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Lewd and nude exist for brief interlude
Subhash K. Jha, IANS Sep 13  [ Mon, Sep 13, 2004 ]
  • Mumbai, Sep 13 (IANS): Is the sleaze season over? Not quite, says the upfront and utterly frank Bipasha Basu.

    "Sex is definitely selling. And sexy films are doing well," she opines.
    But the market seems to be groaning and moaning in pain rather than pleasure.

    Actresses who were "inspired" by the hot-and-sizzling success of Bipasha Basu in "Jism", Mallika Sherawat in "Murder" and to a lesser extent Neha Dhupia in "Julie" are in for a disappointment.

    Market statistics aren't too encouraging regarding the future of sexy films.

    The maker of the 17-smooch film "Khwahish" has moved on. Govind Menon's new comedy featuring Mallika Sherawat is, according to the actress, her first vegetarian film.

    Last week's release "Hottest Male Dot Com" about cyber sex had no takers even in the so-called sleazy centres, where students and single men are said to enjoy the cheesy experience.

    Now, another resourceful film "Tauba Tauba" about a leery liaison between a student and his voluptuous teacher (Payal Rohatgi) is ready to hit the theatres.

    Directed by old Southern hand T.L.V Prasad, who did a string of C grade action films with Mithun Chakraborty in the 1990s, the strip-flick has been quick-sold in several sexually under-developed centres but is hardly going to create the flutter of some earlier strip-and-sell films.

    Audiences seem to be quickly losing interest in these make-a-fast-buck peep shows.

    A couple more - Samit Baadkar's "Jackpot" with Hawas actress Meghna Naidu, and Manoj Bhatnagar's "Chess" with Mahima Chowdhary cast as the archetypal adultress stealing into the willing arms of stud Sonu Sood - are on the cards but the sex factory seems to be rapidly going out of business, what with mainstream heroines providing all the oomph that audiences need.

    This season's new hit "Dhoom" has more cleavage and thighs than "Julie" or "Murder". The sober-and-staid starlets like Esha Deol and Rimmi Sen, so far seen playing simple sweet girls next door, have transformed into femme fatales in "Dhoom".

    And Diya Mirza, who has an extremely staid image, plays a stripper in Anurag Bose's "Tumsa Nahin Dekha".

    The message is clear. The bold brigade isn't invited in. The mainstream girls can pump up the steam when they want.

    These actresses actually intend to stop the bold-and-brazen influx from the outside. The girls from the remix videos haven't been able to infiltrate mainstream cinema. Recently, when Shefali of "Kaanta lagaa" fame made an appearance in David Dhawan's hit "Mujhse Shaadi Karogi", she probably saw it as her passport into movies.

    Continued on next page...

  • But to be bold and brazen is no longer enough to become a leading lady. The insiders are already doing a good job of it.

    Actresses like Priyanka Chopra, Sameera Reddy and Lara Dutta are willing to provide the sizzle and some sex provided the family audiences don't run away.

    At the end of the day, the lewd and the nude exist only for a brief interlude.