Poster Boys trio: Schools are there to educate, we make films to entertain
Actors Sunny Deol and Bobby Deol and actor-director Shreyas Talpade say that films with a strong social message can make people think and go deeper into a subject, but they don’t preach to viewers.bollywood Updated: Sep 09, 2017 18:29 IST
With a bunch of films around socially relevant topics being made in Bollywood, it looks like filmmakers are putting content above all — above even the star cast — as their unique selling proposition. Films such as Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, Shubh Mangal Saavdhan, and Padman have taken the bull by the horns and put social taboos — open defecation, erectile dysfunction, and menstruation hygiene, respectively — at the core of their plots. Joining the league is the latest release, Poster Boys, starring Sunny Deol and Bobby Deol along with Shreyas Talpade, who also makes his directorial debut with the film, which deals with vasectomy (male sterilisation).
Asked if such films are intended to educate or reform society in any way, Sunny says, “Schools are there to educate, we make films to entertain.” Bobby and Shreyas agree immediately, and have pretty much the same thing to say.
Sunny, who played the angry young social reformer in Arjun (1985) and various upright characters in Gadar: Ek Prem Katha (2001), Border (1997), and Damini (1993), says that parents are there to educate and society provides the solution on how to tackle things. “You can’t educate society; [people] know what they’re doing. They’re just going to see a film where they can see a part of themselves and once they come out, they might question themselves about the why and how.”
Poster Boys is the Hindi adaptation of the Marathi movie Poshter Boyz, which had Shreyas in the lead. The actor-director says that he never tries to preach to his audience, whether he’s in front of the camera or behind it. “Through films, we don’t tell people the pros and cons of vasectomy or give them any kind of gyaan around any given subject. We’re just telling the story of three people who’re stuck in a situation and that [situation] happens to be about vasectomy. So, there’re some talk around it but not only about it,” says Shreyas.
He adds that more often than not, these content-driven films give a starting point to the audience. “Once viewers have watched a film,” says Shreyas, “if they have to start [a discussion on] a topic, they have something to start off with, and so they might use the film as a reference point. Then, probably, that conversation can go into a serious place. So, through this kind of films, we only give them a starting point.”
Poster Boys marks a comeback of sorts after four years for Bobby. He feels that content-driven films act only as influencers, making viewers think about a subject and, to some extent, spreading awareness. “When people watch a film,” he says, “they discuss the topic or a particular scene and that creates awareness in a way — indirectly. It’s not about preaching but entertaining people, and making them aware without them knowing that they’re being made aware of [a subject]. That’s how movies really are made. So we only act as a catalyst.”
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