Those who have the misfortune, patience or just enough bad taste to follow Ram Gopal Varma on Twitter, encountered a strange tweet on his timeline today.
The tweet has been deleted since then, so here's a screenshot of the same.
The woman in the picture is Shilpa Jamkhandekar, a film journalist and critic with Reuters India. It may take you some time to process the purpose and implication of this tweet - after all, stupidity and misogyny don't come to many of us as naturally as they do to Varma.
Basically, Jamkhandekar gave a scathing review to Varma's latest release 'Veerappan' declaring it a bad film. Varma decided to get back at her by saying that she was a bad looking woman. If you snatched a three-year-old's lollipop from him, chances are he would respond with greater grace, propriety and intelligence than Varma did in the face of criticism.
But Varma is not just bad at taking criticism on his chin. He is just not familiar with taking criticism coming from a woman on his chin.
Veerappan, released last Friday was predictably torn apart by most credible critics.
Rahul Desai of Catch News termed the director a 'film terrorist' while Raja Sen of Rediff called the film an 'exhausting watch.' Rajeev Masand too said that the film was 'largely disappointing.'
Varma, who was frantically retweeting every positive review, chose to ignore these pieces -- all three by male writers -- but picked Jamkhandekar, to take his frustration out.
He had established himself as a seasoned misogynist, yes, but this attack, was quite shocking even by his low standards. Just a few days back, this is what Varma had to say about Assamese MLA Angurlata Deka.
If MLA can look like this,Achche din aagaye hai..Thank you Angoorlataji,Thank you Modiji..1st time I love politics pic.twitter.com/WPzJgmnb13— Ram Gopal Varma (@RGVzoomin) May 24, 2016
And this about Prime Minister Modi and Deka.
Advancement is about advancing in every which way and that's what really truly honest achche din will be about pic.twitter.com/d4ATjQO0JD— Ram Gopal Varma (@RGVzoomin) May 24, 2016
The man can't even pay a compliment without sounding sexist. Here's proof:
Apte had starred in Varma's 2010 flop two-part mangum opus, Rakhta Charita. Though she looked pretty damned fine in the film according to us, Varma obviously has a completely different metric on which he actively judges women.
So what did Jamkhandekar essentially write, that sent Varma viciously howling, 'bad woman, ugly woman' to town?
She wrote in her review -- "Ram Gopal Varma, whose skill sets as a director have plummeted drastically in the last few years, falls further into the abyss by bringing together a bunch of bad actors in “Veerappan” and egging them on towards even more mediocrity."
She further emphasised on the campy nature of the film, an observation noted by several other critics. "The budget cuts seem to have been severe in Varma’s first Hindi film in three years. His extras look like they belong to an 80s bandit film, as do the sets. The CGI in the film is Alif-Laila level, and Varma seems to have wasted no time or money putting together a coherent script for the film, a Hindi remake of his Kannada movie “Killing Veerappan”.
If this wasn't disgusting enough, Ramu ensured your blood boils further when we wrote, "I am sorry for the content packaged in the intent but will not apologise for the intent behind the content," in the following tweet.
Then after he deleted both the tweets, he went on another spree of ranting, trying to justify his unforgivable actions.
The power of social media is that everyone has the same weapon ..if one bitches the other,the other also will bitch in return— Ram Gopal Varma (@RGVzoomin) May 28, 2016
If someone becomes personal in bitching the film maker beyond the film,the film maker also in return can bitch the person beyond the film— Ram Gopal Varma (@RGVzoomin) May 28, 2016
Yeah, just hold your jaw up with your hand, lest it falls to the ground and shatters.
Here's the thing, Varma was the one who had no interest -- or perhaps the intelligence -- to engage with the writer intellectually. So he came up with a personal dig, hoping that it's going to discourage or insult the writer. Only, he ended up making himself look like a moron and convincing the world that he is not just a filmmaker who is going through a patchy creative phase. He has no imagination left in him at all.
Jamkhandekar merely pointed out the flaws in his film in the most professional way possible. And a film or any 'creative' offering for that matter is open to discussion and debate by the audience/viewer. The moment you have released a film, you have deliberately submitted yourself to being discussed and critiqued. However, in Varma's opinion, if you are doing any of that, you are a bad looking person - whatever that means.
Fortunately for us, most men and women these days, know better than paying attention to how others choose to define their physical appearances so Varma's response will only end up making him look like a douchebag, out of touch with how the progressive, civilised, intelligent world works. He will have for company those few hundred people who retweeted his tweet and raved at his seemingly astute observations.
Dear Ramu, attacking women, isn't going to get audiences to watch your film or critics to give you better reviews. In fact, this world will be a much cheerful place for people like us if you made lesser films - because that is a vocation you temporarily had a talent for but one that you seem to have lost for good.
Actually, here's some bad news for you - if everyone who dislikes your film is 'bad looking', we're probably a country full of people very happy to be labelled 'bad looking' by you.
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