Bechdel Test on Indian Movies

The Bechdel Test was devised by American cartoonist Alison Bechdel in 1985. It tries to ascertain whether a work of fiction does or does not conform to gender biases. A work is said to have passed the Bechdel Test if it

  1. Has atleast two female characters
  2. Who talk to each other
  3. About something other than a man

bechdel_test.jpg
Here , we present some Indian movies and run them through this test

Dhoom 3- FAILS
dhoom-3-3a.jpg
a. Has only one female character played by Katrina Kaif

Chennai Express - FAILS
wallpaper_1.jpg

a. Only one major female character played by Deepika Padukone

Ek Tha Tiger – FAILS
Ek_Tha_Tiger_theatrical_poster.jpg

a. Single female character

3 Idiots - FAILS
3_Idiots_album.jpeg
a. More than one female character

b. Mona Singh and Kareena Kapoor’s characters do talk to each other

c. No actual scene where they talk about something else than a man

Dabangg - FAILS
poster-3.jpg
a. More than one female character

b. Characters played by Dimple Kapadia, Sonakshi Sinha and Mahie Gill never talk to each other

Agneepath – FAILS
MV5BMzcxNTEzNzI4M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMTc3MDUzNw@@._V1_SX640_SY720_.jpg
a. More than one female character

b. They talk to each other

c. Conversations are only about the central male character

Lagaan – FAILS
Lagaan_Soundtrack.JPG
a. More than one female character

b. They do talk to each other

c. The conversation always revolves around male characters

Taare Zameen Par – FAILS
Taare-Zameen-Par_B.jpg
a. Only one noteworthy female character

Life in A Metro – PASSES
MetroHindiFilm.jpg
a. More than one female character

b. They talk to each other

c. About something apart from a man

Rang De Basanti – PASSES
rangdebasanti1_10x7.jpg
a. More than one female character

b. They talk to each other

c. About making a documentary film

Monsoon Wedding – PASSES
monsoon-wedding_634902391738293393.jpg
a. Multiple female characters

b. They talk to each other

c. Conversations are about life in general

Dedh Ishqiya - PASSES
Dedh_Ishqiya_Teaser_Poster.jpg
a. Two female characters

b. They talk to each other

c. Conversations are about themselves

Ra.One – FAILS
Ra.One-poster-2.jpeg
a. Multiple female characters

b. Two of them are introduced at a party but do not talk

Yeh Jawaani Hai Diwaani – PASSES
Yeh_Jawaani_Hai_Deewani_2013.jpg
a. Two major characters

b. They talk to each other

c. Kalki Koechlin and Deepika Padukone’s characters talk about their lives

Chak De India – PASSES
Chak_De!_India.jpg
a. Multiple female characters

b. They talk to each other

c. Conversations are about , among other things, hockey

Barfi – FAILS
barfi-poster-story_090312055526.jpg
a. Multiple female characters

b. They talk to each other

c. Conversations are only about the main character and the men in their lives

Raajneeti – FAILS
raajneeti.jpg
a. Multiple female characters

b. Most of them don’t talk to each other, but for one scene

c. That scene revolves around the male characters

As you can see, most of the movies of the past few years, miserably fail this test for gender sensitivity. Many films have only a single female character. This is one indicator of how male-centric our Indian movies are and maybe, something needs to be done to change that.

 
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