If Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge was a child’s idea of romance, then Befikre is Yash Raj trying to take love to its adult conclusion.
The Ranveer Singh-Vaani Kapoor starrer is being seen as a fresh take on modern-day romance -- a perception created by a lot of passionate on-screen kissing.
Makers of the movie must not be complaining because such a billing of the film as “bold” always fuels massive media hype.
But in the process, everybody always commits the same mistake: Take kissing and on-screen romance as the ultimate proof that a movie is bold and groundbreaking.
Befikre is about two carefree youngsters, played by Singh and Kapoor, who meet in Paris, and an instant spark inspires them to take their affair to the next level. They start living together before deciding to go their separate ways.
Live-in relationships might be a new thing for semi-urban and rural audiences, but multiplex audience has seen it in films like Shuddh Desi Romance and Katti Batti. Shuddh Desi Romance was produced by YRF.
But that’s not the point. Steamy scenes might grab eyeballs but they are a convenient way of projecting a movie as bold, a move that lets makers appear fresh without junking any element of the quintessential Bollywood romance.
It was good to see a mainstream actress talking about sexual abuse in Highway. But even Alia Bhatt’s film was nowhere close to the effect and impact of a Monsoon Wedding -- a movie that is a cult classic but probably not given the same hype.
Anurag Kashyap’s That Girl In Yellow Boots dealt with harsh realities in a dark way, something mainstream Bollywood wouldn’t dare.
It also showed us that real boldness lay in tackling issues such as sexual violence -- which are constantly erased by a society that refuses to come out of its comfort zone.
Movies such as Aligarh and I Am brought out the pain of a homosexual professor and dealt with difficult issues such as child abuse and violence in Kashmir.
But these films suffered at the box office because the media and the industry didn’t consider these brave attempts to be “bold” and the society tried its best to ignore the sufferings of the marginalised.
Other groundbreaking filmmakers came up with films such Masaan, Mr And Mrs Iyer and Titli that showed the willingness to confront deep rooted divisive ideas of caste, religion and crime.
These films were bold because they forced the audience to come out of their cocoon and introspect. They made viewers uncomfortable and questioned the very premise on which our society is set.
Befikre attempts to do none of that. It is, instead, a film still stuck in a particular time zone, talks about affluent people, and sees the issues of the youth through tinted glasses. It may be good fun to see kissing scenes but its a mistake to term a movie as bold because of that.
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