In a recent interview to Mid-Day, director Imtiaz Ali was asked how he feels about people saying that all his movies are the same: that they’re about people who go off on a journey and then find themselves. Imtiaz responds by saying, “I’m not scared of sounding similar, but I am scared of not being genuine.”
Oh good, because he genuinely sounds similar to a thatha in his next answer to a question about strong female protagonists.
When asked about the strong female protagonists in his movies, he begins by saying he’s always admired women more than men, and that women are a beautiful, intelligent and fascinating “species”. Ignoring the fact that he thinks women are a species of their own, any assertion that women are fascinating always reminds me of this joke:
guys: women are a mystery.
women: Here is what we-
guys: LITERALLY WHAT DO THEY WANT?
women: well for start-
guys: Guess we’ll never know!
— Sophia Benoit (@1followernodad) December 4, 2015
But I digress.
Immediately after proclaiming his fascination and respect for women, Ali says, “There are times when I’m surprised to see that in most of my films, the female characters are smarter.”
Why ya, Imti? If you have so much respect for women and love them so much, why would it shock you that your own female characters are smart? I feel like if you’ve actually spent any time around women, you wouldn’t find it so surprising that they’re smart, and in fact very often much smarter than the men around them.
Maybe he was talking about how his female protagonists are different from a lot of the vacuous roles women actors are given in comparison to male leads in Bollywood generally, but since he’s talking about his own characters and his own movies, it’s a bit hard to understand where all this surprise is coming from.