Sunday, September 18, 2016

Tamasha (2015) Notes part 1 Subversion and the Eunuch

Subversion and the Eunuch

The role of the eunuch in the film Tamasha (2015) is, apart from being funny is also symbolic. And it is a very important symbol. Ved gives her the ring. She is engaged to him so to speak. This is a stretch I understand for many. But more important than the stretch of imagination is the subversion.

I am in love with this subversion. I am inspired by this subversion. It is the subversion of the the role of the traditional heterosexual Indian male. It is this doubt that creeps up in the psyche of the Indian male, the sign of weakness that overpowers his spirit if and when he does not conform to his traditional role. If he does not do the job defined by the society, he is not man enough. If he strays away from the challenges as defined by the order (Patriarchal order) he is not man enough. The path to self discovery runs contradictory to the roles assigned to every gender by the society.

Marriage in this context could also be seen as another construct imposed upon the individual. He might as well give the ring to a eunuch rather than to the woman he is attracted to. Eunuchs face ostracism in India, the same way Dev will be ostracized for following his heart. The ring too in the film is an item of social construct, an inevitable next step in the scheme of things dictated by the norms. Dev has been "robotic" (as seen in the opening in the film) in the way he progressed in his relationship with Tara until the point she rejected his ring.

As Ved sits among many other applicants for an interview we can see he is sinking in self doubt. Who is he? Will he be himself if he betrays what he wants? Is he a "napunsak" for insulting his capacities? or for conforming to the society?

And then in the next shot you see the eunuch send him a flying kiss, and parys to god for his well being  as she stands in front of his car.

The playback song meanwhile says

you are someone else.
you know that.
in front of this world,
there is a mask,
(and) you are someone else, someone else.
why aren’t you what you are?

No comments: