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Rape As A Formula In Bollywood Films

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Rape is  a social evil  that  needs  to be  spotlighted . But  the  depiction  must not be  exploitative . Here are Bollywood  films that  showed graphic gratuitous  rape sequences:

1. Insaaf Ka Tarazu: Based on the sexploitative erotic border-line porn drama Lipstick this film directed by B R Chopra, known to produce socially relevant films,  went overboard with two graphic gruesome rape sequences, the first featuring Zeenat Aman and the second, even more nauseating, rape featured the under-age Padmini Kolhapure. ‘Rapist’ Raj Babbar who was new at that time says he was petrified of all the violence, albeit fake that he was required to perpetrate on screen.We were appalled by the film’s lengthy titillating rape romp

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2.  Zakhmi Aurat: India’s own version of the nauseating American rape spree in I Spit On Your GraveZakhmi Aurat directed by Avtar Bhogal featured Dimple Kapadia as a gangrape victim who goes on a castration spree. The film is infamously recalled for Ms Kapadia’s rape sequence where her jeans was yanked off and thrown on to the ceiling fan. Yuck! Though the film was a success Dimple had later confessed it was a mistake to have done this film. We agree.

3. GrahanShashilal Nair’s film about the abduction and repeated rape of  a girl by a politician was deliberately made as harrowing to watch as the experience must have been for the victim. Manisha Koirala gave a heartrending performance as the rape victim who loses her mind after the attack. Shashilal Nair brought out the horror of rape without sensationalizing it.

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4.  Bandit Queen: Phoolan Devi’s repeated rape by the provincial politician Govind Namdeo was shot like a graphic uninterrupted nightmare , a nightmare without the comfort of knowing the victim  would walk out of it. The rape sequences were raw graphic and horrific. Director Shekhar Kapoor stripped the act of rape  of all titillation. All we saw was the humiliation and horror. There was another rape sequence where Seema Biswas was shown bring ravaged under a massive grotesque dacoit. We only saw the dacoit’s ugly posterior in the act. Shekhar said that by showing unattractive male nudity he wanted to strip the act of rape of all titillation. This film showed rape in the most non-provocative repulsive light.

5.   Satyakam: Actor Manmohan was regarded as the rape specialist in our films. Any film with him around meant an attempted rape scene with the heroine.But in this sensitive film Manmohan actually succeeded in raping the heroine Sharmila Tagore. Hrishikesh Mukherjee shot the rape reflected in a series of mirror images on the wall, almost like a grotesque parody of Madhubala’s sheesh-mahal act in Mughal-eAzam. The film showed the raped woman’s pregnancy and the idealistic hero Dharmendra’s determined bid to give the ostracized  woman a name home and normal life.

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6.  Benaam Badshah: Anil Kapoor was the lout who rapes Juhi Chawla and then marries her to give her a normal life. We now hear of some real-life cases of rapists marrying their victims. But honestly , how can a woman be comfortable with the man who has violated her. How could Anil and Juhi do this regressive take on rape?

7.  Prem Granth: Rajiv Kapoor’s one and only directorial venture showed Madhuri Dixit being raped in a dirty pool of water by Govind Namdeo and gang. In a particularly disgusting display of brute force Namdeo was seen forcing an unclothed  Madhuri out of the water by pulling her ear rings upwards until the pain of her wounded bleeding ears forces her out of the water. Despicable gratuitous violence and not the least necessary.

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8.      Aaj Ki Awaaz: Charles Bronson’s rape-and-revenge saga Death Wish gets a desi spin in this film directed by  B R Chopra’s son Ravi Chopra. The rape sequence showed Raj Babbar being forced to watch his sister being raped. This sets the mood for the vigilante’s orgy that follows. The film was a hit. But did we really want an issue as grim as rape to be a sounding-board for a vendetta spree?

9.      Dushman: Tanuja Chandra’s chilling story of a serial rapist-killer ,played with terrifying directness by Ashutosh Rana, got its unbearably tragic resonance from Kajol’s performance as twin sisters, one of whom is raped and murdered.  Jagit Singh’s song Chitthi  na koi sandes…kahan tum chale gaye expressed the agony that a rape victim’s family goes through.

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10.  Ghar: A happy housewife Rekha is raped while returning with her husband from a  film. This is a rare film to show the aftermath of rape in a normal well-to-do working-class atmosphere. But the incredibly beautiful songs composed by R D Burman furnished a softness to the proceedings that seemed out of place.

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Jamuna Had A Love-Hate Relationship With  Bollywood

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Jamuna

Veteran  Telugu  actress  Jamuna who passed away on Friday, shared an uneasy relationship with  the Hindi film industry.She did eleven Hindi films including the iconic Milan in  1967 where Jamuna  agreed to play the  second lead, or the  supporting role if you will, to Nutan.

 Jamuna as Gauri was the Other Woman who craved for the hero Sunil Dutt’s attention whereas  he had  eyes and devotion  only for Nutan. In later  years  Aruna Irani played a similar  role in  Caravan.

