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Rape As A Formula In Bollywood Films



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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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