Dirty pictures across the board
While passing by a crowded road, I looked at the poster of a recent movie. It reads Guddu Ki Gun (2015), which certainly appeared to be a film with too many jokes below the belt.
The same evening, I was awe struck when I watched a promo of an upcoming film, Hate Story 3. To my horror, that salacious trailer has become one of the most watched videos on the internet. The same teaser looks no better than a condom advertisement. Moreover, the music video borders on soft porn.
It is believed that the popularity of such film teasers is directly dependent on the number of times skimpily-dressed women go on display.
Talking about Hindi cinema in the 1970s, where kissing in public was considered against public morality, Indian filmmakers maintained a certain degree of integrity. They used motifs like rosebuds/butterflies to denote love-making scenes. However, the ‘avant-garde’ of new seductive Bollywood has broken all such boundaries.
Lately I have been curious to find out why such obscenity is promoted so vigorously. Perhaps Hindi films now give more preference to style over substance. Thinking lesser like a film critic, it could be simply because such obscenity is the need of the hour. I remember that the display of a little more cleavage in the 1990s was considered greatly offensive. However, that is how Mamta Kulkarni became a sensation in the Bollywood. Almost a decade later, Mallika Sherawat stole the show by not wearing what all she could. Since then every new Bollywood entrant wants to get famous through the display of their body to an audience, who in turn watch their films many times.
I believe vulgarity is the new USP of our films. Many film makers have tried to disguise their adult films into thematic ones. However, their films fell flat at the box office because of lewdness, and they were not even removed for objectionable content.
Films like Ek Choti Si Love Story (2002), Girlfriend ( 2004), Julie (2004), Hawas (2004), Nasha (2013) B.A. Pass (2013), Mastram (2014) , Ek Paheli Leela (2015), Hunterr (2015) ,and Kuch Kuch Locha Hai (2015), among others, have failed to make an impact on the audiences’ minds only because they thought to make the food (cinema) with the same recipe (crude sex).
However, not every filmmaker failed to sell their sensuous films. Some of the commercially successful ones that have now turned into franchises are Jism (2003), Murder (2004), Masti (2004), Kya kool Hain Hum (2005), Ragini MMS (2011), Hate story (2012), etc. It is significant to note that their sequels are being made because the prequels have done well even though their scripts are shallower than their clientele’s taste. These types of movies are uncomfortable to watch with family. Moreover, such films are unlike those in the 1960s, where even the male – female actors maintained some distance while moving along a romantic sequence.
I do not know whether to blame Zeenat Aman or Emran Hashmi for defining the silly sexual semiotics of Hindi Cinema. However, their path to glory has definitely taken an inappropriate turn. Furthermore, the role of the Censor Board comes under the scanner, when such lack of quality comes to our cinema halls and multiplexes. It is also important to note that such cinema is not being made to satisfy the libido of the low- bred masses only. These flicks are also being downloaded in a discreet and clandestine manner by many who have full access to the internet and latent technologies.
I would like to conclude with a quote of Woody Allen, a great American actor and director who once said, “I don’t know the question, but sex is definitely the answer.”
(The author is a Research Associate at Prasar Bharati. The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of the newspaper)