Pravesh Kumar: Film-maker says he wants to change ‘sexist’ Bollywood

Pravesh Kumar: Film-maker says he wants to change 'sexist' Bollywood
A picture of Pravesh Kumar

Bollywood is adored worldwide, but it has also faced criticism for being sexist and misogynistic.

Pravesh Kumar, a filmmaker and actor, wants to alter that.

Kumar, who was born in Slough but spent a decade working in Bollywood, told BBC News he is using his new music, Frankie Goes To Bollywood, as a way to shine a light on the American film industry’s lighter area.

” I think it’s important to request the really important inquiries”, he said.

Gender injustice and discrimination have a far-reaching root beyond India alone.

The# MeToo movement, which was sparked by Harvey Weinstein’s allegations in 2017, was centered in Hollywood.

After his state murder conviction was overturned, a judge ruled last week that the humiliated film producer will have a second trial in the fall.

” It’s not just Bollywood, we know it’s Hollywood too, this is just the account we’re telling”, American Eastern artist Laila Zaidi told BBC News.

A picture from Frankie goes to Bollywood

Rich Lakos

A fresh Milton Keynes artist who relocates to India and aspires to become a star is the subject of the music.

But once there, Frankie immediately becomes disenchanted by the market. She is objectified and preyed upon by people twice her age. Older female stars are cast away, although older man stars are celebrated. Nepo-babies advance more quickly and earn prizes.

The present is based on true tales.

As an assistant director and writer, Kumar worked for a number of well-known Indian film and television manufacturing businesses.

He claimed to have always enjoyed watching movies as a child but that he started to feel more uneasy about what he was seeing on the camera.

” You frequently witness scenes where a 50 or 60-year-old person romances a woman who is not even his senior.” And if we purchase that seat, we are all responsible in that.

He described the economy as “absolutely also sexist”, adding:” Bollywood film is also run by men, and it’s for guys”.

In his music, Kumar claims he aimed to make these themes known and cause alter by bringing them to life.

He also actively portrayed a strong female character, in the character Frankie, as part of the musical’s message of sexual independence.

” I did n’t want to make a fluffy Bollywood dance show”, he said. ” All I can do, as an actor, is ask important questions. And if it is hard, when you go back home, I want you to have a talk about it because that’s how shift happens”.

The music has been well received by reviewers, with the Stage calling it “witty and knowing” and awarding it three actors.
The Salterton Arts Review, however, said it showcased” all the best parts of Bollywood while calling for the difficult parts to alter”.

Derogatory and antiquated

Bollywood produces hundreds of movies annually and has a sizable after worldwide.

However, many of its films have received criticism for being discriminatory and portraying women in a cruel and negative way.

One new film, 2023’s Animal, faced a backlash from some critics, including in India. Controversial scenes like those that show a female character being asked to kiss a man’s boots and those that show regional and sexual abuse. Despite this, it was a field office hit.

A study conducted last month revealed how much gender equality existed in Bollywood, both on and off the screen.

Experts from Tiss ( Tata Institute of Social Sciences ) in Mumbai came to the conclusion that despite providing some reason for optimism, the box office visits are still discriminatory and backward, and gay picture and people continue to be dismal.

Anupama Chopra, a movie critic and Editor of Film Companion, based in Mumbai, said Bollywood is also sexist” but so is every movie industry in the world”.

She claimed that there is progress, which is fueled in part by the MeToo action, which launched in 2017.

” Absolutely there are more people in positions of power and greater knowledge. So there is shift. It’s slower but it’s certainly it”.

Nandini Ramnath, a movie writer at Scroll. in, likewise based in Mumbai, agreed that things are improving, even though there is also” a long way to go”.

” The productions behind Hindi movies, television shows and streaming set are packed with women, both in top positions as well as in important decision- creating departments”, she said.

” There has been a large transition in terms of picture. For example, there is greater consciousness that the song, which features a dancing woman surrounded by a hero and many men, is absolutely irrelevant and essentially sexist.

” The item song has n’t disappeared, but we do n’t see as much of it as before, and some filmmakers have consciously dropped it from their productions.”

Laila Zaidi acting as Frankie

Rich Lakos

Zaidi, who plays Frankie in the music, said she hoped it may help address the gender pay gap and discrimination in Bollywood.

She said it was” personal “acting the part of Frankie”. All people and all people will be able to connect. The first time we did a move through, I was in grief.”

The 30-year-old artist claimed that the issues did not only affect the Indian film industry, adding that she had had her own difficult experience in the UK.

I’ve certainly experienced power struggles, feeling like I’m being sexualized in a specific manner and feeling low.

She stated that the music wanted to savor South Asian ability and Bollywood, which it does by showcasing the stunning clothes, the songs, and dances. But it also wanted to highlight that it’s not perfect”. If we can make individuals more aware of the realities, next we’ll have played a little element.”

Stars are becoming more knowledgeable, according to reports.

For Channel 4’s current affairs program Unreported World, investigative writer Sahar Zand produced the video India: Bollywood# MeToo in 2018.

Women in India spoke out when the MeToo action began, with Tanushree Dutta, a Bollywood actress, leading the charge.

Zand said that when it comes to discrimination, and sexual abuse in the industry, things are gradually changing.

You can see how more and more women are becoming conscious. MeToo brought more consciousness,” she said”. However, it is miles from where it is required to remain. Look at Hollywood, there is n’t equality, there are still sexual advances behind the scenes, but India still very much behind the curve,” she added”. What we’re seeing is a reflection of world.”

Zand said for change to occur quicker, more artists need to talk up and name offenders.

She argued that they needed to be secure in the knowledge that they would n’t risk sacrificing their lives and careers in the process.

” The rules needs to support them,” she said”. Instead of blaming them for speaking up, there needs to be a better system in place.

Watford Palace Theatre is currently hosting Frankie Goes to Bollywood, followed by a regional journey before moving to Southbank Centre in London in July.