Avanthika’s reaction – despite the prettiness of the tattoo – is anger. Her world and her sense of self are being unsettled, and she resists the change. But resistance doesn’t mean she wipes off the painted design. Neither is she outraged enough by her lurking makeover-inclined admirer to cut Shiva down to size when she finally meets him. Not just that, she lets him strip her and apply eco-friendly make-up, which includes everything from crushed berries to a dash of Shiva’s own blood. No pain, no gain, to quote an old adage.
While Shiva is wreaking this transformation upon Avanthika, her reactions are limited to parted lips and widened eyes that suggest she’s furious. It’s this expression that’s led to a debate about precisely what’s going on in this scene. Is this courtship ritual a disguised rape scene?
A couple of weeks ago, this Hindu Business Line article, titled 'The Rape of Avanthika', went viral. The writer Anna Vetticad and those subsequently discussing the article pointed out there is no consent from Avanthika and therefore, she was raped by Shiva. And there we were, lapping it up as romance.
The idea of “rape-y” lovers isn’t new to popular Indian cinema, both in Bollywood and its southern counterparts. But does this scene from Baahubali deserve the rape tag? Is Avanthika served by this interpretation or reduced by it? Because lest we forget, she is no damsel in distress.
Avanthika is a hardened warrior; one who killed ten-odd soldiers on her own, with just a sword and her own brute strength; one who is considered good enough to take on an important (even if it is suicidal) mission by her leader. If the woman who is that skillful with a sword and as physically agile as Avanthika is in her introductory scene wanted to make Shiva stop, what are the chances that she wouldn’t be able to do so? Yes, she glares at Shiva, but she doesn’t lift even a pinkie to resist him even though a warrior as skilled as her would probably have enough moves to counter his brute strength. To assume Avanthika is incapable of resisting Shiva – despite proof to the contrary in her introductory scene where she cuts a swathe across a contingent of soldiers – is about as sexist as Shiva thinking he needs to teach her about lipstick and eyeliner.
Of course it’s chauvinistic to say a woman needs to be feminine, that she needs a man to discover her ‘inner beauty’, that a man marking her as his is her ultimate sringaar. There's a very strong case to be made about how we sexualize and the beauty standards we set for female heroines and women in general, through cinema. But is this rape?How to teach chop tricks gta 5? Tips and tricks; how to build a medieval castle + not minecraft? What does declined mean? How tovape tricks? What does margin trading mean? What does nfc mean on my phone? What does ssd mean? How to stop hiccups? Tips for guys on how to paint your toenails? What are some tips about agario? How to quit drinking?? What is the meaning of the emperor tarot card? You can do so many cool upper body tricks, but what can you work towards with your lower body?? What does tmb mean? Tips when taking your drivers test? What does the chair emoji mean? How to mark all emails as read?? What are overhead costs? 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