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Bollywood's Recent Film 'Simmba' Sheds Light On How Rape Should Be Addressed

Potential spoilers ahead.

Bollywood's Recent Film 'Simmba' Sheds Light On How Rape Should Be Addressed

The topic of sexual assault is one that is so controversial in a legal and media setting that many platforms just elect to avoid the conversation altogether. I have never seen a movie that portrays the problems behind rape, both as an action and in the legal setting—most crime dramas that I watch choose to address misdemeanors of theft, political corruption, or homicide.

Recently, I watched a new Bollywood movie, "Simmba." The movie starts out appearing to be yet another Bollywood film, based heavily on slapstick comedy. Simmba, played by actor Ranveer Singh, is an orphan who decides to become a cop because he sees the life of a corrupt policeman as ideal. He rises through the ranks, taking bribes and gaining power, until he is transferred to a new town as chief inspector. Despite being corrupt, Simmba is an extremely charismatic character, who befriends many people through the town, including a younger girl who he begins to see as a younger sister.

It seems that Simmba is living the ideal life until the unthinkable happens to his new younger sister. One night, after teaching the orphans at night school, she is raped and killed by a few men. Simmba finds out about this and is overcome by grief and the need to seek justice against those who have wronged this innocent young girl.

Now, let me try to express why this movie was so well made and how important its message is (without spoiling too much of it for all you movie buffs who want to go watch this movie for yourselves). First off, this movie actually revolves around the assault: this horrific crime is the center of the plot as opposed to some sideline storyline for the authorities to address. The main character, policeman Simmba, undergoes a significant amount of character development in order to shift him from the corrupt officer who just wants to make a quick buck to this justice-seeking, older brother figure. Even at the beginning of the film, Simmba makes clear that rape is the one crime he sees as unforgivable, and the audience is able to see how seriously he takes that claim as the story progresses.

Second, the protagonists of the story only see the crime as something horrific: no one defends the crime that was committed—the only people who do so are the perpetrators of the assault themselves, who, naturally, believe it was their right to claim what they did. This, to me, seemed like an accurate portrayal of how rape cases are handled, in terms of how the aggressors of the crime defend themselves and how they have people ready to back them up.

Third (I'm coming close to spoilers, but I'll do my best to avoid them), the case was handled well and appropriately, from a legal standpoint. It was handled impartially, and the sentencing was appropriate to the given crime. That's really all I can say without giving away the main essence of the film, but count me in to be a major proponent of this direction that Bollywood is going in.

2019's Bollywood seems to be headed in the direction of creating content on taboo subjects, making movies on controversial topics, and doing its part to address issues from a hugely humanitarian standpoint. "Simmba" is one (of hopefully many) films that will provide a model to its intended audience. Taking control of Indian media exposure towards such a serious issue goes a long way, and will continue to provide an example for millions of people, something that will hopefully play a significant role in decreasing the number of such horrific crimes that occur.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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