Aamir Khan’s Dangal, in the second week, is dominating China’s box office, and has reportedly made over Rs 450 crores, beating Hollywood film Guardians Of The Galaxy 2. However, some theatre-goers have slammed the film from a feminist point of view, blatantly calling out the film’s insertion of “patriarchal” values.
“The father’s values make me vomit; he forces his daughters to live a certain type of life with his dream, with money and becoming a champion. You think the movie is about breaking gender stereotypes, but actually it’s knee-deep in prejudice,” a member of the audience told Global Times tabloid.
Many were uncomfortable with the idea of the girls not being given a chance by their father to live their lives, and forced into wrestling.
“The movie reeks of patriarchy and male chauvinism. The daughters didn’t have any freedom to choose and were raised ferociously by their father to be world champions. The ‘correct result’ in the championship justifies the father’s education,” said another audience member to the tabloid.
In China, the film was regarded feminist because the lead female character in the movie struggles against sexism and wins India’s first gold medal in women’s wrestling. Dushe Dianying, a movie criticism app popular among young people, published an article on the film:
“I’m not saying that women should not fight for their rights, I’m saying feminist slogans that overlook cultural and social contexts and reality can be a type of hijacking.
Even in India last year, many were skeptical about the ‘feminist’ nature of the film.
“However, the whole idea of women empowerment or feminism was actually lost by nationalism. Besides, Aamir khan nearly dominated the entire film. So, just like Pink, Dangal winds up being a film about a patriarch in charge who “enables” women and clearly takes every one of the honors,” wrote a Quora user about the film.
Some, like The Wire, looked at the film as neither feminist nor patriarchal.
Our Dangal review: Seeing Champions In Little Girls