#ThrowbackThursday: Mr & Mrs Khiladi Will Make You Feel Better About Your Poor Taste In Men
When I reflect on my dating history, there are one or two guys that make me doubt my IQ. I wonder, was I drunk the entire relationship, or did I hit my head against a wall? Yeah, those guys just didn’t deserve me and I am not saying that because I am a prude but because they really were made entirely of red flags. Anyway, now I just try to see the silver lining of lessons under the dark clouds of my dating life. But then, today I watched Mr. & Mrs. Khiladi and my faith in dumb choices has been restored. If we discuss Shalu’s love interest, we’ll suddenly find all the fuckbois we dated decent again.
Mr. & Mrs. Khiladi is a movie about two losers with serious issues but kinda made for each other. Raja (Akshay Kumar) thinks that he will be a raja in a year because that’s what his astrologer told him. He refuses to work for a living because apparently he’s preparing to become a king by inflating his ego. Raja is a narcissist and a manchild whose antics are a result of his mother’s over-pampering and his astrologer’s deranged, superstitious brainwashing.
Meet Shalu (Juhi Chawla), a rich man’s daughter who gets intrigued by Raja as he saves her from sexual assault at their gym. Sounds good? Nope. So Shalu was working out when a tharki man makes a pass at her and she ends up slapping him. She is a strong woman and fights off some gundas until they overpower her. Watching all this is Raja, who knows a woman is about to be raped but his astrologer warned him to not get into a fight for a certain duration. She is screaming for help and the tharki guy is right on top of her but he does nothing. In fact, in the background people are working out. Like wtf? When finally Raja is released from the buri dasha, he tries to talk to the sexual offender and he says, “Chup baith rape ho raha hai.” No, this isn’t a funny scene. Also, a man who waited for his stars to align to save a lady from a monster is not someone to fall for. But silly Shalu….
Meanwhile, Shalu’s father (Kader Khan) is looking for a match for his daughter and his criteria is that the man should be independent and a hard worker. Shalu however is falling for Raja, who thinks working is below him. Anyway, he is rude to her because his astrologer asked him to stay away from single women. But such things don’t deter Shalu from still wanting to marry him. When he refuses, she asks her father to get him to say yes. On the other hand, to convince her father, she wrecked her car on purpose, shot the various expensive collectibles in her room, and threatened to kill herself. And Raja has not even agreed to marry her at this point. She is like a spoilt child who gets obsessed with a toy and asks her dad to get it for her at any cost. And her dad goes to the astrologer and, at knifepoint, makes him tell Raja to marry Shalu.
So thinking Shalu is the key to him becoming a king, he suddenly wants to be with her. And Shalu has no issues with that, as long as she is getting the toy she demanded. After blackmail and manipulation, Shalu marries Raja. But Shalu’s dad wants to straighten Raja and get him to start working, and even humiliates his mother for raising him terribly. He demands 1 lakh from him, only after which he will get to be with Shalu. Sir, I’d like to point out that your daughter does nothing at all for a living and doesn’t even value money. So what are we talking about here? Who gave him the ‘Parent of the Year’ award?
This movie is really detrimental to women’s representation in our culture. Raja’s mother does nothing to correct his ways, his sister just wants to get married (to anyone) and Shalu’s father thinks daughters are a burden. And what happens when there’s a war between Raja and Shalu’s father? Like in any war, women always become collateral damage. Shalu’s father insults Raja’s mother and sister and to take revenge, Raja treats Shalu like shit and threatens to end their relationship. But none of this affects the deluded and obsessive Shalu. But I mean, she is the same woman who finds a narcissist, fraudulent, disrespectful, and superstitious man attractive.
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Finally, Shalu’s father tells him he is going to marry her off to someone else if he doesn’t bring the money on time. When he does arrive, he sees the bride and groom are already married and gives a two-line speech on how he has been wrong all along. Then he finds out that it’s actually his sister who got married and I kid you not, he is so self-centered he doesn’t bother to let that day be about her. He doesn’t even bother to know who she got married to. He just hands over the money and takes Shalu away so they can finally fuck. I mean, seriously? Shalu is an emotional abuser and Raja gets manipulated easily. Shalu is rich and spoilt, Raja is a gold digger. They are a perfect match. Sima mami, take notes.