‘Good script is important, not erotic content’

Opines Ajay Bahl, who believes that erotica sells not only in Indian films, but also in world cinema

Mumbai | Updated: April 3, 2014 1:02 pm

Content that is good for the business of films will bring good returns. B.A. Pass was not only a commercial success, but was also critically acclaimed. When I made B.A. Pass, it was not my intention to make an erotic movie; I was looking for an emotionally challenging story. It is an emotionally dark and depressing film. These were the elements that attracted me to make the film, and not the erotic content. However, if the story demands it, then as a film-maker, I would not hesitate to use erotica. I wasn’t afraid of picturising sexually provocative scenes, as it was a requisite of my script. I have done it in an artistic manner, otherwise, love making that is shown in our films is terrible.
As for making an adult comedy, it all depends on the script. If I like the story, I would not mind making an adult comedy. But having said that, I don’t think I will be making one in the future.
Films like Ragini MMS2, Jism2, B.A. Pass and many more have made a mark in Bollywood, because of their erotic content. Let’s be honest, it is a fact that erotica sells not only in Indian films, but also in world cinema. Why only films? You still need women wearing short clothes to sell refrigerators, microwaves, cigarettes, beers etc. Alluring images of bikin clad girls are used to promote tourist places. In films, we can reap the benefits only if erotica is used in a smart manner and is seamlessly woven into the script. A film sells only if it has good content and not merely by showing scantily clad women.
The entire scenario has changed over time. I had liked Shaukeen, when I had first watched it. But now, it somehow looks quite gross. As an audience our tastes have changed and I think we have become more mature. Even the Censor Board has changed its stance when it comes to passing a film with erotic content. There will always be certain section of people who will object to adult films. If such films hurt their sensibilities, then they should not go and watch them. Nobody is forcing them to watch such films; they can decide for themselves whether they want to watch them after reading the review in the papers. Even literary work with erotic content are easily available nowadays. One can easily pick up a book like Fifty Shades Of Grey from the footpath. Besides, our advertisements too have become quite bold and children too view them.
For me, a song like Chikni Chameli is more objectionable, because of its suggestive moves. Item numbers are meant to titillate and are suggestive of only one thing, which I feel is very wrong. It is quite a paradox that families are quite comfortable watching a song like Chikni Chameli, but object to showing sex in films. Unlike most films that depend on sex and erotica to woo the audience, it was not my intention to use it to sell my film.

As told to Dhwani Mody

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