I don't remember exactly when i started noticing advertisements. In highschool i remember singing ad jingles whenever we played antaakshari. 'washing powder nirma' was one among my favourites. I still nurture the secret desire to be an ad film maker one day. I think it's extremely difficult to make one and that it is possible to make strong political statements through them. Advertisements continue to be grossly sexist, casteist and racist most of the time. I have always been happy to see any of them break this norm. The most recent one i liked this way was one from tata docomo for their power recharges.
This 30 seconder says a LOT of things. First of all it addresses an issue which is very common. Men on road do this all the time. Sometimes it is a song which they start singing just as a girl approaches. It quickly leaves their lips as the girl moves out of vicinity as well. If someone questions them they have an excuse all ready. 'We were just singing a song. How can you stop us from singing a song?' Some funny ones have even sprung 'It's a democracy' at me. :) It is a way of hassling women which can be done very easily. You don't even have to be a singer. So what is the problem with someone singing a song? Well, believe it or not, we really don't like being sung to, unless it is a concert we paid a nice sum for. Not on the road from a stranger, please!The advertisement also shows in a shot that the girls are not comfortable with the man's whistling. Below is th shot.
Then it shows that there is a girl who sees that the girls are not comfortable with it and then we see her reacting to it and how! It takes courage to raise voice is what the tag line says. It is obvious that what she did at that bus stop indeed takes courage. This act says a lot of things. For one it states a fact, that more often than not it is just one person or a minority who raises voice. It says that for such a minority to do so it requires courage and that they shouldn't be shunned and on the contrary should be respected. The second important thing the film says is that you might not always succeed the first time you raise your voice. In this situation, even after the woman screamed the first time, the man attempts to whistle again albeit a little weaker. Women who have been in similar situations know only too well that this is true. Most of the time the offenders try to defend themselves and even accuse the victim of madness, loose morals etc. In the film, the woman persists. She succeeds. It exudes energy and positive vibes.Another thing to be noted is that the girls who were affected were watching as the woman was screaming and they saw the effect it had on the man. She set an example and we know that the girls will react the next time something of this nature happens. The last shot in the film is of the girl who reacted herself. We see that she feels good. She is smiling to herself.
There is a shot which i liked particularly in the film. It is that of this woman standing, almost ready to leap at him in case he repeated his act. She stands out in the place. She dominates it. It's lovely.
I also saw two other advertisements which i found a relief from the common ones for sanitary napkins. They are narrations along a lighter vein and not addressing periods as 'un dinom' 'ആ ദിവസങ്ങള്' etc [those days] and not equating success in various fields of work or play (rock climbing, journalism, dance, sports etc) with the quality of your sanitary napkin.Thanks to Rakesh Warrier for sharing them.
First Moon Party and The Camp Gyno
Looking forward to more of the kind. Gives me an ad-renaline rush ;-)