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Sexuality as disruption in Silsila- Amit Kang

A quintessential element of Bollywood films according to me is the existence of some form of disruption. Every film starts off on a somewhat similar note of equilibrium and peace, followed by some form of disruption, but however ends on a happy note with the equilibrium being restored. In Silsila, disruption is mostly caused by the sexual tension between Chandni and Amit, which is therefore not viewed as something desirable by the audience. Marriage as an institution is given a lot of importance in the Indian society hence making extra-marital love affairs and infidelity taboo. The relationship between Chandni and Amit is more sexualized as opposed to Amit and Shobha, whose relationship has transpired out of unfortunate circumstances and can be seen to transcend elements that are merely sexual in nature. Therefore, the audience almost immediately knows that the overt sexual nature of Amit and Chandni’s relationship is what is going to lead to disruption of balance in the film, hence making it something undesirable.
In the film, the sexual tension that Amit and Chandni feel between themselves becomes the main culprit for disequilibrium in the film. What is also very interesting is that Chandni more than Amit is viewed as a more sexually charged individual who is driving things out of order despite both of them being equally responsible for the extra-marital love affair to take root in the first place. This is very well demonstrated in the marriage song in which although Chandni and Amit both experience the sadness of separation, there is a peculiar sexual vibe that is exuded by Chandni even as she experiences pain and sadness. She is shown to be feeling extremely distraught and singing while she lays on different surfaces almost seductively.
It also becomes almost predictable that Chandni would not eventually end up with Amit because of the sexual nature of their relationship and that Amit would end up being in the marriage with Shobha in order to fulfill his social and moral responsibility (which the Indian audience admires a lot). Therefore, this also helps us understand who the real heroine of Silsila is. Is it the one who is an epitome of virtue and simplicity, victimized, depressed and finally drawn out of her misery by a giving and compassionate hero (Amit)? Or is it the one who is projected as a sexual object and continues to thrive in misery (with little sympathy from the audience due to overt sexuality)? I think it is clear that Shobha is the real heroine in this film simply due to her triumph over a sexual and disruptive force (Chandni).

Filed by Amit Kang at February 27th, 2013 under Uncategorized

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