Holi is a sacred festival of colors filled with joy. But unfortunately, we have heard cases that marked this festival for many. Movies cannot be left behind for contributing in part to such horrors of Holi. Movies have played a major role in shaping society. Specifically, Bollywood films unknowingly romanticize Holi to the extent that the recreation of such instances has been normalized. What might look like a romantic scene from ‘Raanjhanaa’ to another, might actually be a traumatic Holi scene from ‘Kabir Singh’ to another.
Arjun Reddy’s Hindi remake depicts the sad realities of Holi that a woman has to endure under unfortunate circumstances. In this film, the hero’s rival seeks revenge by insulting the heroine’s modesty on the day of Holi. It is one of the rare films which presents the other side of the festivities.
Darr by Shahrukh Khan is another such film that gives audiences a spooky vibe at this festival of colors. Ang Se and Laga’s song haunts viewers with the fear of being constantly watched by someone.
These two films are bold in exposing the dark side of an otherwise colorful and joyful festival.
As important as it is to set the tone and read the situation, the films have romanticized Holi and caused irreparable damage. Here are stills from Bollywood movies that romanticize Holi.
Two school children meet outside on the streets where the festival is celebrated in its own right. Their first touch by applying these colors on the occasion of Holi is presented as a romantic and cute moment. This could create false expectations in the minds of young people and mislead some of them.
The eroticism depicted through the celebration of colors, while visually appealing, is an inaccurate representation of Holi. Such idealization of festivals should not be encouraged as it could lead to real imitations that disregard the concept of consent. The normalization of such acts in public also disrupts the decorum of society.
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A similar trope is also followed in this movie. The hero chasing the girl and playing Holi could lead to a recreation of the stunt in real life. A festival should not be monetized for mere visual appeal.
Celebrating Holi is not criticized in this article, but its misrepresentation. For the same reason, the fun and playful song “Balam Pichkari” by Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani was not deemed problematic. It’s a matter of intent versus impact here.
Comment below and let us know your favorite Bollywood movies that don’t romanticize and celebrate Holi the right way!