Jab Harry Met Sejal Scene By Scene: Part 4, Phones and Clothes

Happy Friday!  And Happy 4th part of JHMS scene by scene.  I saw it for the 4th time last night, and you know, it holds up!  Besides a couple of kind of slow parts in the second half, mostly just because the second half had more moments when Shahrukh and Anushka weren’t on screen together, and that’s what makes the movie work.  But the songs, the character, all of that is still rewarding re-watching.  But now I really need to stop, because the lack of sleep is beginning to catch up with me. (full index of JHMS coverage here)

I ended the last section with Anushka having her moment on the balcony, feeling something shift inside her as she watched Shahrukh’s confrontation with his ex, and then his strange happy whistling walk away from her.  My argument is that this isn’t a simple “virgin intrigued by sexual man” kind of thing.  It’s a small part that.  But it’s more that she is intrigued by this sexual man in particular, something about Shahrukh calls to something within her and she knows she has to follow him, learn about him, get through to him.

And, I think, Shahrukh has the same two level thing going on.  Which we see in a tiny bit of a scene I forgot that comes before the balcony moment.  We see him leaving the hotel talking to his friend on his phone about Anushka.  Telling him that she didn’t understand what he was saying, she doesn’t know about sex, she has a boyfriend, but what does that mean?  Holding hands?  Boyfriend-girlfriend, it’s more like brother-sister.  And, see, he’s jealous!  Already right here it’s a little odd the dismissive way he talks about her experience, there’s a touch of bitterness to it.  And as the film goes on, we will see more and more that bitterness comes from longing.  He doesn’t know what boyfriends-girlfriends do, he never had that.  Back in India, he saw a girl twice and that was it, there was no “dating”.  And since India, it has been a string of one night stands with no love there.  He doesn’t know what that is like, to have someone he can just look at, joke with, hold hands, talk to.

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(He wants this)

That’s his version of the “virgin who is curious”.  He doesn’t want to admit it, but the idea of traveling with this good Indian girl, someone who knows how to be a girlfriend, to be sweet and fun and nice, is tempting to him.  He wants that, he wants to know about it.  But, again, it is also a little more.  There is something within Anushka in particular that calls to him, that’s what we saw with the last scene, a combination of desire he could barely hide (all those glances at her body) and amusement at her natural confidence and personality.

Right, then Anushka balcony, sees him with that woman, begins to get a sense of just how much of a womanizer he really is and how messy his life is.  And then, boat ride with the two of them!  Really interesting shot.  They are both facing forward with the water moving past the window behind them.  In colors that kind of blend and kind of don’t, she is back in her red coat, and he is in tan, with sort of rich wood paneling behind them.  Everything is almost matching but slightly clashing.  Which is what happens in their conversation as well.  Anushka kind of smiles and says “Nice girl, eh?”  Shahrukh is back in polite tour guide mode and says “What?”  And Anushka keeps smiling, like a naughty teenager enjoying teasing an older sibling about sex, says “last night.  Nice girl.” (or something like that).  Shahrukh tries to ignore her, and Anushka pushes it a little farther, nudges him on the shoulder and says something like, “you’re finished with her, right?  You always get the job done, don’t you?”  And Shahrukh takes off his sunglasses and turns to look at her straight on and says “what would you know?  Have you done it with your boyfriend?  No?  You aren’t the type, right?”  And then he turns away and puts the glasses on looking slightly regretful like he wishes he hadn’t said that.

But it’s Anushka’s reaction that I find so interesting here!  Let me back up.  My interpretation of Anushka’s character (which, of course, you can feel free to disagree with) is that she is growing up over the course of the film.  Her family has kept her a child in many ways, never let her make decisions or do anything on her own.  And also squelched any natural curiosity or instinct to try new things, the stuff that makes us adults.  And so when we first meet her, she is still a “child”.  Throwing tantrums to get her own way, but also surprisingly innocent and easy to control.  She will force Harry to do what she wants, but she won’t stand up to her father and say she can travel alone, or ignore what her fiance wants.  But meeting Harry, on some deep level, forces her to grow up.  Because he needs her to grow up, he needs her to save him, and only the fully grown woman version of her can do that.  He awakens something in her and she grows to meet him.  But it is a painful difficult process.  And now, right here, we are seeing the puberty version of it.  She has gone from innocent child to someone who wants to know more, who wants to grow and change and question.  But she doesn’t quite know how to do it yet, doesn’t even exactly know what questions to ask or how to understand the answers.

