Its Seemingly Liberated Women
Dirty money, cool stunts, girls and guns…the Race franchise has always been a testosterone fan fest, and it knows its target audience well. Hence, apart from Salman Khan fans, no one had been exactly holding their breath for the trailer of Race 3 to come out. However, now that it is out, it has something for everyone to talk about. Bhai’s fans cannot stop gushing over the gravity-defying stunts and dialogues which were seemingly co-written by writers of Prem Ratan Dhan Payo and Gunda.
His critics, however, are pointing out at trivial issues, like, the absence of logic, script, science and presence of computer-enhanced abs and so on. Also, there is a lot of buzz about Bobby Deol’s come back to the silver screen after a long hiatus. Bare-chested!!! We don’t know anyone who is looking forward to that.
For me, the trailer of Race 3 is a déjà vu. I have seen the same female characters throughout the franchise’s journey. There are some peculiar traits to all women characters and I have a problem with them.
Gullible pawns in the hands of men disguised as Femme Fatale
On the face of it, the women characters who appear in the action-thriller series seem to be liberated. They are either working women or heirs to a family fortune. Apart from being able to dance like exotic dancers, these women are well versed in martial arts, outspoken and have a penchant for cars and guns. They mouth sassy dialogues, wear sassier clothes and always have a card or two hidden up their sleeves. No woman is a damsel in distress in the Race franchise. They are always part of the bigger scheme, backstabbing those around them. In the end, they walk away in swag if they manage to come out victorious, along with their lead.
But these seemingly cool and catty women are in fact mere pawns in the hands of the films’ heroes and villains. They get objectified in every second scene. Even when these women engage in fights, the sequence seems more sexualised than attempting to make them look tough. For example, in a scene from Race 3’s trailer, Daisy Shah takes a knife and slits open her dress to reveal a glistening leg, so that she can throw a kick without any hassle.
While we were deceived by its novelty in the first installment, things fast became dreary even before the second part hit intermission. Perhaps the repetitiveness of too many twists and turns and a generic template prompted the producers to rope in a new cast. The women, despite new identities look stale and monotonous. But then again, who will be looking at them anyway. All it would take for this film to earn 300 crores is the scene where apna bhai shoots a rocket launcher and blasts two jeeps.
Picture Credit : YouTube
Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own