Thursday, Jul 02, 2020 | Last Update : 03:35 PM IST

100th Day Of Lockdown

Maharashtra180298931548053 Tamil Nadu94049529261264 Delhi89802599922803 Gujarat33318240381869 Uttar Pradesh2405616629718 West Bengal1917012528683 Rajasthan1831214574421 Telangana173578082267 Karnataka165148065253 Andhra Pradesh152526988193 Haryana1494110499240 Madhya Pradesh1386110655581 Bihar10204781173 Assam8956583212 Jammu and Kashmir76954856105 Odisha7316535333 Punjab56683989149 Kerala4594243626 Uttarakhand2791190937 Chhatisgarh2339193713 Jharkhand2339160512 Tripura140110931 Manipur12605790 Goa11984783 Himachal Pradesh9796179 Puducherry73930112 Nagaland5351820 Chandigarh4463676 Arunachal Pradesh182601 Mizoram1601230 Sikkim88490 Meghalaya50421
  Entertainment   In Other News  26 Jan 2020  Tollywood blockbusters’ leading bimbettes

Tollywood blockbusters’ leading bimbettes

THE ASIAN AGE. | SUBHASH K JHA
Published : Jan 26, 2020, 1:01 am IST
Updated : Jan 26, 2020, 1:01 am IST

Quite similarly, Pooja Hedge’s characterisation in Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo is a joke, only a little worse off than Rashmika’s in Sarileru Neekevvaru.

 Pooja Hedge
  Pooja Hedge

Telugu cinema had two reasons to celebrate this Sankranti. Both the Mahesh Babu-starrer Sarileru Neekevvaru and the Allu Arjun-starrer Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo have turned out to be big grossers.

But the manner in which the leading ladies in both films have been portrayed gives us much food for thought. Unhealthy food at that — one that begets the question “Has Telugu cinema really progressed?”

 

The swooning bimbo

To begin with, both Sarileru Neekevvaru and Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo are rigidly mainstream — formula films. The do-gooder heroes in each film take on the villainous forces etc. In both the films, the heroines, who are ultimately relegated to playing the romantic lead, are no more than decorative props. What makes matters worse is that the characters are placed in deplorably regressive roles.

In Sarileru Neekevvaru, Rashmika Mandana spends all her screen time (which isn’t much, honestly) extolling the emotional and physical virtues of the hero. Every time she sees Mahesh Babu, Rashmika goes into a swoon. Her eyes roll, her lips tremble and she stammers. Every dialogue she has in the film is about how “cute and handsome” the hero is.

In brief, she has no life apart from stalking and raving over the man she has “chosen”. It is obvious that if she has one, it’s only with her “cute”, “handsome”, etc. man.

The voyeur’s muse

Quite similarly, Pooja Hedge’s characterisation in Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo is a joke, only a little worse off than Rashmika’s in Sarileru Neekevvaru. She plays a successful, rich and confident single woman. But the minute she sees the hero, she turns into a bundle of nerves. In a blatant endorsement of voyeurism and objectification, Allu Arjun keeps gawking at Hegde’s legs, not once but many times over in the film. It’s like a running joke in the film, although the squirmy looks Arjun gives the heroine would make any sane and sensible girl creep out. There is an entire song and dance in the film in which Allu Arjun sings about his heroine’s legs. And Pooja is shown enjoying it!

In an interview, she was asked about her hero’s leggy obsession and her reply was a classic. Pooja Hedge is quoted as saying, “There are films where people have sexually objectified navel of heroines, but Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo doesn’t do that.”

All right, then. From the navel the hero’s gaze has gone down to the legs. Hopefully soon, he will be drooling over his beloved’s feet the way Raj Kumar did in Kamal Amrohi’s Pakeezah. But hey! That’s another story.

Tags: mahesh babu, sarileru neekevvaru, pooja hedge