This post isn’t about the vile verbosity that the Indian populace seems to be preoccupied with. I had already discussed my experiences with the profane tongue, where I had mentioned the glee that the audience felt when the character of Phoolan Devi mouthed one of the most common of swearwords “Behanc**d,” indicating incest with one’s sister, but the equivalent in the Queen’s language isn’t as effective. Went to watch Omkara – Vishal Bharadwaj’s take on Othello – yesterday. In my row there were seated around ten to twelve others, who seemed to have bunked a political rally that was happening nearby. “Suna hain is film mein gaali bahut mast hain. Maaza aayega (Heard that this film has exquisite expletives. Will be fun).” Foreseeing some vociferous audience commentary, we judiciously shifted to the other end of the half-empty theatre.
Well there were many, almost akin to real life conversations. But raw reality would’ve met some scissor-happy censors. There is something in us that makes us relish the same things, which we experience daily, many times over if that happens to be presented by well-paid actors in Dolby Digital. Perhaps the same instincts that make us enjoy the same activities that we perform (or under perform) in our bedrooms (or wherever) when presented on film, the internet or our mobile phone screens. A recent post of mine, put the hit counter on this blog adding almost as many numbers in a span of few days which had earlier taken a year. Thanks to popular blogs featuring that. The link on Desipundit.com got me around a thousand hits, BoingBoing.net would have accounted for another 5,000, but the real boost came from Debonairblog.com (not safe for work) with over 12,000 hits. Porn sells and outsells all competition.
As soon as the images of the hyped love scenes came on the screen, mobile phones came out to record the experience for ulterior use. The USP isn’t Vishal Bharadwaj’s apt portrayal of Shakespearean drama in a Hindi heartland mould. It isn’t Konkona Sen as Indu. It isn’t the performance of the erstwhile chocolate hero Saif Ali Khan as Langda Tyagi, but it is what he says, particularly the gaali he utters. It is the bare backs of Kareena Kapoor and Konkona Sen and Bipasha Basu in the item girl mould. It is the A certificate – but parents were seen towing their kids along to hear what Langda says and see what Dolly, Indu and Billo do. Thankfully – irrespective of what ultimately makes the movie sell at the box office – for directors like Vishal Bharadwaj. Haven’t seen Chatri Chor, but enjoyed Makdee and Maqbool. And now Omkara.