Bollywood’s New Sirens

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We have witnessed earlier, we are witnessing now. It is no surprise. After all an actor is a human being. He or She has one?s own ways of leading their lives. They are not super human beings. Everyday, in their lives they have to enact the scenes pretending to be somebody which they are not! This definitely takes a toll on their mental health. The movie goer always has a preconceived notion of these stars. Especially  actresses. They kind of, are fascinated by what they see on screen and fantasize. And, again these are the traits which differentiate the actor from the star. The actresses bore the brunt. They are called names, but the actor is a demi god.

We every day hear about bollywood being a male domain. Unlike Hollywood, the actresses are not liberal. Or even if they want to,  the media is not allowing them to! We have a Mallika Sherawat, who has divorced her hubby who happens to be an Air Sahara pilot. She ran into the Bhatts in Mumbai. She changed her name from Reema Lamba to Mallika Sherwat. She baptized herself!! Her father, a noble sardarji from haryana threw her out of the house. Now, after ‘Murder’ the movie,  became a hit, She is one of the hottest starlets now. She even went to town proclaiming that ‘Murder’ was a hit because of her expose and acting? (It is still a puzzle to many!)  Her co-star ‘Emran Hasmi’ who has a Diploma in kissing from the University of Michigan was very angry with her. Also Mahesh Bhat and Mukesh bhat. Only Pooja Bhat was supportive of Mallika. She knew the adage by heart! ‘People who stay in glass houses do not throw stones on others’. So, she kind of supported her and even stated that she will cast Mallika in her forthcoming movies. This statement got a mixed reaction from the bhat brothers. They changed their earlier stance and started showering accolades on Mallika’s performances and Emran too jumped onto the bandwagon and now we had a big mutual admiration society being developed at Vishesh films!

The new starlets are aping the west and trying to soothe the eyes of the bechara Indian cine goers by wearing next to nothing. Apart from Mallika, Payal Rohatgi, Celina Jetley, Nigar Khan, Rakhee Sawant, Deepal Shaw etc are contenders for the ad campaign of international  under garment Brand ?Jockey?, which has a base line which goes ?Next best thing to naked?. Now, the bold actresses are ready to go the extra mile. But, the Indian audience is still not complete!! This creates a trauma in the minds of rural folk. They can?t believe the movie screens and find utmost difficult to fathom the truths concerning the starlets. In Hollywood, the starlets whoever they may be, as a golden rule need to expose or at the least go topless. In India, nudity on screen is not allowed. The late Vijay Anand who was the censor board chief for a while asked the government to allow blue movies in theatres. He was ahead of his times. The government made a mockery of him and he resigned from his position. The ruling government always appoints the censor board chief and he or She has to abide by the dictums of the ruling government.

The recent case of Shri Anupam Kher being ousted out unceremoniously from the position of censor chief and Sharmila Tagore decorated the chair. The CPI(M) veteran Harkishan Singh Surjit wanted Anupam Kher out, as he felt that kher was supporting BJP?s ideologies. An infuriated Kher went to court, but later on withdrew the case, as he found out there is no way he can make the veteran communist attend the court. The summons were never honoured by the communist politician on the pretext of suffering from ill health to attend court. There is no way exposing on screen in mainstream hindi movies will be welcomed by Indian movie goers and the government. The moral police will not allow it. In a way, yes in this jet age we are still very conservative and we respect social values and we still live in a society where there is a lot of respect for bahu-betis!!

Zeenat Aman and Parveen Babi started the revealing tirade in the seventies and were labeled sexy sirens then by the film glossies. Then Rekha, Radha Saluja, Reena Roy, Dimple Kapadia, Kim, Madhavi,  Padmini Kolhapure, Tina Munim, Mandakini, Poonam Dhillon, Kimi Katkar, Juhi Chawla started following the expose brigade and the film producers made a beeline for them. The new age audience started appreciating the female stars who had,  all of a sudden developed an allergy for clothes in  movies and were ready for bold scenes!! The Director and Producers sat with the screen play writers and dictated the story.

Two rapes, one kissing scene and one swimming pool scene and  selected the starlets who had no inhibitions and made no mistake in signing them on the dotted lines. Heroine was selected on her willingness to shed clothes and the rest of the cast was finalized later! The eighties and early nineties saw this development. The late nineties and now, we have a whole lot of starlets queuing outside producers? doors ready to go topless to become top in the industry! Mallika is heading the long list of the wannabes.

However, it is a known fact that the producer has to recover his investment and for that he will go to any length to make it a successful venture. The audience be damned they think! But, more caution needs to be taken as these movies cause a lot of heart burn to parents of teenagers. Theses movies have to follow the path of  old Yash Chopra, Basuda, Hrishikesh Mukherji, Amol Palekar movies. No blood shed and no titillating scenes. Ask this question to celebrated producer Vashu Bhagnani and He will retort as to he is not into social work, but is a producer of Bollywood films and he needs to make his profits. He is not forcing any starlets. They are willing and also the audience!  The purists in the entire nation are in a dilemma! They condemn publicly about exposing, violence in films and at home they find their families engrossed in watching movies from Mahesh Bhat, Bhagnani, Sanjay Gupta, Ram Gopal Verma and Boney Kapoor  stables and will be dumbfounded every Friday, when a new movie releases! Well, the Dream Merchants are having the last laugh. Whose fault is it anyway?

Author: Donald DSilva- Mumbai

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