You keep thinking 2020 won’t get worse, but it finds a way to.
I watched Pati, Patni Aur Panga so you don’t have to. (Please don’t)
How do I condense 120 minutes of mind-numbing and absolute bullshit [Just elongate this a little so it can be beeped out in a way that the word is still clear] (pardon my language) into a short video? Each episode progressively gets worse till you reach a point where your brain automatically turns off. It’s like you think it can’t get worse, but the writers can read your mind and say “hold on, one minute’
Pati, Patni Aur Panga, streaming on MxPlayer, follows the story of Romanchak, aka Romu, and Shivani, who have a whirlwind romance, get married and then get divorced soon after.
There is a way to show homophobia and transphobia, and not participate in it or encourage it. You can show transphobia and not actually be transphobic. But it seems like the makers of this show did the exact opposite. In all six episodes, the punchlines, at the cost of a trans woman, keep rolling, and it seems like common sense and decency have taken a hike.
The narrative keeps grounding Romu’s feelings and actions, but we don’t get to know what Shivangi might be going through. A story, allegedly about a trans woman’s acceptance doesn’t even show her for more than a few minutes after a point.
Transphobic comment-after-comment is thrown her way, but she does not get to respond. Now don’t come at me with ‘oh real life mei power dynamics alag hai’ (Oh, power dynamics are different in real life). If your idea of empowerment, progressiveness and acceptance means creating a womxn who is still quiet and demure in the face of hate, you really need to sign yourself up for some classes.
You might think I’m just another liberal commie outraging over the newest thing on the internet, and well, I am, but also this is very valid, and here’s why. When it comes to shows like this, and the way trans folx are characterised on screen, it does nothing to start a genuine conversation that actually goes anywhere. The smallest things, like the scene where Romu ‘confronts’ Shivani, in a very aggressive way almost like she’s at fault, to subtle innuendos and hits of “at least she’s not a man”, it only hammers one message home: This isn’t normal, that this is an experience we can mould according to our wish, and that actual lived experiences don’t matter.
All witty quips aside, this could have been a really good opportunity to explore relationships that go beyond the gender binary, but the makers really blew it. It’s so frustrating that there could have been a possibility to put out a really sweet heart-warming story, especially after the year we’ve had.