'Antarmahal' is latest in long line of 'bold' films

Dec 5, 2005 Sameer Wadekar

Mumbai, Dec 5 (IANS) Director Rituparno Ghosh's "Antarmahal", a story set in the 19th century that depicts the rigid social norms that existed then, has been labelled "pornographic" by some people.

The film starring Abhishek Bachchan, Soha Ali Khan and Jackie Shroff has some intimate scenes, reports Bollywood Trade.

While sensuality or boldness is not new in Hindi films and sex remains a driving force in movies and other art forms, a certain section of the audience always finds it hard to digest such intimacy on the screen.

Raj Kapoor could be considered as the one who initiated bold scenes in Hindi films like "Satyam Shivam Sundaram", "Bobby" and "Ram Teri Ganga Maili".

But even the legendary showman had to face the brickbats from society. Later on many movies tried to dabble with the "oomph" factor, as far as they were permitted by the censor board.

Films like "Julie", "Utsav" and "Insaaf Ka Tarazu" quickly flash up, but these films too were condemned for portraying bold subjects.

Recently Mira Nair's "Kamasutra" and director Shashilal Nair's "Ek Chhoti Si Love Story" met with a similar fate. Canada-based filmmaker Deepa Mehta had to shelve her project "Water" after protests. However, she completed the film and it was applauded recently at the Toronto Film Festival.

Whether it's Urmila Matondkar's bold outfits in "Rangeela" or Mallika Sherawat's smooches in "Khwaish" or Bipasha Basu's dare-bare act in "Jism", the filmmakers have always tried to push the envelope.

While the fans cherish the sizzling item numbers, such physicality is looked upon as an embarrassment or a stigma by some viewers.

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