Thank You For Coming, Lust Stories, OMG 2: Filmmakers spice it up with sex talk
Once considered taboo, sex and related subjects have formed the crux of many Hindi films recently. But, does bolder always mean better? We ask the industry
Chhatriwali, OMG2, Lust Stories 2 and now Thank You For Coming— in this year alone, Bollywood makers have time and again initiated dialogue on topics such as sex education, condoms, orgasms and so on, without hesitating to unravel what’s beneath the sheets. This, according to industry experts, indicates that there is scope to use films to entertain and educate, there by helping break the taboo associated with subjects of this kind.
“For a long time, Hindi films were looked upon as mindless entertainers, but that is not true. Today, the projects are subtly giving our several messages. It is important to entertain and enlighten, which the projects are doing today. And the audience is ready for such mature subjects, which is proved by the success of the film OMG 2, which was about the importance of sex education,” says trade expert Taran Adarsh.
What ties Thank You For Coming, Lust Stories, OMG 2, Khandaani Shafakhana, Janhit Mein Jaari or Chhatriwali? It is sex. If we have Rakul Preet Singh and Nushrratt Bharuccha bringing the topic of protection in the limelight, and then we also have Mrunal Thakur and Amruta Subhash exploring myriad shades of lust in Lust Stories 2. Bhumi Pednekar will soon be seen bringing the plight of a woman unable to experience female orgasm onscreen in Thank You For Coming.
Not to forget, Ayushman Khurrana opening chapters such as sperm donation and erectile dysfunction on the big screen through Shoojit Sircar’s Vicky Donor and Shubh Mangal Saavdhan respectively, or Rajkummar Rao as a salesman trying to improve people’s sex-life.
It is clear that Bollywood has opened the window for sex talk, and SMM Ausaja, a film historian, asserts that the best part of the trend is that sex is no longer used as a tool for titillation, but for educating.
“Now, intimate scenes don’t have a novelty value left because they are available at the click of the button. They have access to much more now. The makers know just adding sex in the storyline will not work, which is why credible sex education themed films are now being made. Also, it is important to have these conversations to further diminish the taboos,” Ausaja says.
According to OMG 2 director Amit Rai, such projects signal progressive society. “There needs to be more conversation around sex education, because everyone has access to many things through social media. Kuch chupane wali baat nahi hai. Not talking about it is more dangerous at the moment. It is time to revisit the subjects and educate people through the content, from all the sides,” he shares.
Here, Chhatriwali actor Sumeet Vyaas credits OTT platform for helping in increasing visibility of such subjects. “A lot of credit for the audience opening up to newer, fresher and bolder themes goes to the advent of web series. This platform allowed filmmakers, writers, actors to express themselves in an uninhibited manner. And the audience welcomed it. The entire craft of telling stories sort of went through a transition. And now everyone has confidence in voicing their opinion through their art instead of mindlessly ranting on a social media platform. That’s how it used to be, back in the day and that’s how it should be,” Vyaas says.
To this, Lust Stories 2 actor Amruta Subhash adds, “Disowning these thoughts don’t work. These thoughts are there in our mind, but we are either not aware about it due to societal pressure or fear to face them. And art gives us an opportunity to face them… People are not having these discussions on the dining table because sex is not used to sensationalise the story or just for the sake of it. They have sparked a conversation, which is important”.
However, there should be extra focus on treatment of the subject, feels Lust Stories 2 actor Angad Bedi.
“As long as the project is right, the storytelling is correct and the message is conveyed correctly, it will be appreciated and accepted. We need to figure out if we are trying to force the issue or we are trying to let it accept organically,” Bedi stresses.
In the similar vein, producer and trade expert Girish Johar says, “There is a thin line in educating and making crass content. The makers should tread the line carefully. The audience is ready for mature content, but the makers should tell it with a clear point of view in a nuanced way