Dear Bollywood, Domestic Violence as a topic of dark comedy is insensitive, stupid, and disgusting. In a country, where there are so many increasing cases of domestic violence, selling torture of domestic violence as dark comedy is simply heartbreaking.
In today’s world, where women and men are increasingly becoming victims of domestic violence, it is quite disturbing how Alia Bhatt’s new movie Darlings not only normalizes domestic violence but actually creates it a premise for laughs, thereby taking away from the seriousness of the crime. We understand that Bollywood hardly cares about the impact that it has on our society for the sake of profits but normalizing domestic violence against women or men is definitely a new low.
Sadly, Darling’s ‘dark comedy’ comes from the countless disturbing scenes where Badrunissa Shaikh (Alia Bhatt) miserably and ruthlessly beat her husband Hamza Shaikh (Vijay Raaz) for avenging herself.
Patriarchy, misogyny, and sexism are the real-world problems that many women face in their marriage on a daily basis. But using a character torturing her husband to avenge herself for laughs is not a dark comedy. Firstly, a domestic abuse victim turning into a vigilante and beating her husband violently, and taking him as a hostage is very far-fetched. Secondly, glorifying any sort of violence that destroys society’s DNA is not something to laugh about.
In the Darlings trailer, you will see Badrunissa tying Hamza’s hands and stabbing him. Not just that, she even pulls his hair as the other character (Roshan Mathew) force-feeds him alcohol. And, then there is a scene, where the protagonist’s mother (Shefali Shah) tells Badrunissa to mix rat poison in her husband’s food for ‘alcohol de-addiction and force-feed him food. But, what happens next is a really upsetting scene where Badrunissa violently hit Hamza’s head with a frying pan and says ‘Ab batting shuru’.
Here’s the trailer:
Doesn’t matter whether you are men or women, many of these scenes could act as triggers for any domestic abuse survivors. And, what is even more disturbing is how these scenes are carelessly used for laughs. No one in their right mind can find domestic abuse funny.
Sorry, but using domestic abuse survivor’s pain under the banner of dark comedy is only disturbing not funny.
Domestic violence against men is an equally sensitive topic as abuse against women. As feminists, we believe in equality between men and women, we don’t think these torturous scenes should be used as a topic of humor as they could trigger so many domestic abuse victims, irrespective of genders. And, we are not alone who felt it was inappropriate to sell the torture of domestic abuse as humor. Many netizens called out Alia Bhatt for normalizing domestic violence against men and selling it for laughs. They blamed Alia Bhatt for misusing such a sensitive topic for profits. Here’s what people have to say:
Alia Bhatt not only acted in #Darlings, she produced it.