A practical and critical review of the Movie – Sex & The City that was released last month.
Subject: Sex And The City In Mumbai!
By Namita Devidayal
Okay, so the women now need push-up bras, and the Mahnolo theme has been worn to the insole, and the televised series was way more sassy. Sure, the movie is flawed, farcical, and not worth the $55 mil it raked in the opening weekend in the US.
But why do we still love Sex and the City and leave the theatre laughing out loud?
Because on some level, Carrie and her Cosmo-sloshing, fashion-fetishy, smart-talking gang actually manage to live life on their own terms. And their 30 to 40 year-old, successful, smart, sexy equivalents in far-off India are still getting there.
Let me explain.
Mumbai may be like Manhattan when it comes to real estate index, but look at the relationship index, and what goes on here might make Miranda go on a stiletto-stabbing spree.
Where would you find (even in a movie) a gorgeous 50-year-old cancer survivor who is so comfortable with herself that she dumps a hunky, doting boyfriend just to be single and bonkable again? She prefers buying her own diamond baubles rather than squawking about what her man gave her. And she frowns when her best friend announces that she is getting married because she thinks it will kill the relationship. She loves being in love, and she wants to fall back in love with herself, which a woman can only do if she is OMO (on my own). I went to watch the movie with my three best girlfriends, and we found bits of Carrie and Miranda and Charlotte among us, but couldn’t find a Samantha-anywhere in our collective phone books!
Next. If a woman here were stood up on her wedding day, you wouldn’t find her best friends taking her away to Mexico for a ‘funnymoon’. No, dear. There would be gossippy aunties proffering reams of unsolicited advice and of course a very distressed mom whispering that perhaps you should just make up and get married quickly-quickly. We live in a country where the national past-time is to get married.
The movie is the tailpiece to a hit television series that ran from 1998 to 2004. The stories were about four single women who were sleepless in Manhattan, and their search for love — and Louis Vuitton! Carrie is a columnist who writes about love and sex and whether the twain can meet; Miranda is a Harvard-educated lawyer who balances the pros and cons of every thing in her life on long-leaf pads and has a pet house-husband; Samantha loves sex and thinks like a man; and Charlotte is an anal-retentive Park Avenue princess who lives in Noddy land.
Now, let’s transpose our characters from Manhattan to Mumbai.
Carrie, our columnist, would not be writing about sex, because the moral police would hold morchas outside her house, blacken her face, and psychologically scar her for life. Even our local Mumbai Mirror sexpert, a gentle 84 year-old who gives startlingly sound advice on penile malfunctions and professional masterbaters, got arrested when Pratibha Naithani complained that he was being obscene. Sex is a three-letter-word. Samantha? She would have had a sex change by now so that she could continue on her lusty escapades as a man. Miranda would not exist because, as any local head-hunter will tell you, smart highly educated women tend to drop out of the workplace after they have children (How else do you explain why the same three ICICI women and Naina Lal Kidwai are featured every time there is an article titled ‘woman on top’) Besides, in India, house-husbands are treated with scorching contempt. Only the sweet but annoying Charlotte may be found lurking around in a Malabar Hill gym or at the gynaec’s office, doing endless follicle tests to check on her fertility cycle.
Oh my god–and the fashion? It would be either ugly over-blingy wedding saris, or then Premson-generated fakes. Which is worse? Not sure.
Finally, the conversations may go something like this:
“Please, please god, help me find a man who is not gay, married or hung up on his mother.”
Sex in Mumbai? Bunk! The Sensex is more exciting.
The above was so true – in its every sense. I particularly loved this line “We live in a country where the national past-time is to get married.”.
I am already seeing this happening around me and trust me I am so tired of hearing about it already. So many marriages either on the brink of it or people trying to forcibly make their children’s marriage work, when their own sons or daughters themselves don’t want it and are not happy – all thanks to the culture, society and mainly “what will people say”. Phew! Who ever said Marriage = The Only Happiness, needs to seriously revisit his thoughts or rest visit today’s times again.