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 In Milan Jamuna  was not keen to  do a supporting role. Producer L V Prasad tempted her with three chartbusting songs. Besides, Jamuna had played the same role in Mooga Manasulu, the  Telugu original  of  Milan. But it  was the songs composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal  which convinced  Jamuna to  take up the second lead in Milan.

 While  Nutan had no solo songs  in Milan, she did have the chartbuster duet  Sawan  ka mahina . Jamuna on the  other hand,  had two  splendid Lata Mangeshkar solos: Tohey saawariya naahin khabariya  and   the magnificent Ghazal Aaj dil pe koi  zor chalta nahin.Not only  these, Jamuna  also had a  hit duet  with Mukesh  based on her character  Gauri:  Bol Gauri  bol tera kaun piya.

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But  then, fate  intervened. After the film released  one of Jamuna’s solos, the poignant and memorable  Aaj dil pe koi zor chalta nahin was  snipped  out of the film.

Here is what  happened:  the  Ghazal , one of Lataji’s all-time greats, was very much a part of Milan when  it released on 17 March 1967. But then  it was seen to hamper the  flow of the  film and  edited  out. The  beautiful song occurred right after intermission. Producer  Prasad, a shrewd  filmmaker, got to know that audiences prolonged their  loo breaks as there was  a song after the break. Hence the sacrifice  of  a seriously  sonorous melody.

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Jamuna hardly did  Hindi films after Milan. Her last  Bollywood appearance  was in  Raj Kumar  Kohli’s Raj Tilak  where she  was lost in a multistarrer as  the royal  queen.

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Karan Johar Moves Alia Song From Switzerland To Kashmir

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Rocky Aur Rani  Ki Prem Kahaani

The  romantic duet in  Karan Johar’s Rocky Aur Rani  Ki Prem Kahaani  which was to be  shot in Switzerland and which was  delayed  due to the film’s leading lady Alia Bhatt’s motherhood, is now being relocated to  Kashmir.

Purely out of  the  love for  new mom Alia.

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Says a source in the know, “Karan loves Alia  like his own daughter. He would do anything for her. He postponed  the  release of Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani as the love duet could not be shot before Alia’s maternity leave. Karan had decided to shoot the song in Switzerland  after Alia’s maternity love. But now he has relocated the song to Kashmir  as Alia doesn’t want to leave her  baby girl behind for  long stretches.”

And as Karan Johar argued, snow is  snow. How does it matter whether it is  Switzerland or Kashmir?

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This  song would be Karan Johar’s tribute to  his  idol Yash Chopra. Alia would be dressed in chiffon sarees while  Ranveer, for  a change, would be seen in  formals.

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Bobby Deol’s Switchover To Villainous Roles

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Bobby Deol

After  Prakash Jha’s webseries Ashram where Bobby  played a sleazy  godman, and Love Hostel  where  he was a ruthless assassin,   he is playing the villain to Ranbir Kapoor in  Sandeep Vanga’s  Animal.

Bobby says it is not conscious career decision to play negative characters  but a conscious  decision to play interesting characters. “ I don’t look at  characters as positive or negative.When I watch  films there is always  one character  that stays  with you. I want to play that  character.”

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Prakash Jha’s Ashram proved a gamechanger for Bobby.  He admits finding  challenging roles is tough.  “I am trying. I  am doing Sandeep Vanga’s Animal with Ranbir  Kapoor , Parineeti Chopra. Then I am doing the family film Apne  2 which I am  very excited  about.”

 In an  earlier  interview with  this writer Bobby spoke  about his   long absence  from screen  before Prakash Jha’s Ashram.  “My fans   would ask why I wasn’t being seen on the screen.And I couldn’t tell them it was  because  I wasn’t getting good roles. But my fans  stood by me. They gave me  the strength  to  keep looking for the right roles. Thankfully I found the roles I liked. My new  films have given  me  some new fans. I am  thankful  I am still here. Yeah , I am in a good space right now.”

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Pathaan Collects 55 crore nett in India On Day 1

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Pathaan

YRF’s Pathaan has apparently wiped out all previous records as it collected 55 crore nett in India and recorded the biggest ever Day 1 for a Hindi film. The total collections of Pathaan on Day One is 57 crore nett (Hindi – 55 crore and dubbed versions 2 crore).

It is the widest Hindi release of  all  time in India and also the highest grossing 1st Day for a   Hindi film.It is  also the  highest grosser  on the  first first for a  non-holiday release. Pathhan is  also the highest  opener for Shah Rukh Khan.

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Akshaye Widhani, CEO of Yash Raj Films, says, “It is a historic day for Indian cinema and we are humbled to see the love and appreciation that is flowing for Pathaan globally. For Pathaan to shatter records in this fashion on a non holiday, just proves that the theatrical business is here to stay, provided we make films that entice people to come to the cinemas to witness a never seen before experience that entertains them thoroughly.“

He adds, “We, at YRF, are thrilled with the start that the film has got across India and we are hopeful that Pathaan brings joy to cine-goers globally in the days to come! Pathaan is the fourth film of our YRF Spy Universe and we are thrilled that we have been able to elevate the cinematic experience of audiences with each film from this franchise. We humbly share this moment with all the stake-holders of the film who have given their blood, sweat and tears to give people a movie-going experience like never before.”

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