Fashion is not independent but draws inspiration from surroundings or a situation. Bollywood is a big stage where literature runs deep in the soul. We often miss the important details of a movie discarding them as minutiae. But those details are not there for the sake of being but for a larger purpose. The costumes and dresses that the actors wear for a climax scene or in the scene of enlightenment bear vitality to the scene. Similarly, I recently watched Secret Superstar and very much like to unfold the feelings and essence of her black close-necked dress that she wears when for the first time she sees herself performing on the stage.
This dress covers her body from top to bottom till ankles and bound near the neck as if choking. There is no breathing space. She lacks the freedom of even breathing freely in her own dreams. Because it is the patriarchal and marginalised society she is living in. She neatly braids her hair which shows that there is no scope of a fancy living or envisaging about a hi-fi and luxurious life. The colour is black which symbolizes the doom. She wants to pursue her singing dream despite the fact that her father can barely stand her singing. That means if he finds out about her Secret journey to superstar, he might even kill her.
The scene where she records her first song with Shakti Kumar “Nachdi Phira” we cannot miss the small but meaningful depiction in this scene. She goes to record it in burkha but she feels awkward. Both the song and her burkha- a boundary offers much resistance in the recording. She is not able to open up and sing freely. Later, she encounters her fear and sings a new song and in her school dress. The scene is transformed to give a new meaning which supports her stand and thus she is asserted with more confidence and energy. She transforms the vulgar song into a love anthem which conveys the message of shedding brutality and spreading the love.
The movie breathes in the right portrayal of a scene and it’s careful knitting of the episodes which finally lead to the much-awaited climax. And these details add a meaning to the movie and depicts the real mental state of the protagonist. The girl’s name is Insiya which means “Woman” and the movie celebrates womanhood. The burkha which is the prop for her disguise is actually a restricting force. It is the orthodox society which abhors all woman who wants to escape its deadly grip. At the end, she throws her burkha and finally reveals herself to the whole world and it is there she breaks free from the cage and flies high in the open air.