Chiselled abdomens, cleavage, the body contour...Bollywood filmmakers are zooming in on women's curves to create titillating posters, aimed at crucial first week collections, perhaps emboldened by today's liberal censors.
The first look of Vikram Bhatt's production Hate Story creates a mystery about the woman in the picture but sends out the right message about the film's content - bold and daring. It has a mystery girl with her bare, tattooed back visible and a gun placed strategically at the back of her jeans.
"Hate Story is a brave film. Of course, everyone wants eyeballs for the film, but one can't have a sizzling poster and then have nothing inside the film. I feel the poster is a very tame representation of a film and so I have to say that 'Hate Story' is really brave and pathbreaking in its content," Bhatt told IANS.
Until the Hate Story poster was launched on Wednesday, the first look of Mahesh and Mukesh Bhatt's Jism 2 and Blood Money were the talk of the tinsel town.
Film historian SMM Ausaja, who has a book Bollywood In Posters to his credit, has an interesting observation.
"Over the years, it is the first week's collections that matter the most now. All filmmakers are desperately trying to cover their costs in their first week. To cover that, they uncover women in posters," Ausaja told IANS.
"Titillating through posters is not a new thing. Years ago there was a movie called Chetna. It had a very bold poster. But I feel now the film industry has come to a stage where even if it has 10 percent sensual content, filmmakers try to cash in on it with such gimmicks."
The peekaboo into Jism 2, a movie which promises to be more sensual than its prequel Jism, has a well-endowed woman, Indo-Canadian porn star Sunny Leone, lying naked with a wet white sheet covering her. The shot is bold, yet subtly seductive -- enough to generate curiosity.
While the poster of Blood Money is more direct and in-the-face, with Amrita Puri dressed in a bikini, striking a suggestive pose with a bare-chested Kunal Khemu, and both lying in a pool of money.
In recent times, Bollywood has seen an array of films with suggestive posters: The Dirty Picture, Sahib Biwi Aur Gangster, Dum Maaro Dum, Dev D, Kurbaan, Julie, Paap, Sins and the long-awaited Rang Rasiya.
The Dirty Picture had bold and beautiful Vidya Balan in a cleavage-baring, itsy-bitsy red blouse, standing undaunted even as three men - Naseeruddin Shah, Tusshar Kapoor and Emraan Hashmi - were clicked too close for comfort in the poster.
Dusky beauty Deepika Padukone's wild side was unleashed when the first look of Dum Maaro Dum was unravelled. The poster had a zoomed in side look at her washboard abs, and her long, curly tresses resting stylishly over her bosom.
Kareena Kapoor bared her toned back for the poster of Kurbaan, in which she was seen getting up, close and personal with her beau Saif Ali Khan.
The poster of Emraan Hashmi-Jacqueline Fernandes-starrer Murder 2 was steamy too, and so was the glimpse into Ketan Mehta's Rang Rasiya, with Randeep Hooda and Nandana Sen seen in a suggestive position.
Bhatt notes: "Bollywood per se has always flirted with the bold film. But now with liberal censors, people are able to try bolder stuff -- adult content for an audience that is not judgmental, for an audience that is not embarrassed to watch sensuality."