Anyhoo, because she is in puberty, she doesn’t get angry like a child would (like she would have the day before), she gets curious and pushes him, asking why they aren’t the type, how does he know that?  And Shahrukh gives a really good answer, her fiance isn’t here with her now.  That tells him.  Anushka points out that he left that woman last night, and Shahrukh gets frustrated, tells her it’s not the same thing, the relationship he had with that woman isn’t what she has with her boyfriend.  Anushka leaps in, asking if he will teach her what it means to be in a relationship, what it means to take care of someone, and Shahrukh gets really frustrated then, drops into Punjabi swears saying it isn’t his business, he doesn’t care (“I don’t want mangoes” according to the fan translation of the trailers, which is an odd way to say it, but I’m not Punjabi, what do I know?), and then suddenly turns back to polite tour guide and asks if she would like any tea or coffee.  And maybe this is when she pushes about the relationship?  Anyway, what I remember is that she doesn’t accept his turn back to tour guide, she keeps pushing.

Image result for jab harry met sejal excuse hai

(Friendly guide face.  Also, notice slightly clashing colors everywhere)

Much more interesting is what this back and forth reveals about how Shahrukh sees her relationship.  This was another moment where on watch 3-4, I went “oh, he’s jealous!”  Jealous in a couple of ways.  First, his comment about how he knows they aren’t having sex because her boyfriend isn’t with her now.  I think he’s right, I think they are just the good socially acceptable boyfriend-girlfriend, introduced and approved of by the families, holding hands and talking on the phone but no kissing until after marriage.  You can feel free to disagree with that.

But I also think he is right that if they were having sex, Anushka wouldn’t be alone now.  If her boyfriend loved her enough to break social bonds, if their relationship was about more than just a “romantic engagement” in a restaurant, then she wouldn’t have been dumped on a tour guide because no one else cared enough.  And for sure I think he is already revealing a little bit of how he would be if he were in a relationship with someone like her.  He would be having hot sex, and he would never want to leave her.  That’s what his other comment, about how his relationship with the woman last night isn’t like that, was about.  He has an idealized vision of what a “real” relationship is like, and he doesn’t think it is something he can have, something he has ever had.  But if he did have it, he knows he would be having sex with the woman he loves, and he would never leave her alone, or fight with her over something as small as a ring.

And that’s what Anushka is pushing for.  She doesn’t even know she is doing this (I don’t think), but she knows there is something there she wants to dig out, something about how he is with women and how she is with her boyfriend, and how Shahrukh would be if they were together, that she wants to bring to the surface, she wants to learn about.  Not in a conscious way, but like a teenager, who is super curious but doesn’t know enough to even know why they are curious yet.

And then song!  Well, first, they reach the cheese making thing.  I was watching this with friends last night, one of whom travels a lot, and she pointed out that while all the places looked really pretty, the places they went in Amsterdam in particular were super touristy.  Which I think is the point, as this film goes on they will go farther and farther off the map in their adventures.  But right now, at the beginning, he is just taking her to the cheese making place and the famous museum and the cute boat and all that stuff that everyone has done a million times before and will do a million times more.  She is still in the safe boring world.  Which is why, when she goes to look for the ring in the middle of the cheese festival and Shahrukh says she won’t find it, and she asks why she is even looking then, she lets it go when Shahrukh kind of laughs and says he would tell her but she wouldn’t like it.  Later, when they are off the regular paths, she wouldn’t have let that go, she would have pressed him.  And he wouldn’t have said it as a joke, he would have really wanted to talk about it.  But now, they are still in the “safe” tourist spaces, both in reality and emotionally.

Image result for amsterdam cheese dance

(This is the thing they are at.  Just makes me want cheese!)

But, let’s us really talk about it!  For just a moment.  Why is Anushka searching for this ring?  There’s a whole combo of things driving her, I think.  Shahrukh, here, is just looking at the surface reason and thinks it is because she is stubborn and stupid and also doesn’t really want to get married and is looking for a reason to stay away from her fiance for a bit.  Which is all true.

