Growing up as a Telugu-speaking girl, my only exposure to Telugu cinema were the blockbusters. Like most mainstream Indian films, they encouraged misogyny. The only thing that Telugu heroines do in most movies is ‘beautify’ the film. There are three kinds of Telugu mainstream films. The action movies where the hero keeps beating up the bad guys or the romantic ones or the comedy ones. Needless to say that all degrade not just women but fat people, differently abled people, mentally challenged people etc. I must say that even Bollywood has evolved to some extent but Tollywood mostly produces the same kind of crap (or maybe I am not watching the right movies). Sorry, ‘Baahubali’ may be a very good-looking film but it has the same regressive values that plague Indian society (Here’s why).
 The other day, there was this scene in this Telugu movie where the ‘hero’ talked about the body of a woman whom he had just met as if her body was a public property. What’s heartbreaking is that even our loved ones and friends don’t realize how disrespectful these movies are to women. I personally don’t know what to do when my own family watches such films. Should I refuse to join them? Should I just tolerate it because after all, my loved ones are happy? Should I express my displeasure knowing that people are not going to understand? I mean, if everybody is in a good mood, you don’t want to spoil the fun right? But at the same time, what do you do about *your* values? One question comes to my mind: If the logic behind not speaking up against these issues so that others are not hurt or that their fun is not spoiled, then why are they laughing at things that hurt others? I should not express my displeasure at those who are laughing at a fat man because I will spoil their fun and I must think about others but why are they not caring about the fat man’s feelings? I wish I had a solution to this because I am torn between my anger at the misogyny and my desire to see my loved ones happy.
There was a time when I unwillingly listened to homophobic jokes because I didn’t want to create a ‘scene’ or spoil the fun. But this ‘fun’ is similar to the ‘fun’ that a bully has when he/she bullies somebody who is different than him/her.
I stumbled upon this video recently (click). A person named Annapurna Sunkara said all those things that I have felt since my childhood as a Telugu speaking woman (I’m sure many women feel this way).What’s sad is that many people have trolled her and the worst part is that many women have spoken out strongly against the video and called the person an attention seeker.
It’s not just the Telugu cinema though. This mindset is prevalent everywhere…not just in films, but the entire society…not just in India but the entire world.

4 thoughts on “Most Telugu films make me depressed

  1. Hi. I grew up watching Tamil movies- which are sometimes re-make of Telugu movies and vice versa. I gave up watching them becoz after quite a while I just couldn’t stop commenting or calling out utter nonsense dialogues they show in these movies. I was the spoilsport and so I stopped wasting my precious time watching all these crappy movies. Try not to watch them unless its avoidable and if its gets too much , talk to ur family and let them know that its totally not nice to degrade women this way. Speaking up the truth is what makes change happen.


    1. Hello. Yesterday, I saw this song from a Tamil movie called ‘I’ and I was just stunned at the capacity of filmmakers to find innovative ways of objectifying women :D. Just remembered it as you mentioned Tamil movies.

      Wow, so what your family’s response when you spoke up against the crap? Did they admit that the dialogues were degrading? How exactly do you speak out? Is it an angry tone? And how do you look at that person? I mean, will you form a close bond with a person who watches such movies (I personally find it hard to do so).

      You are right. These small things make a huge difference.


  2. Family is always hard to deal with, but I have found that no matter what you say, they will always love you (I do have doubts abt that but still) .

    So initially I used to just drop comments that would make them stare at me and when they do, I would say it politely that I feel offended by this dialogue or this song. for eg. if u see a scene where the Hero stalks the heroine without her knowledge, that is creepy and I would just say, if someone did this in real life, it would be better to report him to the police.

    Most of the time. I was told to see it in a entertainment light, but I always argue that cinema and real life, specially in India, are so intertwined that what we see does affect the way we think. Girls are being harassed all the time in public places. Men think its ok to slap a women when they think she is being stupid and all this can be seen in so many movies.

    Its real and I am sure we can make our family members think abt that and if that doesn’t work, I usually just leave the room and go do something else. Only when they realize ur not there, they atleast try to make the effort to reach out to you and figure out what bothers you.

    Try it and let me know how it goes 🙂

    BTW- most of the movies nowadays are regressive in nature and harmful for the welfare of women. Very rarely I see movies that are worth watching. I can even include Hollywood movies in that i guess 🙂


    1. Thank you for sharing your experience. That has certainly inspired me to be more honest about my feelings with loved ones. I remember watching a Tennis match once and this family member of mine was shaming Serena Williams because she is ‘dark.’ I called that person a racist (I didn’t shout..just said it normally)…he was so offended that he didn’t talk to me for days :D. Experiences like this make me want to maintain ‘peace’ but I know that pretending is not peaceful.

      You are right…most movies are offensive to women and minorities. It hurts when a movie that really touched your heart is also misogynistic. Sigh!


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