Throwback Thursday: Rangeela Had Urmila Matondkar Being A Total Boss Babe And It’s So Cool
When I think of Rangeela, the first image that pops in my head is of Urmila Matondkar swaying to Tanha Tanha. It’s just something about a person, completely immersed in the music and just enjoying herself that makes the vibe so pleasant. Before Gully Boy, there was Rangeela, a story about a young girl with not riches but dreams in her pocket. The film starts with exactly that – Mili’s dream in which she is making the masses dance along. Right in the first few minutes, it is established that she is brimming with poise as well as dedication to achieve her goals.
She is the perfect street gal with her childhood friend Munna, who is a black ticket seller. Munna is a guy good at heart but dealing with his self-esteem issues, and hence making up for his inferiority complex by acting superior. His need to feel important and his fragile ego is acknowledged by Mili but she refuses to let anyone step over her autonomy. Mili is a woman who knows to say a firm no, even if it is just for an ice-cream if she doesn’t want it. Munna is the guy who gets offended when she does that and her love for him will not change it.
Rangeela focusses on Mili’s dream of becoming an actress and dancing is one of her USPs. And that somehow has a huge impact on her life. First, when Munna sees her dancing under the spotlight, he realises that he is in love with her. Second, when Kamal ji sees her dance at the beach for herself, he seems to have been impressed with her too. That’s how dancing becomes the stepping stone of all the good things in her life. She lands herself the lead role in the same movie she was an extra in because Kamal ji recognised her talent.
Her struggles were real and so was her hard work. But why do we reduce a woman’s talent down to her attractiveness? It’s almost like if a man reached the top, it’s because he deserved it. If a woman reaches her goals, she basically charmed her way through it. Give the girl some more credit!
In fact, she is such a strong woman that she never hesitates to prove Munna wrong. When he gets insecure about her interaction with Kamal ji and goes on to criticise her profession, she calls him out. She tells him that he isn’t the most-aware person around the world and she isn’t going to stop chasing her dreams because Munna has his doubts and insecurities.
It’s evident that Munna loves her a lot but his insecurities, ego and misogynistic attitude make it very hard to love him. But Mili does, maybe she is able to see the goodness in his heart, maybe she knows how to work with his flaws. And the fact that she can call him out on his behaviour, possibly making him realise his mistakes probably works for her. Otherwise, would I fall for a guy like that? Nope.
What’s even more amazing about Rangeela’s Mili is that she isn’t elitist, she isn’t embarrassed by her street friends and proudly introduces Munna to everyone and anyone. Munna essentially isn’t insecure about the fact that Mili is more successful than her. But really, sabotaging her career with his behaviour isn’t right. Why would you send her a letter confessing his feelings while she is at the premiere of her first film? Munna has a lot to work on and somehow he does seem to have the scope. But seriously, why make a woman feel guilty for having a career? For making her dreams come true? Love isn’t supposed to be toxic and insecure.
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But really, when we show the hero all flawed and insecure, and we show that it is nothing wrong, what are we encouraging? Mili could handle him and it’s her choice. But not every woman can and yet we are expected to love guys like these, which is not the easiest thing to do. Change, evolve, and deal with your insecurities! We can’t always accept you for who you are, like Mili does in Rangeela.