It seems filmmakers Shoojit Sircar and Amole Gupte had a point when they spoke up against children participating in reality shows.
On Sa Re Ga Ma Li’l Champs this weekend viewers were shocked to see little children , some no older than 7-8, participating in toilet jokes to facilitate the promotion of Akshay Kumar’s new release Toilet Ek Prem Katha which tackles the sensitive subject of toilet hygiene and privacy.
Noble subject with huge social relevance. But why were children subjected to jokes on the subject which centred on kids using an artificial commode to sing songs suggesting the act of defecation, while the film’s hero Akshay Kumar and the congregation of judges, musicians and the underage participants laughed their rockers off?
Firstly, toilet hygiene is not a laughing matter, and certainly not with kids around. In fact by reducing the toilet theme to a joke the film’s team is making mockery of its own intentions. Secondly, the whole campaign to promote the film through insistent references to bodily functions has put audiences on the defence.
Says a very senior filmmaker who also heads one of cinema’s most important governing bodies, “Yeh kya inn logon ne sundaas sundaas laga rakha hai? Beyond a point it has gotten embarrassing. There was no need for such aggressive campaigning for this film.The theme and its message should have been allowed to reach the audience on their own without so much pushing and plugging.”
One hopes the aggressuive campaign doesn’t backfire. After crippling debacles like Tubelight, Jagga Jasoos and Jab Harry Met SejalBollywood desperately needs a hit.