Change is inevitable as the arrow of time progresses forward. But the question is whether these changes are progressive, leads towards a better, advanced society. Our cinema has been affected time and again and it has evolved through a lot of stages to become today what it is. Its way of depicting scenes, song sequences and bringing real-life emotions to screen, all have refined for better- from mediocre to admirably superior. And so is its depiction of fights, anger, and even intimacy. There was a time when kissing was banned from the screen and it was comically displayed through touching of flowers. And as it stands today, we’ve come to an age when the open display of vibrator is on way to become a norm. And explicit long kisses and sex scenes are slowly becoming a staple of every cinema. And, for the dialogues, if one is not talking by interleaving every other sentence with BC and MC, they’re not being real. The tasteful cinema where the class is maintained and makes for a brainy intellectual spectacle are gradually disappearing from the scene.
Sure, bold scenes and needed in the cinema when the story calls for it. Saying a permanent no to it when it’s actually necessary would make us just backwardly conservative. Take for eg, Anurag Kashyap directed a short film in which Radhika Apte lifted her dress to show her below front and within the context, it was to send a powerful message. Then there’s this show American Gods, which if you haven’t seen, has a lot of explicit scenes. But it’s pretty much required there or otherwise, their whole storyline would crumble. Bold scenes are wholly accepted and even appreciated when they are in place and in due course shape and strengthen the story flow.
But then there exist films with in-your-face vulgar content which is downright distasteful. Movies like Delhi Belly, Hate Story, and Ragini MMS take it to another level with obscenity blown out of proportion. The explicit portrayal of orgasms, open use of sex toys and increasing nudity on screen, which is essentially soft porn, is slowly creeping into our movies. Unhealthy sex comedies like Grand Masti and Kyaa Kool Hai Hum 3 – well talk about going too far and becoming unfit for a large age group.
There are Grey Areas Though
We’re also increasingly witnessing films where we can’t discern them into the black or white category. The recent one is Veere Di Wedding which doesn’t shy away from showing excessive cussing to have plenty of X-rated scenes. But it also has an underlying script which can give a few outrageous scenes a pass but not all. But what are the other extreme scenes there for? Are they further molding the storyline into a better shape or they are just for the tasteless entertainment? So they should be there or not is a moot point.
Where is It Coming from?
Our movie industry heavily gravitates towards love and love-themed movies. Even if the genre is action, thriller or comedy, undertones of a love story are always there. And so you might say sex scenes then should be a necessary ingredient in our films. Well, not really. The depiction of love on screen was glorified by the Khan era where the three Khans took from no to little help of sex to beautifully portray the concept of love. You can’t watch the whole of Dil Se, which notably doesn’t have a single kiss, and say you didn’t feel a thing. The depiction of utmost devotion and that fiery intensity didn’t leave us second-guessing at all about the objective of the film. You don’t always need actors writhing between the sheets for showing love between a couple.
And, isn’t acting all about that? To use facial expressions and subtly use body language to convey the implicit human emotions. Whether it was the affectionate eyes of Salman or the unique eerie ways of Aamir, all three Khans have sustained the Bollywood industry and successfully so without giving in to the ‘easy way’.
But things are changed now. Nowadays, you won’t see a Ranbir starrer without a liplock. From mainstream colorful films which have a huge relatability to masses such as Band Baaja Baaraat to dark crime-based films, like Bhindi Baazaar, every film has a big chunk of obscenity. So where’s it really coming from?
The first thing that springs to mind is Hollywood. Let’s admit that we are western movie fans and rightly so. Anyone who has a good taste in movies would appreciate the touching art, brilliant screenplay and powerful acting that are part of almost all movies H’wood churn out. But it operates differently. One major difference between their and our movies is the culture. What is usual for them would make even our hardened viewer flinch. And sadly, instead of getting inspiration from their film-making skills, we’ve brought aboard only the obscenity without the necessary base of art. Our movies have tossed in explicit scenes even where it was uncalled for, making even light comedies unfit for minors.
Secondly, the oral abuse is becoming increasingly common in our lives, especially youngsters’. Since they say a sign of a good movie is that it represents the people, so there’s that, the current movies are doing a really good job at that. The continuously piling-on dirt we have in our lives should be displayed openly on screens as well. That’ll send a really nice message across and would serve as a great example for impressionable adults.
Last but not the least, some movies don’t have enough substantial content and take the help of vulgar foreplay to make up for the weak and poor screenplay. And yes, sex sells. What so taboo is when shown on big screens, easily attract people, out of curiosity, out of getting entertained, whatever that is, it does lure people. And the film survives with explicit content alone.
So again, are our movies becoming out of line? Are they going too far with the vulgarity and abuse? The answer is a recurring yes. This is the reason most mainstream films now cannot be watched with the family anymore. There are so many films that are hitting the big screens which we wouldn’t want our children to see.
Every other film has explicit content, that consciously/unconsciously we are getting conditioned from the movies that hit the silver screen every Friday to accept them as the new face of Bollywood.
Shown out of necessity, we accept; as a means of little bit entertainment, we understand; but just for the sake of skin show and mindlessly making money at the box office, we reject… firmly so.