A 23-year-old youth from Bihar was arrested after he scaled an over 10 feet wall of actor Amitabh Bachchan’s iconic Juhu bungalow on July 31. The man told the police that he is an aspiring singer and said he wanted to sing infront of the superstar so he could get an opportunity to sing in the Hindi film industry.
Stalking is just one of the many vices Bollywood is often blamed for. The problem is, our society’s traditional gender equations make stalking seem normal to a large section of people. While men are supposed to woo and take the lead in pursuing a courtship, women are expected to shy away - even if they are interested; setting the tone for the infamous ‘ladki ki naa mein haa hai’. The irritating and sometimes threatening habit of stalking is equated with love and the persistence a mark of ‘true love’!
Bollywood cannot be held responsible for all criminal activities in our society. But, while art will be a reflection of the society, filmmakers must also strive to set better benchmarks. Here, we take a look at films where stalking was one of the key traits of a main character:
Shah Rukh Khan essayed the double role of a star and his psychotic fan who turns stalker due to certain turn of events.
Action Jackson (2014)
Showing women doing what men do in an otherwise patriarchal society and on the canvas of cinema, does not make for a feminist statement: In this film directed by Prabhudheva, Sonakshi Sinha plays an ‘unlucky’ girl Khushi, who accidentally bumps into Ajay Devgn while he is trying on a new orange underwear in a changing room at a mall only to believe that seeing a naked Devgn changed her luck. And then she starts stalking the man to see him again, naked. The woman stalks the guy in an irritating manner.
Dhanush and Anand L Rai perhaps faced all the brickbats on behalf of the entire film industry when the Sonam Kapoor-starrer hit theatres. The movie went on to be a superhit and won accolades for Dhanush’s performances, but critics widely criticised the writer-director of the film for showcasing stalking as a form of love.
R Rajkumar (2013)
One of the worst examples that can be cited against our film industry: Shahid Kapoor stalked Sonakshi Sinha and even drooled over her slaps in the film.
This Salman Khan-Sonakshi Sinha starrer might be one of the biggest hits but it was certainly the most sadist stalking-cum-wooing episode in Bollywood’s history: After being snubbed repeatedly by Sonakshi, Salman approaches her moments after her dad’s death and doesn’t even ask if she is okay moving with him!
Tere Naam (2003)
Salman starts stalking the heroine and continues to do so till the time he goes mad, literally. And no, there are no lessons learnt. Jhanvi falls for him, only a little too late.
When Juhi Chawla’s character is studying in a college in Shimla, she is serenaded by a man who does not reveal his identity but later she finds out that it is her obsessed stalker, played by Shah Rukh Khan.
Shah Rukh Khan played yet another ‘psycho lover’ in this film opposite Madhuri Dixit where his stalking even turns life threatening.
Basanti is least interested in Veeru’s antics and is irritated by his lecherous ways of teaching shooting. Dharmendra, however, couldn’t care less and jumps on Hema Malini’s tonga, troubling her as a sign of his ‘love and courtship’. She pushes him off her carriage but he once again limbs aboard and continues singing, “Koi hasina jab rooth jati hai to, aur bhi hasin ho jati hai.”
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