Alia Bhatt's Vagina Monologues in the Hindi Movie 'Highway'

Uma Shankari By Uma Shankari, 5th Mar 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Reviews>Film & TV>Family

Alia Bhatt's excellent performance in "hihway' brought back the memories of 'Vagina Monologues' that i saw a few days back

"Vagina Monologues" Staged at Alliance Francaise in Bangalore

A couple of days ago, I saw a play called “Vagina Monologues” at Alliance Francaise in Bangalore where my daughter Jaya Venkataraman plays a part. At the end of the show she asked me if I liked it. V- Monologues is a globally acclaimed play written by Eve Ensler in 1996 and has had raving reviews around the world. It is being staged in Indian metropolitan cities since last year.

My Disappointment with The Play

The girls who acted in the play along with my daughter were all new entrants, yet they did very well. Their enthusiasm and passion enlivened the show. Yet it left me with a feeling that such a good subject should have had a better script. Merely repeating countless times the V-word or the C-word, its synonym, in various intonations does not make it any more holy or acceptable. The subject provides ample opportunities to discuss several issues affecting women, but the author, Eve Ensler, only chooses to sensationalize and more titillating and fails to evoke any sympathy for the numerous ravages it is exposed to.

The Movie 'Highway'

A couple of days later, I saw a Hindi movie called ‘Highway’. This is not meant to be a review of the movie, but I can say I enjoyed the movie from the very first frame. The beginning itself was awesome, with some lovely breath-taking scenes while cruising on a jeep along the rough mountainous terrains. The story then shifts to show the wedding preparations going on for a marriage, with the bride choosing exquisite jewellery and colourful dresses for the occasion. Then she simply sneaks out with the groom in a car, because she wants to be out of the suffocating air inside and breathe some fresh air outside. As they return and stop at a gas station, armed men attack them and take the girl away.

The rest is of course what is called ‘stockholm syndrome’, where the victims sympathize with their captors. The girl Alia Bhatt is a rich politician’s daughter and has not had a very happy childhood. As the girl and her captors travel to various cities, in a truck, there are ample chances for Alia to escape, but she doesn’t. A bond slowly builds up between the two. Alia talks about her uncle abusing her as a child. This was Alia’s heart-breaking vagina monlogue to me.

Her captor, Randeep Hooda, knows the brutal reality of his own life and tries to avoid the girl’s advances. Yet the inevitable happens. Finally, Alia’s parents trace them and take their girl away, while Randeep gets killed in the row. They now get Alia treated by doctors and then proceed with the preparations for her marriage.

In one of the most memorable scenes in the movie, Alia confronts her abusive uncle and exposes his misdeeds in front of her family. An absolutely stunning performance by Alia, and her vagina monologue moved me to tears. She says that she had felt confined and trapped in her luxurious home, but had tasted real freedom while in captivity. She bids them good-bye and then goes to work for the less privileged people.

I wish Eve Ensler deals with the matter more seriously and less flippantly as she has done in Vagina Monologues.


Alia Bhatt, Eve Ensler, Highway, Movie, Randeep Hooda

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author avatar Uma Shankari
I write on society, relationships, travel, health, nutrition and fitness.
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