But there is more to it also.  She has been trained to always please people, she is desperately eager to please her family and her fiance, to do the “right” thing.  She is driven to find this ring because losing it is probably the worst thing she has done in her life, and she needs to fix that mistake.  And she knows her family thinks that too.  Sure, they want Harry with her, they don’t trust her to travel alone.  But they also aren’t saying “oh, daughter, we love you so much, we don’t care if your engagement is broken, just come home.”  They are saying, “okay, keep looking, no hurry, we don’t miss you, so long as someone is with you so we know you won’t embarrass us, and so long as your fiance isn’t angry about you being gone, we don’t mind.”

That’s the other thing.  She wants to stay because she has to fix this mistake.  And she doesn’t want to go home, because she knows they don’t really want her at home.  We see her talking with her “Didi” a lot, and she calls her father some times.  But it isn’t like in Queen, where her family was constantly waiting for her calls, anxious to hear what happened, worried about her, waiting for her to come home.  This is a young woman all alone in Europe, and they don’t seem to care so much.  Again, so long as Harry is with her. That’s what Harry is sensing already without fully understanding it himself, and what he will sense even more at the end of the film when he tells her to take care of herself because he won’t be there.  No one takes care of Anushka, no one cares for her.  Her fiance has left her alone on this quest, forgotten.  Her family is paying someone else to take care of her because they can’t be bothered.  And Anushka is determinedly saying that she doesn’t need anyone, she can take care of herself, because she has never been able to need anyone like that.  She is as starved for love as him, but in a different way.  Shahrukh has no one, Anushka has too many people.  She listed off everyone who was at that “romantic engagement”, all the brothers and sisters and everyone, and not a single one of them is there with her now.  Or even worried about her.  She is a perfect daughter to a perfect wealthy family, but not a person to them.  Better to be alone in Europe for a while than to spend more time being lonely in a crowd.  And much better to be in Europe with a person who you can already sense might actually care about you, might actually need you.

Right, so, song montage!  Anushka searches for the ring in all the tourist places, and Shahrukh talks to the managers and leaves phone numbers.  Until they end up at the art museum I won’t attempt to spell and Anushka is declaring that it must be here, because this is the last place they visited, and her tablet shows the ring on her finger here.  Shahrukh tries to argue that this is impossible, it’s been a month, she should just go home, her family will buy her another ring.  And Anushka tries to explain, it’s a family heirloom, she has to give it back.  Finally ending by saying “Do you understand emotions?” Shahrukh doesn’t really have an answer for this, just pulls out his phone like a weapon, flips it in his hand, and then starts banging it against his forehead.

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(Thank you internet screen grab artist!  You got me the phone thing, and a little bit of the boat!)

Let’s talk phones!  Shahrukh uses his phone constantly in this movie, it’s his defense tactic, his tool, his everything.  Partly just because that’s practical, that’s what phones are now.  But also there are moments like this where it could have been anything to bang on his forehead, and it’s his phone.  I think it’s because his phone is his life now.  He has no home, he has no family, he only has the one friend.  Whenever he wants some alone time, something for himself, he pretends to be getting a call and goes off into hiding.  When he wants to solve a problem or is looking for an escape from a situation, he will look at his phone.  When he needs to comfort himself, feels frustrated, he will play with his phone.  And over the course of the film, as we get further and further into his time with Anushka, he does this less and less.  Instead, he will take her hand, look into her eyes, use her as his escape and comfort and home.

But, right, not there yet.  Now they are storming out of the museum, Shahrukh frustrated at himself and murmuring that he should have taken another booking.  Great shot here by the way.  Gorgeous huge museum vista as they leave, and these two people who aren’t even looking around because they are so focused on their goal.

And then, the difficult section!  That I am leaving for tomorrow.  But first, a tiny thing.  They go back to the hotel, Shahrukh is holding a bunch of shopping bags.  Anushka is on the phone with her sister, saying it’s all right, she will do some shopping in Prague (implying that they have now realized they will need to go to Prague since the ring isn’t in Amsterdam).  And yes, Harry is here, he is being very helpful.  There is a great moment when Shahrukh hears her say this and kind of half bows to her, and she half bows back without thinking.  That’s what Anushka is like, she follows what other people do, always trying to do the right thing, but never quite sure that she is doing it right.

