Wonder Woman is drawing the crowds. Time to see an Indian actress play a superhero?
Lebanon may have banned Wonder Woman in protest against Israeli actress Gal Gadot, but that hasn’t stopped the movie from smashing box office records. Opening to a tremendous response from fans across the globe, the film directed by Patty Jenkins, has reportedly collected over USD 100 million in its opening weekend. In India too, it has managed to pip Priyanka Chopra’s Baywatch with reports suggesting that Gal’s movie has collected almost twice that of the desi girl’s Hollywood venture.
Yogesh Raizada, general manager at Wave Cinemas, says, “The film is running with occupancy of 70-80 percent. More than the topic of feminism that surrounded the film, it’s the content that is pulling the crowds,” and adds, “Baywatch offers nothing new to the audience that has seen the famous TV series. In Wonder Woman, the visual effects and storyline are fabulous.”
Yogesh feels if we are able match the standard of techniques of filmmaking of the west, any superhero film will work. Seconding him is trade analyst Komal Nahta. He says, “People have liked Wonder Woman and it’s running strongly. If the content is good, I don’t see why Indians won’t accept a female superhero. If the film is not good, it will tank. Then it doesn’t matter who plays the lead.”
Starting from TV shows like Shaktimaan and Captain Vyom to films like Krrish and A Flying Jatt, superhero in India has only meant a man. Why aren’t heroines wearing the cape? But on second thoughts, would an Indian female superhero wear a cape or something else? Actress Nimrat Kaur visualises, “An Indian female superhero should ideally wear something like a cool warrior dress with a dhoti and a blouse... have elements of an Indian garment. I’d love to see a superhero girl wear a sari.” And would she ideally have 10 hands like a deity because we expect her to do so much multi-tasking? The actress says, “No, we are doing fine with two hands but she should have powers to read men’s mind because we think too much and start assuming things.”
On a serious note, Nimrat says, “It’s just a matter of time before we get to see an Indian actress portraying a superhero’s role. It wouldn’t take much time before the Wonder Woman phenomenon is translated in Indian cinema as well. Things are moving quite progressively and we are seeing a lot of interesting work happening on female-oriented subjects.”
Actress Adah Sharma, who played a supercop in Commando 2, believes that with every second movie having strong female portrayals and audience appreciating them, India is ready for its own female superhero. “If I were to play a superhero, I would want to fly and take form of any object or person as my super power. But this person should be in disguise as well,” she quips.