Mouna Ragam (1986) and my thoughts


I have no idea why I had an urge to watch some scenes from Mouna Ragam again yesterday and saw the first 30 minutes of the film. I have watched the film before and though I do love the realistic portrayal of life and the actors are very good, it also bought to my attention the pervasive attitudes of most Indians and how we view it as normal and how they romanticize such stuff. These kind of pervasive attitudes and considering them completely acceptable are also a reason for crimes against women, especially in wake of recent rape case in Delhi. Basically we do not think women are humans capable of taking thoughtful independent wise decisions about their life.

  1. Everybody, including the wife is scared of the man in the house. Even the grown up; married son.
  2. Her father just tells her on the way while dropping her to college that some guy is coming to “see her” for considering marriage – Did he even ask her if she wants to get married? Who determined she was heterosexual? How can they take such a decision without asking her?
  3. The guy’s qualifications and how he seems to be nice in one meeting and the reputation in society is deemed more important than the girl & guy liking each other. I think this whole idea is a fallacy because your degree tells nothing about the person you are. Trust me I have met pretty nasty people who would get top ranks in arranged marriage market.
  4. The luck and happiness of the parents depends on their daughter marrying a man of the family’s choice.
  5. Anything a girl done wrong (according to the society), is a result of giving too much love and affection to her resulting in her getting spoiled. This is such a common dialogue even today.
  6. Notice, that all the women are sitting on the floor/one standing while the men are sitting on the chairs/benches even if they are much younger than the old women.
  7. Girls get out of hand because you were not strict/did not beat them when they were young.
  8. A woman must always be in a saree when being viewed by a potential match but the guy can be in western clothes. True even today, including the photos parents put up on matrimonial sites even though the daughter wears western clothes the rest of the time.
  9. Decisions like marriage are made in less than 5 minutes but we deliberate on decisions like buying a house and clothes much much more.
  10. The decisions/feelings of women hold not weight in deciding a marriage even if she is the one marrying.
  11. Every woman must get married.
  12. She is old enough to get married but not old or wise enough to make her own decisions.
  13. A daughter is a burden to get married off and pushed off to someone else.
  14. Why should parents rest all their expectations and happiness on their daughters getting married? To the point of getting heart attack? Seriously?
  15. Marriage automatically seems to convert a stranger into a man who is your companion/somebody to die for.
  16. Women until marriage are not supposed to interact with the opposite sex at all, not know anything about sex at all and the moment they get married have to sleep with guy they met like for 5 minutes, but a woman who slept with a guy she for 5 years before marriage is a slut.Yeah right.
  17. No talk of contraception again.
  18. You are expected mostly to have sex on the first night. Well, they have been holding off their sexuality for 10 years plus right?

Though the guy in this movie is nice, how many people are really like that?

Funniest analysis of this movie? I told uncle the gist of this movie. He rolled his eyes at me and said “oh come on, this and 500 other Indian movies have the same theme. Marriage and she always goes for her husband”.

6 thoughts on “Mouna Ragam (1986) and my thoughts

  1. The sad thing is … these attitudes toward women that tend to infantalize them – have been the same from the 1940s right through 2014. Nothing much has changed. A few Hindi films are now breaking out of this – Kahani, Queen. And Bengail films (some of them) have always questioned the norms.

  2. Hi, have been a silent reader of your blog for quite sometime..couldnt resist commenting on this post though.. I used to love this movie when I was young..as i grew up,some scenes struck me odd as to how granted the society takes a woman’s opinion to be ..
    Even though I still like this movie now,its more because of revathi’s acting in it than the storyline…
    Apart from the points which you have mentioned, one another scene which struck me really odd in this movie was when the mother comes to visit the daughter, she says to her that how much ever fights a husband and wife can quarrel it is still not right if their beds are separate at night..! So a woman has to satisfy a man’s desire at night even if her heart or mind is not on it?
    So ridiculous!

    1. Hello there, welcome to my blog 🙂 I went through your blog too and love it.
      I skimmed through the rest of the movie. Yeah, that’s a point too. So, despite the sanctity and purity of our great Indian marriage, in the end it is all about sex because anyway you can fulfill the rest of the relationship needs from other people. And then they go on about how marriages in the west are meaningless while India is way much better with marriages bonding souls blah blah

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