Why are comedies so sexualized?
Bharati Dubey | TNN (BOMBAY TIMES; June 10, 2012)
Suddenly, sex is not taboo in Bollywood. No one knows how and when the script changed and the plot of Bollywood comedies thickened with sex-heavy vocabulary. Probably it was Delhi Belly, written by Akshat Verma, that changed the rules. In a scene in the blockbuster, a lead character gate-crashes a wedding and throws the familiar line to the guests: “Yeh shaadi nahi ho sakti’’. Then he drops the bomb. Pointing a finger at the bride, he says, “She has given me a **** job.”
This line made millions of jaws drop. It just blew away the old-style comedy, generally a mixture of slapstick and stupidity. With Hrishikesh Mukherjee-style humour gone out of fashion long time ago, the industry as well as the audience lusted for change. So now, silly comedies have made way for adult comedies. If Vicky Donor, Masti, Delhi Belly, Kyaa Kool Hain Hum, Housefull and Housefull 2 are anything to go by, comedies with bold themes and bolder dialogues are mainstream now.
So how did the change happen? “The success of these films only goes to prove that a novel concept with good humour and a sprinkling of sex makes it a fun watch for the viewer,’’ says trade analyst Taran Adarsh. But media commentator Shailesh Kapoor attributes it to the change in viewer profile. “In 10 years, college-going youth have become the primary drivers of viewership. They expect their language and their psyche to be reflected on screen. And sex is definitely an important element in the youth’s psyche.Hence the positive reception of naughty comedies,” says Kapoor.
Actor Tusshar Kapoor who has been part of films like Golmaal, opines that adult comedies are here to stay. “These films work at the box office as they are unapologetic and have earned that respect from the audience. Look at the way Delhi Belly was lapped up by the audiences and this gave the industry confidence to make such films that are raunchy, naughty and fun at the same time.’’
The latest adult comedy to woo the box-office was Vicky Donor. The film, which dealt with the taboos about sperm donation, was a super-hit, never mind that many of its dialogues were double-meaning. “Cinema that is bold and entertaining had never had it better,” says an industry source.
But, like other trends in Bollywood, the adult comedy stuff seems to have been copied from Hollywood. “Inspired from films like American Pie, comedies in India too have taken the risque route,’’ says screenwriter Mushtaq Shiekh. But, he says, sexually-loaded comedies are not new to the Indian audience. “This brand existed even during the ‘Dada Kondke’ days. Now, internet and exposure to Hollywood has just made it ‘cool’ to be vulgar,” says the writer.
Vulgar or not, Bollywood is out to milch this trend while it lasts. Indra Kumar is all set to launch Grand Masti, sequel to his hit film Masti. “Some people objected to Masti but with changing times people have started accepting such cinema. Besides, these days, you often see non-vegetarian jokes being circulated around on smses so it is really not a big deal,” says the director.
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