Heroes do the full Monty | india | Hindustan Times
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Heroes do the full Monty

When Ranbir Kapoor dropped the towel in Saawariya, it was the talk of the town. Now so many young actors are stripping down to nothing for the sake of their art that the Hindi movie buff might soon become blasé about male nudity. Rajesh Ahuja delves into the trend.

india Updated: Jun 09, 2009 20:08 IST
Rajesh Ahuja

When Ranbir Kapoor dropped the towel in Saawariya, it was the talk of the town. Now so many young actors are stripping down to nothing for the sake of their art that the Hindi movie buff might soon become blasé about male nudity.

Recently, student-turned-actor Maradona Rebello bravely let the camera show his bare butt for the climactic scene in Pankh. While the censors are mulling over it, Maradona says that he is proud of his work. “Nobody’s shying away from it [nudity] anymore. It’s high time we took such daring steps. I’d go naked again if someone offers me a film as powerful as Pankh,” says the newbie.

John Abraham did it in No Smoking, stepping out of the bathtub in the buff, and in his forthcoming release New York, he is naked again as he lies curled up on the floor in a US prison scene. It is also in a jail — for Madhur Bhadarkar’s Jail — that Neil Nitin Mukesh has bared all.

Mimoh Chakraborty, two films old, is “totally game” for getting naked if such a role helps him stand out, and “not just because I have a chiselled body”. Newcomer Adhyayan Suman, who has a well-defined body, has nothing against nudity either. “Being fit is very important for new-age actors,” he says. However, he adds, “I’m ready to go nude but not for the heck of it.”

“New age” has a big part to play in this relaxing of inhibitions. Youth icon Imran Khan points out, “Nudity in Hindi films only hints at the opening up of our culture. The new breed of actors is far more experimental. Everyone is influenced by the same medium of communication the world over. So it’s only natural to be open to the projection of reality in films. If a challenging role requires me to undress, there’s no reason why I won’t do it.”

While these 20-somethings are ready for the full Monty, the recent past, too, has seen a few such instances. Shiney Ahuja and Rahul Bose had their birthday suits on in Sins and Split Wide Open, respectively. The rangy Kunal Kapoor, whose crucial nude sequence in Rang De Basanti got cut, has the last word: “As a generation, we are far more uninhibited and comfortable with our bodies than actors before us. I’ll never shy away from it.”