Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Kinkiness - the new reason to laugh?

Right from the use of profanities and explicit material, filmmakers seem to be exploiting the country's newfound acceptance of kinky content and moving towards the genre of sex comedies.

There was an era in Bollywood when witty lines were credited to Kader Khan or Mehmood. The joke was easily understood, not very demeaning and the entire family could laugh at the fun poked. Comedy was situational or targeted at an individual. Remember the gags of Satish Shah and Ravi Baswani in Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron, or the comic capers of Amol Palekar and Utpal Dutt in Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Golmaal, even the verbal wit of the multi-starrer Chupke Chupke. The spectators went crazy with laughter during the trip from Bombay to Goa, sponsored by the wittiness of Mehmood and his companion Anwar Ali. The yarn was spun around the foot of the common man and the world laughed at his miseries. Comedy evolved out of thrilling situations, out of rivalries between a mother in law and daughter in law, as seen in Biwi Ho Toh Aisi. Govinda as an actor teamed with Kader Khan made the nation laugh with his No. 1 tag in the 90s. Humor was incorporated into fight scenes where viewers let out guffaws at every punch. The days gone by had a completely different take on humor.

We live in an era where jokes are categorized as vegetarian and non-vegetarian, depending on who manages to digest whichever. The demarcations are quite clear. When you watch a film like Golmaal – Fun Unlimited or the Munnabhai series or 3 Idiots, you know you can laugh on the jokes with your elders around. Even the theme is wound around societal farce, commercial education systems and love. However there is a category of films that caters to the crowd that believes clean jokes are for kiddos. 

The trend began with Masti directed by Inder Kumar and its raunchy storyline. The plot involved 3 sex starved husbands who indulge in adultery to satisfy themselves. The representation became overt with the coming of Kya Kool Hai Hum which pioneered the trend of adult comedies. The content produced by Ekta Kapoor absolutely contrasted her melodramatic TV soaps. Mixed Doubles directed by Rajat Kapoor dealt with partner swapping while Mirch explored adultery from a woman’s perspective. The recent Pyaar ka Punchnama is still touted as the Indianised version of American Pie. The wave aims to continue with Kyaa Superkool Hai Hum. Fuelled by hilariously profound love-chemistry and comical gags, this entertainer also has flashy and funky musical scores to its credits.

The director however promises that in spite of the use of double meaning dialogues, his film is not vulgar. In an interview to the PTI, writer-director Sachin Yardi said, “My film is hardcore commercial cinema, designed purely to entertain. It’s for the box office and chances are dim that the critics would praise it.” The film is slated to release on July 27.

However, the film did dissatisfy the Censors. They objected to three scenes which included Anupam Kher`s spoof on late Satyen Kappu`s character from Sholay, Riteish Deshmukh commenting on female anatomy and a spoof on John Abraham`s debut home production film Vicky Donor. Also, some Muslim groups have objected to a dog`s name in the film. Producer Ekta Kapoor is miffed with the changes in spite of the film being ‘A’ certified.

So, if you like repetitive and rigorous jokes about sex, full of desperate pelvic thrusts, whimpers and grunts and other noises of pretentious bedroom games - and if you think American Pie can be made as palatable as desi wada pav, then do catch Kya Superkool Hai Hum this week. 

(a feature I wrote for a magazine)

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