And then Shahrukh opens her door, puts the bags inside, and goes back to his room.  And cut to a shot through the peephole in the door to Shahrukh exiting his room, and then pull through to the other side of the door to reveal Anushka dressed in fancy sexy clothes watching.

Although I can make you notice a couple of quick things they already set up for us.  In my 1am review the first time I saw it, I complained in this next section that someone like Anushka wouldn’t even have these clothes.  But I was wrong (NO!  The HORROR!), because they carefully set it up for us.  We saw the shopping bags Shahrukh was holding, and the dialogue on the phone about doing more shopping in Prague.  But it was a little too natural for me, I didn’t notice what was happening enough.  Because, doy!  Of course she bought that super sexy outfit (and her other super sexy outfits later) just now, while she was alone and trying on different personas for herself.  It wasn’t something her “good girl” self would have picked out and packed for a family vacation, but it wasn’t supposed to be that, it was supposed to be something this awkward inexperienced person would pick out as “club wear”.

Oh heck, I’m just going to go down a whole rabbit hole and talk about clothes for a second.  This outfit is ridiculous.  It is so bad that it must be on purpose. It doesn’t fit right, it doesn’t look good on her, there is a vest for no reason and a purse that doesn’t really match.  Her make-up is odd, and her hair has a strange little twisted braid with sparkles in it, like she was trying to dress it up but didn’t know how.  This is exactly the way a 15 year old girl would dress the first time she goes somewhere “grown up”.  She isn’t wise enough yet to just be natural and do what feels right for herself.

Later, she will go out in that fabulous red outfit.  Which looks great on her, and her hair is good, and her make-up.  It is more what a college girl would wear.  Because it looks great and makes her feel great, but isn’t really “her”.  She isn’t the super short skirt and thigh high boots type of person.  That’s why she has such a bad time in the end, because people mistook her for something she isn’t and make assumptions.

Image result for anushka jab harry met sejal red dress

(Dress, boots, jacket, purse, necklace, all look perfect together.  But they aren’t really “her”, not what this character is actually like.  That’s why she took off the jacket and boots for the Radha song, to be her “real self” for that bit)

And finally, her last time out at night, her last night with Shahrukh, she is completely comfortable and beautiful.  Natural hair, subtle make-up, that simple maroon dress that is sexy but also comfortable.  And with flat easy walking shoes, a practical purse with a cross strap, and a nice neutral coat.  It looks great on her, but she isn’t sacrificing comfort for some kind of “look” she is trying to achieve.  And it isn’t sending any message she doesn’t mean to send, she just looks like a beautiful woman out at night with her husband, which is exactly what she is.  This is the real Anushka, finally, no longer trying on different uncomfortable personas, she has found herself.

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(This outfit.  Try to ignore the sexiness and focus on how comfortable that dress is, and how mature the whole look of the styling is.  While still different than what she probably would have warn with her family)

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28 thoughts on “Jab Harry Met Sejal Scene By Scene: Part 4, Phones and Clothes

    • Oh I am so glad i wasn’t imagining it. Also, that gold outfit really was terrible, right? On the first watch I thought it was just an ugly unflattering costume. But then I noticed that her hair was odd too and the whole thing felt just sort of “wrong” on her. So I think it was supposed to be unflattering and poorly fitted. It gave her a tummy, and she is the skinniest woman alive.

      On Fri, Aug 11, 2017 at 6:04 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  1. Great post. I am fascinated by the scene on the train, because thet are switching back and forth so quickly from rich girl/tour guide to person/person (with the undeniable connection). Both actors at their peak, with good writing and direction.

    Your analysis about her clothes and his phone is the kind of thing that sets you apart. I vaguely noticed these things while watching the movie, but its so fun how you explicate it.

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    • Yes! I love how they switch so seamlessly over the course of the film, fighting to polite to fighting to close to polite. And that moment at the end of the last fight when she tells him to book tickets and he just says ‘Yes ma’am” is so perfect.

