I happened to watch a media preview of Mastizaade organised at a suburban multiplex in Mumbai. On reaching the venue five minutes before time, I found it almost filled to its capacity with journalists and film critics. In the engulfing darkness, I finally managed to find a seat lying vacant next to a senior entertainment journalist who was seated alongside another veteran woman journalist cum author.
Wondering if it would be a good idea to watch a sex comedy sitting next to two veterans, I settled myself into the lone seat, being left with no choice. The general air of assumption regarding what to expect from the movie inside the theatre was a palpable one. As the film started rolling, a few chuckles emerged from different parts of the hall. My neighbours, too, let out a handful of laughs but felt repulsed by a majority of the scenes.
As for myself, I enjoyed the adult laugh-riot. But the mood of the audience inside, differed vastly from mine. Everyone unanimously disliked the movie and I stood as the odd-man-out, receiving looks from my friends which read ‘How could you?’ I said wait and watch for the masses verdict.
And love the masses did show. From college going youngsters to love birds to elderly men – the majority gave a big thumbs up to the Sunny Leone show.
This makes me wonder if it’s the classy versus massy classification that makes Sunny Leone’s movie earn less critic ratings and more audience moolah. Of course one can’t forget how the classy audience loved the adult comedy dished out at the ‘controversial’ AIB roast. Perhaps it had much to do with the holier than thou A-listers being a part of the act which gave it a bit of sanctity. This brings me to the question, when will Sunny Leone and her unabashed sexuality be seen as classy? But then would she want to be classy rather than massy? After all, it is the latter which dictates the box-office figures.
So what exactly makes a Sunny Leone movie click with the Indian masses? For one, she focuses on her strength which is her gorgeous body that she doesn’t mind displaying. She is sexy and she knows it. She doesn’t bother doing heavy duty acting roles which she knows will only make her fall flat on her face. She understands what her audience wants, and plays according to the demand. Over the years, she has realised how sex alone will not work in the longer run and has now learnt to package her oomph quotient with either comedy or horror. And both have worked well for her, till date.
Finally, Sunny very well knows that she is not in it for the long haul. Tinsel town drops actresses past 35 like hot potatoes and by that measure Sunny knows she may only have a few more years left to entice her legion of fans with her sexual aura. She knows she may never romance the image conscious superstars of B-town unlike other foreign imports. When she says she would be grateful to even have a fleeting presence opposite Aamir Khan in a movie, it only shows her eagerness to act opposite the leading lights of Bollywood. Till that happens, Sunny is contented playing the showstopper opposite nondescript actors in movies marketed solely on her broad shoulders. After all, she can give a much better opening than a Katrina Kaif at the box-office and can certainly speak much better Hindi than the latter.