New Delhi: Vivek Oberoi was in search for a commercially successful film since many months and it's almost certain that his quest is going to end with 'Grand Mast''. The film is doing a remarkable business at the box-office and is likely to emerge as the next milestone for the producers who are interested in producing adult comedies.
The film is also under the scanner for its sexist jokes and has received brickbats from reviewers but it also provokes us the think twice about the adult content of our films.
We can't have different yardsticks for two distinct forms of art. So, let's begin with understanding the term 'adult comedy'.
Adult comedy or sex comedy is a genre which assimilates films that try to arouse laughter provoked by sexual situations. It simply means these films are supposed to have scenes where characters would be seen trapped in situations with heavy sexual undercurrent.
If we leave occasional films such as 'Shaukeen' and 'Guggudee', the Hindi film industry didn't give sex comedies a serious thought before 'Masti' and 'Kyaa Kool Hai Hum'. Now, with the arrival of 'Kyaa Super Kool Hain Hum', 'Be Careful' and 'Grand Masti', the industry is slowly opening up to the possibilities by leaving inhibitions behind, but this genre is still in the nascent stage and directors are not very clear about the tone they should acquire. It's really tough to define a serious sex comedy especially when you see that so called 'clean' humour is changing its tone rapidly. Not many years ago, Priyanka Chopra and Tabu had to face uncomfortable questions for the characters they played onscreen. In such a situation, we can't dream of the society's quick mindset expansion. The synergy of films and the society is a proven fact and their growth is not mutually exclusive.
A little while ago, an 'enticing' Pamela Anderson TVC was discussed at various media conventions and it was seen as another attempt to present women as commodity. This is not misogyny as it is not always the hatred. If women have been presented by the directors in such a way where they are openly talking about their sexual desires then it's in a way rebuilding their image.
Earlier, vamps or bad women used to dance on item songs but slowly and steadily heroines replaced them, in the same way comedians are displaced by the heroes.
Filmmakers invariably give the argument of creative freedom in their defence and they have a point because sexist humour can be a neutral joke. In the West, the filmmakers have been using neutral sexist jokes since a long time and there have been films in which women gaze at men without being overtly attacking. But, they have reached to this state over a period of time and their society was more extrovert in voicing its opinion. On the other hand, we are still looking for a way to form a collective opinion towards the objectification of women. Unless and until it is done we won't have a measurement tape to question the filmmakers.
Every now and then, the politicians are coming up with the statements which are derogatory to womanhood and many of them are the chosen representatives. It displays the amount of hard work that is required to create a common conscience.
When a character in 'Masti' says that, "Balatkar se yaad aaya meri biwi kahan hai," it should be seen as offensive but the common movie goer laughs at it, which further enhances the confidence of the director. Shouldn't things be changed at the bottom if we want a peaceful hassle free co-existence?
Prakash Raj says Mahie Gill in 'Zanjeer', "Mona, jab bhi apna mooh kholo sirf ek hi cheez ke liye kholo." I saw people doubling up with laughter on this dialogue. This is madness more than cheapness. This doesn't qualify as sexist humour, this is plain invasion of one's sexual identity.
Sexist humour is not necessarily offensive and how would one make a sex comedy in absence of it but the thin line between glamour and stereotypes should be taken care of. It's high time when dumb blonde, chef and driver jokes should be revisited and the offensive content is identified in order to get rid of them, forever.