      On Sat, Aug 12, 2017 at 11:47 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Yes, that last “Yes ma’am” killed me. I think he was hoping that she’d come back to him and tell him he’s all wrong, it doesn’t have to end, etc. And then his entire demeanor changes when she asks him to book a flight. Not just that he’s disappointed but also that he’s not really all that surprised and figures this is how it would end because he doesn’t deserve her. I can’t wait to see what you have to say about that scene.

        I also thought that gold outfit was off and couldn’t figure out why the costume designer and/or Imtiaz let it pass. But of course you’re right and it was completely intentional. It goes with how off she was in the club.

        And the phone–so many things to look for on next viewings!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Oh that’s it exactly! That he isn’t exactly disappointed, more just kind of sadly accepting.

          On Sat, Aug 12, 2017 at 11:25 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. Pingback: Jab Harry Met Sejal Scene By Scene Index | dontcallitbollywood

    • The two films are so interesting to consider together, in a lot of ways JTHJ feels like a workshop for this film. Similar kind of characters, the actors were able to get used to working together in this way, Imtiaz could look at it and see what did and didn’t work, and then take everything worked and use it again here.

      On Sun, Aug 13, 2017 at 9:25 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. I feel this scene shows how stunted both of them are. She’s a baby when it comes to sex and relationships and he’s a baby when it comes to relationships. That he’s experienced sexually actually awakens Sejal to this and she tries to push him to know more. It is inappropriate of her to question him about the girl he had a fight with and he comes back at her by saying she’s never had sex with her fiancee. They are both probing to find out more. Sejal more than him at this point. I think it’s at this stage Sejal wants to prove to herself that Harry would find her sexually attractive. She starts to tease and try out different things to entice him but she doesn’t know how it works. He is equally amused and irritated by her efforts at this point.

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    • Yes! Yes yes yes! Both of them are trying to open up the other, see what is inside. In a combination of curiosity because they are both getting a rare opportunity to spend time one on one with someone they normally would not, and that “there is something about you I need” pull.

      On Thu, Sep 7, 2017 at 9:56 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  4. I am the most inclined to the fact that Sejal is – like you write, Nancy – probing Harry. She is much more curious to learn from him that he is curious to learn from her…and this non-balance is present for a very long time – imo. During most of their journey, Sejal is acting and Harry is re-acting. But I like that because every time Harry is the first to act, the dynamism of their relation (and of the journey) changes.

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    • Having just re-watched the Portugal scene about 6 times in a row, what comes to mind from this comment is the moment when he suddenly grabs her and bends her back on the couch, after letting her take the lead at first.

      On Thu, Sep 7, 2017 at 11:59 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  5. Ok. on rewatching I had another thought. Sejal initially doesn’t believe Harry when he says he’s a dangerous womanizer. I mean she’s spend one month with him he has a big nose, he’s poor, he wears boring (to her!) suits, he’s old…she just doesn’t believe the womanizer thing completely.

    Watching Harry breakup with (what even to me in the audience) looked like a conventionally attractive and sexually vibrant woman is proof (to her!) that Harry in fact is what he says he is.

    That is why that moment is more important than it would have been otherwise. And she knows HE broke up with HER. Meaning that he holds the power dynamic *sexually* to what is she considers a sexy woman. Meaning that he is even more sexy than even he had originally implied.

    I mean that Harry’s long screed was all about how he doesn’t have self-control, how he can’t stay away from women. He not for a minute said that they cant stay away from him. Which is why (dumbo!!) Sejal was all like you are cheap, you are a womanizer, but I am not, I am neat and clean. and I can control anytime, anywhere, anyone.

    Now she has discovered something that even he doesn’t know. And maybe she is also going to start finding him irresistible soon huh? 😛

    That is why she does all those stupid things in the disco the next day. She had a neat and tidy plan. She would dance in front of him in sexy clothes. He would try to come on to her. She would get the validation she wanted. And she would brush him off.

    Thats what she thinks he’s doing when he comes to talk in her ear (basic loud music etiquette, duh!!). She’s immediately all like “oh you started off, you started hitting on me too!” And he immediately takes a step back and goes, no no!!

