This letter is in reference to the dance performed by a group of local Indian American women on the release of the movie “Padmaavat” at the AMC in Santa Clara, Calif., on Jan. 26. I can say I feel secure in looking up to my wife after the Padmavati event and the same applies to all the brave women of Silicon Valley.
My message to them is that it is not as much as wearing these enthralling costumes and adorning yourself with ethnic jewelry, which was so appreciated, as your zest to have attempted successfully to bring out the inner zing in so many women (any woman of substance is a Padmavati). I have never seen so many happy faces dress up with such enthusiasm for a movie, and participate with a rather innocent, child-like zeal in the entire premiere, no matter what the actual age. Your Ghoomar dance performance, in the shape of a flash mob outside the theater, was a feast for the eyes.
Ladies, I could see the flood of the fervor surrounding your event all the way till you left the cinema hall and then your ebullience overflowed into social media. I think you folks gave a new meaning to the word “movie” and what it is supposed to represent, which is unadulterated entertainment.
A movie is not a lecture on morality. A movie is neither an opinion nor a debate. It is neither a course in history nor a time capsule of past events. A movie is a story as visualized by the producers, in their words, which is made for you. A third person with a different viewpoint is free to produce their own movie. And very important, a movie is a fundamental right to watch one of your choice and reject the one you want to, without intruding into someone else’s rights. You must realize that a movie producer does not determine who will and who will not watch their movie and will like it or not. You do that. A movie is born out of society and still challenges the very society to look inwards and form a modern viewpoint based on past events and anticipation of the future.
In celebrating this movie, for the sake of entertainment and nothing else, you women may have created history, and one day there may be a movie made on you and how you embodied the indomitable and invincible spirit of Padmavati, no matter what the movie was actually named or what it depicted, directly or indirectly.
You wanted to enjoy the movie and no sena could stop you from doing that. Your talent is unquestionable. You lead from the front. You supported cinematic creativity and artistic brilliance on screen, thereby appreciating the hard work of those who attempt to entertain you. A salute to all of you.