“I Like Women’s Bodies, Not Their Minds. Women Should Be Looked At, Not Heard”: Ram Gopal Varma At His Sexist Best
Produced by Ashvin Gidwani, Drama Queen, based on Suchitra Krishnamoorthi’s 2013 book by the same name, opened this month. Why exactly was a book turned into a full-fledged one-actor play is beyond comprehension. But then, you sit through and realise that nothing sells faster than Bollywood gossip. Scandalous tit-bits made the book sell. Maybe it will make the play sell too.
You hear a woman yapping on and on about wanting to marry a rich man and her desperate need for good sex. The second part of that sentence would have felt empowering if not for the lead character’s crippling need to get married to any man she can lay her eyes on. Including Ram Gopal Varma.
Supposedly, Krishnamoorthi had actually sent a text to him which read “Ramu, Will you marry me?” The director had called her over for coffee and had explained that, well, he likes women as “bodies” and not “minds”.
Krishnamoorthi also contemplates marrying Karan Johar (“I know there will not be any Kuch Kuch Hota Hai but I can work with a Dostana) and when she tells Johar that she needs a “powerful man to take care of me”, he replies with a “Me too!”. Johar and Varma’s voices are done by Suresh Menon but the quotes are supposedly borrowed from real life situations. But Ken Ghosh voice-acts for himself and when, in a party scene, Suchitra enquires about his friends and if they can be a possible match for her, he replies, “My friends are all like me – lovers of women with loose moral character.”
Drama Queen starts off with a disclaimer: This is a true work of fiction. Any resemblance is not just coincidental, but deliberate.
I have no idea what a “true” work of fiction is. Because Suchitra claims that everything from the book is true, are we to believe that everything in the play is true too? And if it isn’t, how are quotes being ascribed to “real” people and then termed as “fiction”? When you insinuate that Karan Johar is gay, is it the “real” homosexuality of a “fictitious” Johar or the “fictitious” homosexuality of the “real” deal?
The play by itself is juvenile, and barely has a thread of a story. If that is how Suchitra Krishnamoorthi is in person, she is terribly annoying and I am surprised she has any friends. If she was acting, then that was a job very badly done. The jokes fall flat, random songs come in, sounding like nursery rhymes and the second half is a snooze fest.
Not to mention that a bunch of supposedly educated people are randomly using terms like “women with loose moral character” as if it were a joke. Here’s a question: What defines loose moral character? Consensual sex with how many men maketh a woman “loose”?
The answer is, no one gives a shit, a woman can have as much sex as she wants with as many people and no one should be judging her for that.