    And then she starts crumbling. This is not according to plan. Harry doesn’t think she’s sexy. Poor Sejal. Time to grow up 🙂

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    • Oh I really like this idea! Definitely it seems like she doesn’t “get” how attractive he is in their first meeting, that’s what is so frustrating for Shahrukh, as Nancy just said, he could so easily break through all of this with just one look, but it would be like kicking a kitten, she is so clearly completely untaught in sexuality.

      But I hadn’t put it together before that she honestly didn’t even think he was an attractive man until she saw him with the other woman!

      And this is also very meta, because it was certainly my first reaction to SRK, “ewww, who’s the old guy with the big nose?” And then, as I have said many times, half way through the movie I fell completely and absolutely in love.

      On Thu, Sep 7, 2017 at 4:13 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Ha! Another similarity for you with Sejal 😊

        I really hadn’t observed how happy she gets when harry comes close to her ear to speak , or maybe I think that’s normal cause I mean that’s how people speak in clubs, she has an exhilarated I won-you lost kinda grin.

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        • Not just me and Sejal, have you noticed that is everyone’s reaction to Shahrukh? I’ve learned at movie nights that I can’t just show “Dard-E-Disco” and expect people to fall in love, I have to show a whooooooole movie. There’s something about him that just gets under your skin, but it’s not exactly immediate. But show anybody Swades or DDLJ, or KKHH or Kal Ho Na Ho, and by the end they are swooning.

          Oh, and my favorite, the western interviewers! Every interview I have seen, they start out all “I will be professional and ask questions I have researched about this guy I’ve never heard of before” And then Shahrukh just kind of plays with them and turns the charm up to 5, and by the end of the interview, they are always just little puddles of mush.

          For the rest of your comment, I love her smile in this movie! Anushka has a very particular “Sejal” kind of smile, way too big and broad to be ladylike, but really hard not to smile back. She must have practiced it a lot, because it’s a different look than I remember in any of her other films.

          Also, now that I have re-watched this scene as well, my big note is after he moves back from her, a little bit of her hair gets caught in his beard for a second. Which doesn’t have a deeper meaning or anything, it’s just every time I see it, I think “ouch!” And also “wow he must have a bristly beard!”

          On Thu, Sep 7, 2017 at 4:27 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • My experience is slightly different. Everyone in my family loved him since they first saw him in fauji (I don’t remember that -my mom tells me this- I was a toddler then ). Then they were rooting for him to marry Divya Bharati in deewana when she was a widow and even later when they found out her husband was alive.

            They cooled to him in his baazigar and darr days which is when I loved him most obsessively but I’ve not known anyone to have not loved srk on day 1.

            DDLJ is when he captured hearts on the national level (most of his older films were mainly urban audiences) and even then every girl fell in love with him while he was still in Simrans dreams 😊

            So I don’t think it’s everyone’s reaction per se 😊

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          • “they couldn’t be bothered to worry about her traveling alone with a strange man, it was easy to just think “oh, he’s Harry, I’m sure it will be fine.” ”

            To them he is not just any stranger. Firstly, he’s Indian. Secondly, because he is Indian he understands the rules of this feudal society. He knows what he is supposed to do. (Remember from DDLJ when he said that he is Indian and he would never do anything wrong to her!) Also he has proved himself in his behavior (which I have no doubt they closely observed, a Gujarati couple I know recently went abroad on a guided tour and they observed everything!) so they have zero doubt that he will do good to her. Not just because he is good, but because being an Indian he knows the feudal rules between master and slave(though of course they would never word it that way).

            And Indians (of a certain feudal and village mindset) routinely trust their young daughters and sons with unknown “male servants” some of whom come from villages with just some distant relative as a reference. Have you heard of the Arushi Talwar case? Till today no one knows what happened. There was a movie about it with I think Irrfan Khan.

            Its quite horrible to think that such things happen. But they do.

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          • That’s what i was thinking of, that they would do the same thing in India and it could have the same horrible results. But then that’s part of the whole thing, if they were more concerned with her as a person, they might be less blind to the dangers. At least enough to want to stay in closer touch with her and so on. It just feels like it was easy for them to send her off with a servant, with no back-up plan or safety net for her. In the same way I am picturing a nanny being paid to take care of her as a baby, tutors being paid to help her with homework, and so on and so forth.

