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SilSila, Who is the Villan? Matt Wiener

Bollywood film is know for being over the top and obvious especially when it comes to the idea of good and evil.  DDLJ clearly falls into the category of over the top and cheesy movies.  Every both the hero and the villain are obvious and there is no question who we are rooting for through out the movie.  Silsila, however, was very different.

This movie was confusing for me to watch, not because I could not follow the story, but because I found myself rooting for almost everyone in the movie.  The idea of clear delineation of morals seems to not exist in this film.  So, for me, the most interesting part of experiencing this movie to me was trying to figure out who the villain was.

The most villainous character that i could find in the film was Shobha’s cousin the cop.  As he is the one who exposes Amit and Chandni’s affair.  He is the only person who acts like the more stereotypical villain.  This is strange because we find ourselves rooting for an extramarital affair, and against the person trying to do (what he thinks) is the right thing.  Regardless, I feel he is not a prominent enough character to be considered The villain of this film.  At First it seemed to me that the protagonist (Amit) was also the antagonist.  While Amit is often the cure for many of the problems in this film, he is also the cause of them.

While I do think that Amit often times plays the role of the antagonist, I think there are others in the film that, at times, fill a similar role.  An example of this is an interesting scene between Shobha and Chandni.  They confront each other about their shared feelings for Amit.  Chandni is dressed in white while Shobha is in black.  This is usually a sign of whom we are supposed to root for (the person dressed in white = good guy), but in this scene I still had a hard time deciding.

Throughout this movie I found it hard to pick a side, and although this is considered a Bollywood movie the way it treat morality is different than many of the Bollywood movies I have seen (particularly DDLJ).  while it was hard for me to follow at times due to the language barrier, I found it an enjoyable movie for, if nothing else, its moral complexity.


Filed by wienerm at February 15th, 2013 under Uncategorized

I like what you’ve said about rooting for everyone in this film, I was also very torn about if I wanted Shobha and Amit to work out, or if I wanted Chandni and Amit to succeed. What do you think about Shobha’s partner (the pilot whose name escapes me)? Would he fall into a grey area between hero/villain as well?

-Rose D.

Comment by rosedv — February 16, 2013 @ 4:38 pm

I agree with you, Matt. I also found myself thinking throughout the film how much of the conflict was Amit’s fault. However, his marriage to Shobha was an attempt to “save face” as she would have been burdened forever by the weight of taking care of a child born out of wed-lock. On one hand, this is an admirable attempt to take some of the pain from Shobha, but at the same time “being there” for someone is not the same thing as “marrying” someone. In a way, the movie seems to make a villain out of out-dated societal expectations. In an equally plausible world, Amit could have helped support Shobha while still living the life he wanted with Chandni. If it weren’t Amit’s need to validate his brother’s girlfriend’s child, everyone could have been happy forever with no problems at any time. Or something. – Kevin

Comment by kberz — February 16, 2013 @ 4:44 pm

I completely agree. I couldn’t tell if I hated this movie or loved this movie for this very reason. When you’re used to watching movies that make it so blatantly clear who the audience is supposed to like and who the audience is supposed to hate right off the bat, you find yourself baffled and somewhat irritated as to what to do or think. What’s even worse is that Shobha’s child never ended up living, which means that Amit married her kind of for nothing. I found myself sympathizing with everyone in this movie, and I was extremely confused at the end. I’m really glad you pointed this out, and I’m glad I’m not the only one in class who feels like this! –Sathvy

Comment by sathvy — February 19, 2013 @ 2:58 am

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