Dear Comrade: How The Vijay Deverakonda, Rashmika Mandanna Film Challenges The Role Of Violence In The Making Of A Hero

Team FC

Dear Comrade questions mainstream ideas of gender roles handed to us through commercial cinema. A film that starts out being about Bobby ends up being about Lilly. Lilly's hero moment arrives before Bobby's —when she wins the cricket match for his team. When she says she wants to give up her career and settle down with Bobby, the film plays this as a dissonant note — her giving in to patriarchy — whereas a commercial film from a decade ago would likely play this as a sign of "true love".

By denying us the schadenfreude of witnessing the impact of Bobby's violence, the film essentially denies him the power to rally an audience behind his fight, and consequently, his claim to herodom through the use of violence. 

This undermining of Bobby's violence in the editing and shot selection complements the narrative beats that deal with this theme in the script: Bobby ends up arrested, hospitalised, and ultimately, separated from Lilly due to his proclivity for diving headlong into fights. The film is, essentially, denying its sanction to Bobby's violence; as Lilly points out, nobody seems to be better off due to him fighting.

For a film with an aggressive hothead for a hero, and a sexual predator for a villain, the resolution doesn't come from the hero physically fighting the antagonist; Instead, Bobby's arc closes out with him proudly looking on as Lilly confronts her oppressor: he has (somewhat problematically) enabled it, but it is her fight now, and he's happy to watch from the sidelines.

Thank you for reading!

NEXT: 5 Underrated Romantic Thrillers Streaming on MUBI