Monday, February 13, 2012

In Bed with Bollywood

The alleged off-screen romance that had India spellbound was finally adapted to the screen by Yash Chopra. He had the audacity to sack Parveen Babi and Shabana Azmi eight days after shooting and from the wings emerged Rekha and Jaya Bhaduri respectively to replace the two. In the incredibly melodious ‘Yeh Kahaan Aa Gaye Hum’, a chartbuster with Amitabh spouting verses every now and then, is a montage of superimposed scenes featuring tulips, walks in the garden, and well, Amitabh and Rekha rolling in bed.
4.    Parveen Babi and Marc Zuber in Yeh Nazdeekiyan (1982) – This was parallel cinema’s unabashed exploration of an urban couple giving in to their carnal impulses. Marc Zuber plays a married advertising executive who has been loyal to his wife. That is until he meets Kiran, a model played by Parveen Babi.

5.    Mandakini and Rajiv Kapoor in Ram Teri Ganga Maili (1985) – The film doesn’t need an introduction. Many a VHS remote control had a clunky rewind button thanks to Mandakini’s infamous waterfall sequence. However, the film has a suhaag raat scene that was rather sensitively shot, even if a shrill B-roll with Mandakini’s pahari brother getting killed by local goons neutered the eroticism.

6.    Dimple Kapadia and Anil Kapoor in ‘Janbaaz’ (1986) – After a tempestuous break-up with Rajesh Khanna, Dimple returned to cinema. And how. With a steamy song sequence in ‘Saagar’ (‘Jaane Do Naa’ by Asha Bhosle) already behind her, she had the thermometer exploding in Feroz Khan’s ‘Janbaaz’ (much like the egg yolks from Sridevi’s drug-induced hallucinations in the same film). Anil Kapoor and Dimple Kapadia’s romp in the hay truly pushed the envelope in which a day-glo Fanny Price sheds all her inhibitions for a bratty aristocrat.

7.    Madhuri Dixit and Vinod Khanna in ‘Dayavan’ (1988) – In his follow-up to ‘Janbaaz’, Feroz Khan cast Vinod Khanna and Madhuri Dixit as a newly-married couple that goes for it in the song ‘Aaj Phir Tum Pe Pyaar Aaya Hain’. Madhuri was already making waves for her portrayal in ‘Tezaab’ and ‘Parinda’ then and Vinod Khanna had come back from his four-year sanyaas at the Osho commune to teach us what he had been learning there. Jolly good!

8.    Madhuri Dixit and Anil Kapoor in ‘Parinda’ (1989) – Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s remarkable film had a wedding night sequence that had the couple in bed with only a bed sheet covering them. And then, as if a harbinger of conservative times to come, they get riddled with bullets from a gangster’s AK-47. Nonetheless, this heralded a new era of sexual liberation in late ‘80s and early ‘90s Bollywood before Rajshri Productions and Karan Johar spoiled the party with their regressive family entertainment formulas.
9.    Rekha and Akshay Kumar in ‘Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi’ (1996) –

15.    Kainaz  Motivala and Raj Kumar Yadav in Ragini MMS (2011) – Ekta Kapoor must have seen some potential in Raj Kumar Yadav in ‘LSD’, because in ‘Ragini MMS’ he plays a lecherous and scheming internet porn clip-maker yet again. Though the scenes here see sex in a more lurid and leery light, there is no denying how ‘LSD’ and ‘Ragini MMS’ have paved the way for filmmakers to explore sex in urban India.

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