I saw a Marathi movie titled “Bioscope”. It comprises of four short films directed by four different directors, each of them based on poems by a separate poet. It’s a wonderful production overall, with stellar performances from some of the best artistes in the Marathi film industry. I am, however, going to tell you about the one I loved the most!
In this story there’s a guy named Swapnil who has a dark complexion and rough features. He is a mechanic and is a hard-working and kind-hearted young man. This chap is in love with a pretty young maiden named Pakali – the daughter of the local pundit – who stays in the same locality as him.
Swapnil is given the nickname “Kavlya” (Crow) by his friends and neighbours due to his less-appealing appearance. This gives him a terrible inferiority complex. He daydreams of happy moments with Pakali. He finds all sorts of excuses to see her, to meet her, to talk to her. He feels jealous when he sees Pakali talking to a handsome friend of hers. But he hesitates to express his feelings for her. He considers himself unworthy of her, because of his “bad” looks and his lower social status.
Pakali, in turn, reciprocates his feelings and repeatedly tries to convey this to him. But so entrenched is Swapnil in his belief that he can never win Pakali’s affections that he fails to take in the truth. As his friends also share the same opinion as him in this matter, he almost loses hope.
Pakali’s parents fix her marriage with her handsome friend. When she comes over to invite Swapnil to her wedding he manages to stay composed and to congratulate her. But when she leaves he is overcome by grief. As he is trying to come to terms with his feelings, hordes of crows start cawing. This enrages Swapnil and he throws his tools and implements at them to try and stop the din.
Pakali observes this and understands what the real problem is. She applies grease to her face and asks Swapnil, thus symbolically conveying that she hardly cares about his looks because it’s his personality that she truly loves! The film ends with the message:
“Not fair, but lovely!”
A play on words that form the name of a fairness cream in India, “Fair and Lovely”.
I think the society needs people like Pakali; people who understand that true beauty lies deeper than a person’s skin. There are so many like Swapnil who do not believe in themselves because TV commercials, daily soaps, movies, fashion and beauty articles all stress on how a fair complexion is the only way that anyone would get attracted to you. It’s the only way you’ll get accepted in this world, they keep telling us. But then, all that glitters is not gold, is it?
What do you feel? Do let me know in the comments below!