Bollywood has always been about people’s cinema. And lately, so has been the language, and sometimes even the titles, of Hindi films — juicy and peppered with expletives, like we hear around us all the time.
“Use of swear words has always been there in films. If a character is involved in a certain situation, then what’s the harm in putting them in dialogues? Although, there is indeed a certain way of using it. Moreover, using abusive words is quite common in real life too,” said Pradeep Sarkar, who has directed films like “Lafangey Parindey” and “Laaga Chunari Mein Daag”.
Examples are not hard to come by.
“No One Killed Jessica” saw Rani Mukerji hurling abuses left, right and centre while playing a television journalist. “Peepli Live” also had some abusive words, as did Salman Khan’s 2009 blockbuster “Wanted”, though the expletives were used in a humorous way.
Vishal Bhardwaj’s “Omkara” saw Ajay Devgn and Saif Ali Khan at their abusive best.
Last year, films like “Ishqiya”, “Khatta Meetha”, “Tere Bin Laden” had cuss words either in dialogues or songs. While Akshay Kumar-starrer “Khatta Meetha” had a song “Bulls***”, “Tere Bin Laden” had a song called “Ullu da patta”. Shah Rukh Khan danced on the tunes of “Ishq Kamina” with Aishwarya Rai in “Shakti” in 2002.
Even the titles of films are no longer sacrosanct. “Kaminey”, and more recently “Yeh Saali Zindagi”, are a few examples.
“The times we are living in, use of abusive words is become a common phenomena. With the landscape of cinema changing and movies getting real, filmmakers and actors are ready to take the liberty. Use of abuses is common in conversational language,” said “No One Killed Jessica” director Rajkumar Gupta.
“Moreover, the censor board has also become open to different subjects and have become quite liberal in this case. Their way of approaching a subject has changed. They understand the sensibilities of the story presented in front of them,” he added.
Earlier, use of abusive words was only limited to male actors. However, as the portrayal of women gets bolder, a lot of actresses are not shying away from hurling abuses.
Rani Mukerji did so in “No One Killed Jessica”, while Vidya Balan broke the mould with “Ishqiya”.
“I was very apprehensive while using slang. I have never used them in my real life but I had to because the script demanded it. When you will see this movie, you will understand that it is justified. The movie belongs to a certain terrain where slangs are part of their lingo,” said Vidya.
Rani also said that she was doing what her character demanded and was quite “comfortable” doing so.
Kareena Kapoor also got abusive in “Golmaal 3″ and “Jab We Met”, as did Divya Dutta in “Delhi 6″ and Kangana Ranaut in “Raaz 2″. Kangana will once again be seen using such words in her upcoming film “Tanu Weds Manu”.
Of course, not all films have a smooth sailing. Many found themselves in legal hassles due to the liberal use of cuss words.
Journalists in Patiala recently asked the police to register a case against Rani Mukerji, other actors and the filmmaker of “No One Killed Jessica” for showing them in a bad light.
In another instance, the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court had directed the Mumbai Police Commissioner to serve court notice on the producers and directors of “Peepli Live”, “Omkara”, “Gangaajal” and “Bandit Queen” for using abusive language.
The court was responding to a petition that challenged on grounds of morality the use of offensive words in these films.
“It’s not the common man who creates such controversies. Ninety to 95 percent of such cases are created for the sake of creating it. You would not see the aam junta saying we are not ready to accept it. They rather enjoy it,” Gupta added.
However, director Abhinav Kashyap, whose “Dabangg” is sweeping the awards this year, prefers to keep it clean.
“I wouldn’t like to comment on others, but I don’t approve of such words in my scripts. Different people have different ways of looking at things, you would never hear such words in my films,” he said.