Bollywood veteran lyricist Javed Akhtar has been making headlines since yesterday for his strong criticism of the film “Animal,” directed by Sandeep Reddy Vanga. During a recent appearance at the 9th Ajanta-Ellora International Film Festival in Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar, Akhtar deemed the box office success of “Animal” as ‘dangerous.’ He specifically called out certain scenes in which Ranbir Kapoor’s character tells the female character to ‘lick his shoes.’ In another interview, the veteran lyricist has now targeted “Jab Tak Hai Jaan.”
Starring Shah Rukh Khan, Katrina Kaif, and Anushka Sharma in pivotal roles, “Jab Tak Hai Jaan” was the last film directed by Yash Chopra, who passed away in October 2012. Akhtar recently criticized the film, particularly its portrayal of an ’empowered woman.’ He discussed the evolving concept of the modern woman in Hindi cinema. Read on for more details.
During an interview with ABP Majha, Javed Akhtar cited a particular dialogue from “Jab Tak Hai Jaan” and stated, “When today’s filmmakers attempt to depict an empowered woman, they often end up being absurd because they don’t truly understand what an empowered woman is. Yash Chopra, who made decent, if not great, but competent films throughout his career, presented a scenario in ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’ where the heroine says, ‘I will sleep with men of all nationalities before getting married.’ To be empowered, one doesn’t have to go to such lengths. This is because it’s a wreckage, and they are trying to figure out who the modern woman is within that.”
In the same interview, Akhtar mentioned that talented actresses like Madhuri Dixit and Sridevi didn’t receive significant roles in their careers. “We are not clear about who the new woman is. There are two reasons for this. Liberal-minded individuals, if they define the modern woman, face scrutiny from other liberals. Conservatives, if they define it, fear losing their established territory. So, they avoid doing it. Actresses like Sridevi and Madhuri Dixit, who were just as talented as any other actors, didn’t get substantial roles throughout their careers. They didn’t get roles like those in ‘Mother India,’ ‘Bandini,’ and ‘Sujata.’ It’s because people don’t know what an ideal woman is,” Akhtar expressed.