Horrible Bosses/Understanding

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The other day, I was re-watching this American movie, ‘Horrible Bosses’, with my friend.

It’s about three men who are sick of their bosses and embark on an ill-fated quest to murder them. The movie is full of badly scripted obscene dialogs (which do not make sense eighty percent of the time) placed at the cusp of a ridiculously slow plotline. It has its share of humor, too.

But I’m not doing a movie review, here.

There’s something else about the movie that I did not notice the first time I watched it.

For those of you who don’t know,  Jennifer Aniston is a part of the casting. She plays the role of a dentist who seems to specialize in sexual harassment rather than canines. Throughout the movie, Nick (Dale Arbus) faces acute sexual harassment and abuse from his boss (Aniston).

Naturally, since the movie is a comedy, people laugh. And so did my friend. But I just couldn’t get myself to blend in with the fictional humor. The entire time she was laughing, I kept thinking about how, if the role had been reversed i.e. if Aniston was the one being abused, the movie would not have funny. It would dark and serious and people would be engulfed in sympathy and fear.

And even if we assume that the agenda of the movie was to address a few social issues through the light medium of comedy, do people even get that? Do they go back home and dig beyond the surface of what they’ve just seen?

Probably not because our mind is already programmed to take anything funny as irrelevant.

‘Aitraaz’ is the only movie, that I have watched, till date that addresses gender equality in terms of sexual abuse when it comes to men with a serious eye.

Why don’t people take up the issue more often? Just because it won’t sell enough? Because the patriarchal society (including the women) can only accept when women are being thrashed and humiliated?

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