Kangana through Rangoli just said something so shocking I have to point it out and correct it. And on the other hand, two bits of casting that make me happy, Kat and Sara both get good parts.
Kangana and Rajkummar’s film Mental Hai Kya is getting some push-back because early looks make it seem as though it treats mental illness as a joke. Various respectable Indian mental health advocacy groups are giving statements. On the one hand, I am always irritated when groups protest before the film has even come out. On the other hand, mental illness really does need a better image in India, I’m much less offended by these groups jumping on the bandwagon for publicity than I am when it is some made-up ethnic or religious group.
And then Rangoli went on twitter and I lost all faith in Kangana’s ability to sensitively portray mental illness:
Just so you have background, The Live Laugh Love Foundation was following along the lead of the Indian Medical Association and the Indian Psychiatric Association. They are a small advocacy group for mental illness founded by Deepika Padukone. But they are the only ones being addressed in these messages, the larger community of mental health professionals who are objecting are ignored.
Deepika founded TLLL after coming forward and publicly speaking about her depression, her clinical medical depression. Which Kangana/Rangoli is here simplifying to feeling sad after a break-up and now cured through proper wifehood. Both insulting mental illness, and implying that all a woman needs is to be a wife for all her problems to be solved. Oh, and stupidly obviously wrong in terms of Deepika’s personal life, she was overcome with depression in 2014, when her career and personal life were in a good place, years after her Ranbir break-up. Nice of Kangana/Rangoli to re-write Deepika’s life in order to fit within her tidy narrative of depression-marriage.
She is also, weirdly, treating Deepika’s involvement in TLLL as “brand ambassador”. An odd way to treat advocacy groups, as though they are just another business that would hire you to do an add campaign. And a strange way to treat Deepika, who founded this organization, as though she was just the pretty face on top of it, as though she doesn’t really care about the issue.
The whole thing is strangely addressed towards Deepika. The reference to the Karni Sena is a reference to the protests she faced during Padmavat. But TLLL, the foundation, didn’t face those protests. And why pick only this group out of all the mental health organizations that filed protests? There’s a narrative here of “poor Kangana being picked on by Deepika” which is just WEIRD.
Oh, and of course it then ends by making herself into the victim because she was “accused” of mental illness. Very strange how it tries to say Kangana understands these issues more deeply than Deepika, someone who is actually publicly suffering from a mental illness. And very strange how her argument is that she understands the difficulties because she herself received the terrible insult of being accused of having mental illness. Which is the point! That it shouldn’t be an insult!
Just, once again, UGH Kangana!!! UGH! I am excited to see how her producer Ekta Kapoor is going to clean this up, and how (if at all) Dips will respond.
(I wonder if I will get a whole bunch of long angry tweets from people who didn’t read the article like I did the last time I posted something on Kangana?)
Kat and Akshay Reunited!
I’m excited about this! Akshay is doing a cop film with Rohit Shetty, and Katrina Kaif was just confirmed as playing his wife. Not his heroine, but his wife. I am thrilled! Kat gets a good role, Akshay will be playing a mature part with a wife, and we already know they have great chemistry together.
Sara and Varun Together with David Dhawan!
I am pumped about this! Not so much about Varun doing another semi-remake with his father, but very excited about Sara co-starring. She can really do comedy well, and David Dhawan’s comedies work best with a strong female comic lead. That’s why all his greatest ones were with Karisma. This is supposed to be a remake of one of his great ones, Coolie No. 1.