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Movie Review
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Communications & Media: Kya Kehn, by Kundan Shah , 2001 (Movie Review Sample)


Review the film, Kya Kehn, by Kundan Shah , 2001

Kya Kehn, by Kundan Shah , 2001
Kya Kehn is Bollywood film released in 2000 and directed by Kundan Shah. The leading actor in the movie is Preity Zinta, and she plays a single teenage mother. The film tackles the taboo issue of pre-marital teenage pregnancy and how the Indian society views it. The movie was one of the highest grossing productions and catapulted Zinta to her stardom within the Hindi film industry.
The film revolves around Priya Bakshi (Played by Preity Zinta), a courageous, determined and independent girl from a middle-class Indian family who lived in a town located in the Himalayan foothills. After her graduation from an exclusive all-girls boarding school, she goes back home to attend college and falls in love with Rahul, a local boy from her hometown. Her family learns of their relationship and launches a strong objection of their romance. Their opposition is informed by the knowledge of Rahul's well known womanizing ways. Unwittingly, Priya starts a passionate affair with the Lothario and predictably becomes pregnant. An makes her family reject her and ultimately eject her from her home for bringing disgrace to the household. Priya is perplexed by the turn of events after it became apparent that it's the entire community and not just her family that had banished her. After giving it enough thought and consulting with some local peers, she decides to run away by boarding a train at the local train station.
However, as luck would have it, her family learns of her plan and decides to intercept her before she boards the train. They approach her with a reconciliatory message after realizing that her absence would be too terrible to bear. Later on, Priya and her family attend a school play with an eerily similar plot as her predicament. In the play, the expectant teenage protagonist commits suicide with the view of "restoring" her family's lost honor. The public shaming which was devised by her mother devastates her, and she is determined to speak up against it. She campaigned against shaming of teenage mothers, and her speech yielded a standing ovation. She later goes back to school to a much more welcoming crowd. They shower her with gifts and praises. In the long run, her strong-willed character, determination, and outspokenness are just but some of her desirable qualities that made the community to adore her.
The main themes that emerged in the movie
The most dominant theme in the film is women empowerment (Childers 1). Throughout the beginning of the film, it is made clear that the Indian society is largely dominated by traditional stereotypes in which women have no say and their behavior and bodies are policed within a massively patriarchal social and political system. The movie has a lot of educative power and is best described as possessing elements of didacticism (Shreya 16). The movie ignited a nationwide discourse on the issues of teenage pregnancy and ultimately brought about a change in the Indian society.
A changing perception of gender and sexuality narrative in Indian films
Indian is a patriarchal society and forms quite a long time; the visual narrative was dominated by male heroes. Very few Indian movies exist in which a woman plays the dominant role or lead character. Instead, they are portrayed as supporting characters to a male lead. Instead, they are portrayed as vulnerable creatures, and their identity is often placed second after male identities. Kya Kehn defined this narrative and indicated a changing narrative of the Indians film industry regarding gender balance and representation (Iqbal 96). The movie portrays a female character that’s proud of her sexuality and independence. Priya defies the expectation of the male-dominated society and comes out as an independent character not afraid of explicitly expressing her desires and sexuality.
Kya Kehn is no doubt one of the best woman-centric films produced by the Boll...
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