Posts Tagged ‘Rani Mukherjee’

The Bollywood awards season in 2012 is finally over! Every year, it is a good time to analyse and wonder at the direction Hindi cinema is taking. At a time when there are raging debates about gagging obscene content on social networking sites, cinema – a powerful medium in the society – appears to be getting away with a great deal of sleaze. With each passing year, it has pushed the frontiers of obscenity further and wider. Hemlines are only getting pushed northwards, and so are the box office collections!

Cinematic content these days has made a self-professed movie buff like me rather immune to all the dare-to-bare acts. One only gets a feeling of contempt and disgust. Show of skin has become a necessary evil, the language has become expletive-laden and the lyrics somewhat soul-less, provided of course one is able to hear them over the cacophony of sounds touted as music these days!

It is perhaps a sign of our times that the most obscenely crafted and inane movies end up collecting major awards. It is surprising to see movies like “Ishqia”, “Rockstar” and “The Dirty Picture” winning all kinds of accolades and awards (even National!) without any consideration to the sense and sensibility of the contents for the masses. Titillation leading to commercial success is surely the name of the game today; art can always take a back seat!

This is not to belittle the artistes who do a commendable job and bring complex characters to life on the screen. It is the content and Movie Mughal-e-Azamthe overt manner of presentation that leaves one yearning for some cultural decency. My mind goes back to that eternal classic “Mughal-e-Azam”. We have Dilip Kumar and Madhubala romancing in the royal gardens late at night, with Bade Ghulam Ali Khan Saheb singing in the background. Just a gentle swish of the feather across Madhubala’s beautiful face, and my heart still races up. There is no touch of vulgarity or obscenity of any kind; just an artistic expression of the romance, leaving much to the viewers’ imagination.

Think of another classic: “Guide”. It is still a pleasure to see Dev Anand and Waheeda Rehman enacting their roles with much aplomb on the screen. The songs are as mellifluous as ever, the dialogues as evergreen as Dev sahib himself was, the music soothing to the ears and the lyrics pregnant with meaning. Towards the end of a romantic song, “Gata rahe mera dil….”, the camera pans out, leaving the hero and the heroine alone in their moment of solitude and privacy. A subtle depiction of romance, to say the least.

In “Sholay”, the delicate relationship between Amitabh and Jaya is captured with sensitivity, without the need for even a single dialogue, let alone any physical contact. Smita Patil’s portrayal of a hapless and exploited actress in “Bhumika” came as a whiff of fresh air then.

However, in 1970s and 80s, with the success of movies like “Bobby” and “Ram Teri Ganga Maili”, display of flesh perhaps became an essential ingredient of success in Hindi cinema.

During the 1990s, we became even more liberal. “Dil” legitimized the threat of rape, whereas “Hum” eulogized the desirability of kissing in public. We saw an Urmila Matondkar swaying to orgasmic beats in “Rangeela” and lesbianism being brought out in the open in “Fire”.

Cut to the next decade. We saw “Kal Ho Na Ho” coming up with a homosexuality based comic sequence between the two Khans – Shahrukh and Saif. The envelope was pushed further in “Dostana” a couple of years later, with Abhishek and John Abraham being made to smooch in public with gay abandon.

If a Rani Mukherjee astounded us with expletive laden dialogues in “No One Killed Jessica”, Vidya Balan went a step further while Movie The_Dirty_Picture2mouthing obscenities in “Ishqia” and “The Dirty Picture”.

Meaningful lyrics in mainstream cinema also got drowned in metallic orchestras quite some time back. While watching “Rockstar”, I was wondering as to when lyrics would also be shown as sub-titles on the screen! Contrast this with “Masoom” and “Prem Pujari”, where we were treated with soulful poetry on celluloid.

These days, we seldom appear to have the luxury of either soothing music or good lyrics.  Market dynamics demands that the hero and the heroine should necessarily be shown in bed, in close embrace, with suggestive gestures and movements. May be, twenty years down the road, XXX rated films would be shown under a U/A certificate!

(Related Post: https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2014/01/01/women-through-the-bollywood-lens-part-1-of-2)

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