The Evolution of Horror Comedies In Bollywood

New-Age Horror Comedies With a Message

Another reason why horror comedies started gaining popularity in Bollywood is because of the social message they carried along with their spooky tales. Amar Kaushik’s Stree, Hardik Mehta’s Roohi and even Bhediya are the best examples of such films.

Based on the Nale Ba folklore from Karnataka, Stree, starring Rajkummar Rao and Shraddha Kapoor, coyly talks about the physical and mental trauma that women go through in their every-day lives. From their constant fear and lack of safety to the degradation that they face in society, Stree was a true feminist tale of laughter and chills. Owing to this, the film not only became an exceptional entertainment but also formed a close bond with its viewers.

Roohi, on the other hand, was a brilliant interpretation of feminism and self-acceptance. Starring Jahnvi Kapoor and Rajkummar Rao in the lead roles, the film is set in a fictional village where kidnapping girls to force marriage is a widespread practice. It follows the journey of Roohi, an ordinary woman possessed by the spirit of a deadly witch called Mudiyapairi, who gets kidnapped by two men who work for a goon.

Mudiyapairi, a local witch with inverted feet, abducts young women on the night of their honeymoon in order to satiate her unquenchable desire to get married.

In the film, Roohi is repeatedly assured that getting married will cure her. In order to do so, the captors take her to the town’s best exorcists. But what comes as a welcome surprise is Roohi’s decision to live with Mudiyapairi for the rest of her life rather than marry a man. By completing the seven circles around the holy fire and marrying herself, she chooses self-love.

In addition to being a potent drama about a woman’s relationship with herself, Roohi is also a befitting satire on a patriarchal society where a woman’s worth is measured by the institution of marriage. The film holds the ability to terrify its audience with its on-screen demon as well as the metaphorical demons of society.

Bhediya, on the other hand, delves into the nature versus development debate.

This new-age approach is currently doing wonders for the horror-comedy genre in Bollywood. But for how long? The viewers will decide.

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