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Jersey Trailer Review: What’s With Shahid Kapoor Films And Slaps?

Jersey Trailer, Jersey trailer review
Jersey Trailer Review: Shahid Kapoor is coming back to the silver screen riding on the box office success of his last release Kabir Singh. The actor’s upcoming outing Jersey is about an ex-cricketer who never realises his full potential but gives sports a second chance for the sake of his son. While the movie has a different set-up, there is a similarity and a notorious one, with his previous film.

Based on a Telugu film by the same name from 2019, Jersey has been directed by Gowtam Tinnanuri. It also features Mrunal Thakur and Pankaj Kapur in key roles. The trailer of the film introduces us to former cricketer Arjun who is cash strapped and financially dependent on his wife. After his son requests Arjun for a cricket jersey he faces a hard time arranging money to fulfil Kittu’s demand, who seldom asks for anything from his father. Arjun decides to restart his cricketing career so that he can keep his promise to Kittu.

In one scene from the trailer, Arjun’s wife catches him stealing money from her purse and slaps him during the ensuing confrontation. I could almost hear the anti-feminist brigade making memes on the silence of “feminazis” over this particular scene, even before it was over. Is this Kapoor’s attempt to undo the whole chanta debate that was sparked by Kabir Singh, in which both the titular character and his girlfriend slap each other.

Be it Kabir Singh or Jersey, the way films try to normalise intimate partner violence is alarming. Domestic violence can’t be justified, irrespective of the gender of the abuser. While we often talk about the abuse faced by women at hands of their partners, the plight of male survivors mostly remains shrouded in silence. During a study from 2019, conducted in Haryana on 1000 men, 51.5 percent of the participants revealed that they had experienced violence at hands of their wives or partners at least once in their lifetime. The majority of subjects had experienced emotional violence (over 51 percent) while close to six percent of men had experienced physical violence.

Six percent is not a small number. We also have to keep in mind how difficult it is for men to speak up about intimate partner violence due to the stereotypes associated with masculinity in our society. There may be thousands of men in our country who suffer in silence because speaking up about intimate partner violence will make them a subject of crass jokes on being lesser men jo patni see maar kha ke a gaya.

Keeping the gender and social dynamics in mind, it seems reckless of filmmakers to portray intimate partner violence in films as a part of regular harmless spats that happen in households. If we reverse genders here, a lot of us would disapprove, was Arjun shown slapping his wife. But will we hold his wife to the same standards? Will we cringe and curse if he forgives his wife and reunites with her in the film?

Jersey can be a relevant commentary on how men are treated by those around them when they fail to achieve success, as defined by our society. It’s a great chance for the makers to go beyond the underdog format and start a conversation of patriarchy’s norms from men, how their worth is decided by their paycheck/fame (or lack of it) and what it costs them to pursue their dreams. One will have to wait and see if it goes beyond the Bollywood formula or not.

Check out the trailer of Jersey here:

Views expressed are the author’s own.