            Going back to that “indemnity bond” scene, if she always treats any strange man of the “servant” category like that, and doesn’t see anything wrong in it, part of shahrukh’s horror could have been “my goodness, how have you survived this long!”

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          • Just FYI that film being referred to about the Aarushi case is Talvar directed by Meghna Gulzar. Really brilliant depiction that doesn’t get all preachy and more importantly doesn’t really take sides either. Just shows whatever info is in public domain and how the case was handled or mishandled. And of course Irrfan as the investigating officer is almost effortlessly riveting. Oh and also Tabu is there but only barely as his wife. Must watch.

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          • Speaking of Arushi Talwar, I’ve also heard that Saavn has a really great podcast series on it. I’m not watching the film or listening to the podcast (too upsetting!), but I am really interested in how the case has captured public consciousness.

            On Thu, Sep 7, 2017 at 6:42 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Yes! And that would be in the background of the club scene, he really really has to get her home, and has to follow her out, because she really really doesn’t know how to take care of herself.

            And then in the second club scene, the thing he was worried about does happen, she has her innocence shaken, and she survives.

            On Thu, Sep 7, 2017 at 6:44 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • What I meant is that I just saw Harry speaking in her ear and I didn’t read more into that because I hadn’t thought of Sejal looking at it as him coming on to her, and it being part of her plan to get sexual validation from him.

          But Imtiaz in his FB interview said that young girls in India do strange, sometimes dangerous things to find out their sexual worth due to extreme segregation of sexes.

          Quote: “I feel that when girls grow up, they, through some ways that are not even nice, get to know about their worth as physical beings — whether they are attractive, beautiful, sexy and so on. And even now, there aren’t many ways where a girl can know if she is attractive to a man. Even now we find all of that a taboo in Indian society… For Anushka’s character, she meets a man who she doesn’t know and is not going to spend a lifetime with — or so she thinks. And he’s honest in talking about himself and so she decides to ask him about her latent insecurities — which are about the way she appears.”

          And honestly this is one of those things that now that I think of it seems so obvious! If its Sejal’s innocence that is protecting her, its also Harry’s virtue that is protecting her. Because what she is doing is pretty dangerous.

          And I think that last scene in Portugal, when she says “any other man in your place wouldn’t have done this. so maybe you are carrying around a different image of yourself that is wrong” she is not just referring to the fact that he wont sleep with her that night but that he has never behaved badly with her on the whole trip though he could have. He could have done everything and anything to her. Instead she who said that she can control “anytime anywhere anyone” was the one who initiated it. Not just this, but everything in the movie (Except the last plane ride) was initiated by Sejal.

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          • Oh that is fascinating! I had a similar thought with the Indemnity Bond scene, she was so sure that this little piece of paper would protect her, she literally could not conceive of sexual danger. But it hadn’t occurred to me that the same idea could be expanded to every interaction. She was constantly making herself available to him, without being ready for it to be more than that, and he respected her wishes. Not just in not attacking her, but in not seducing her, taking advantage of her in any way.

            And here’s another part of it. Her family didn’t care! Both in that they never trained her to take care of herself, to be aware of potential danger instead of blinding trusting every man who came her way, and that they couldn’t be bothered to worry about her traveling alone with a strange man, it was easy to just think “oh, he’s Harry, I’m sure it will be fine.” Sure, there is a class part of it too, they think of him as ‘just” a servant, but it seems like if they had any real care for her, her family or her fiance would have expressed concerns at some point.

            On Thu, Sep 7, 2017 at 4:54 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Another thing as I rewatch it again…Harry during that dhak dhak karne laga line starts coming across as a little patronising. Like see I warned you you’ll fall in love but for your own good little girl you’ll have to go back don’t turn back to me….he keeps rubbing her arms up and down like you would soothe a child. And then she says so you’re saying I might cancel the wewedding break my engagement and stay back here? The whole while he has a smirk on his face like yeah I had warned you etc. And that’s why Sejal gets back to him with the cruelest thing she could say. Just to deflate him a little. I mean why is he giving advice to her? Hmf. I think. Or maybe I’ve watched this way too many times right now and am seeing things where they don’t exist!

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