Friday 8 December 2023

Male Gaze and Female Gaze in Hi Nanna: IDHE IDHE

 Last evening, I saw info about the song release of a new Telugu movie- "Hi Nanna".

This new song "Idhe Idhe" is trending on YouTube for music having already garnered 900K+ views, and counting.

The song video is here-

Head Turner & Showstopper

The song has the lead heroine- Mrunal Thakur walking in.

She is definitely a "Head Turner".

Like in fashion shows where we have the "Show Stopper", she walks in and captures everyone's instant attention.

Dressed in a black saree and white blouse, she creates magic.

After seeing her, people simply stop and turn their heads and just gape. 

She is unmissable. 

She is magnetic.

She is amazing. 

Male Gaze

It is a sweet melodious romantic song beautifully shot by the team.

The camera has faithfully followed all the characters & captured their expressions beautifully.

But, hey!

What is this?

Why the close-up on her features and lingering there for some time?

Had her skin not been shown as above, would the song have lost its essence?

This is the male gaze, isn't it?

@masaal_dosa has rightly shared on X, formerly Twitter-

"A female is presented as an eye candy in cinema, like a visual feast, written by a man, recorded by a man, and enjoyed by a man, that leaves zero space for her agency.

She must be disappointed by how far women have come.
Now they themselves act as an object for the male gaze"


Women have often been treated as "items/objects/things" in movies.

Remember the 1990's Hindi movie "Mohra" song picturised on actors - hero Akshay Kumar and heroine Raveena Tandon in which the hero sings for the heroine-

"Tu Cheez Badi Hai Mast"

It means- "You are an intoxicating object/item/thing."

This is the first search result on Google-

Just see the number of views this "Mast" song video has garnered!

Like wine, woman too is an item of intoxication?

There are many "item songs" in many Indian movies to titillate the audience, especially the front benchers.

Item songs and cheap and vulgar dances act as crowd-pullers and keep the cash registers ringing, correct?

After all, just as Keats had said-

"A thing of beauty is a joy forever."

Does it give great joy to discuss and highlight the item/thing/object and about their items/things/objects e.g. blouse/choli and what lies behind it? 

Female Gaze

Now, coming back to the sweet melodious romantic Idhe Idhe song.

The camera has captured expressions of the female gaze too.

In fact, the first two characters, who look smitten by the actress, are a cute little girl and a lady.

Next, we have a group of female models too looking at her.

And others - both females and males join too.

Gaping is exhibited by the actress herself too.
As she walks away, the object of everyone's attention gives coquettish glances to the hero.

Not once, but twice as she sashays along.
That is the female gaze!

Women instinctively know when they are being looked at.
In both cases, she turns around and catches the hero openly gaping at her and yearning for her.

He becomes conscious of this too and walks away at the end of the song.

Does he feel disappointed that his viewing privilege has been encroached upon and obstructed?

Does he feel guilty that she is aware of what he is up to, and can perhaps read his thoughts?

Or is he thrilled that she actually turned around twice to check him out?

Palat - Turn Around

In the Idhe Idhe song, as she turned around and glanced at the male behind, I somehow remembered the famous scene from the Hindi movie- "Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ)".

As the heroine Simran (Kajol) walks away, the hero Raj (Shahrukh Khan) waits for her to turn around - "Palat".


Raj's belief is- 

"If she's in love with you, she's going to turn around!"

Just as Paulo Coelho has expressed- Whatever one's heart sincerely desires, the Universe conspires! 

Simran turns around in DDLJ!

Incidentally, this iconic DDLJ scene has been copied from a Hollywood movie.

Did you know that-

The scene is actually a copy from Clint Eastwood’s Hollywood film ‘In The Line Of Fire’ that released in 1993? 

DDLJ was released two years later in 1995.

Eastwood's line is -

"If she looks back, that means she is interested." 

This IndiaTV news report has extra information about the two scenes.

Source: Bollywood Hungama

The Palat scene is quite popular and a similar scene was seen recently in a KDrama too where the hero prays "Look back, Look back" and the heroine does!

Source: Man's World India

In all the above references, the actresses are dressed with no show of skin.

The camera focuses on their walking away and then turning around.

And not exhibiting the actress's blouse, or show of skin- bare waist, hips, back etc.

The Idhe Idhe song stands out in contrast.

The hero is not praying for her to turn around as the song is playing in the background.

He is simply staring focusing on her vital stats and checking out her curves and is caught in the act - not once but twice by the "objection of his affection".

If the woman was the one hoping for the man to turn around, would the camera have shown the man's waist or biceps or other parts of the male anatomy?

Incidentally, the Palat scene was referred to in the Hindi movie- "Befikre" with actress Vani Kapoor watching another man. The character played by actor Ranveer Singh tells her - that man would not turn around. 

Without taking her eyes off that man and the "object of her attention", she matter-of-factly answers that "Wishing for turning around was in the 90s. I was just checking his ass!"

The above is a screen grab from the same scene that can be seen here

It may be noted that during this scene, the camera is full-time focused on the actress and actor (as above) and not on that other man or his ass.

Recently, the Hindi movie "Animal" has reference to the heroine's anatomy-

"You have a big pelvis, you can produce healthy babies.” 

It is alarming to note that such scenes and misogynistic dialogues get huge applause and whistles in movie theatres.

I feel such references and crass usage are a huge disrespect to the females. 

In a way, we are teaching the public how to behave with women. And that all such is perfectly normal and acceptable.

Movies and media have the power to reach and touch innumerable lives, and to impact society. 

Using the words from the Hollywood movie "Spiderman"-

"With great power comes great responsibility"

Using the words of the above-mentioned "Animal" movie dialogue-

"Movies have a big influence, they must produce healthy after-effects."

Movie stars have many fans and followers and great media presence. 

If all choose to accept and support irresponsible and objectifying lines and scenes and objectionable gestures, what sort of an influence will they have on society?

Should there be such a focus on female anatomy in the media?

What do you feel? Please share in the comments below.


  1. All this debate aside could anyone please tell me what the actress’ saree material is called? Is it a cotton saree?

    1. Wrote about this & analysed as this "debate" or rather fact cannot & must not be put aside. Would have loved to know your answers to the given questions.
      Thank you for visiting & for reading.
      Great to see your interest regarding her saree.
      Not sure if it is a pure cotton saree; may be a mix with cotton and other material.
      But, it's definitely not a silk saree.

      I'll be very happy if & when filmmakers make the cast wear local & traditional & Geographical Indications (GIs) handlooms & start mentioning the names of the handlooms too on screen or at least on their social media & those names gain national media attention and publicity.
      Stars and movies have great power. They will inspire & draw fans to choose handlooms (instead of machine-made clothes). It will be wonderful for our weavers & will aid the promotion of heritage weaves & instil pride in our cultural treasures.


Your words mean a lot to me.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...