Sex comedies are rare in the Indian film industry due to heavy censorship and most filmmakers have to make do with double meaning jokes or physical gags in the name of sex comedies.
I recently watched Grand Masti and I must say I did not enjoy it as much as I loved the first part. The jokes were stale and the gags were not at all entertaining. This is not a review of Grand Masti, but a look at how female characters were portrayed in the film, which surprisingly was better than most Bollywood films.
Karishma Tanna who plays role of Unnati, is her husband’s boss at work. She is a strong willed woman, even though her husband cannot keep their personal and professional life apart, she can and she does not have any qualms to pull up her husband when he does not perform in office. I cannot think of any Bollywood movie in recent times which shows any female working in office and most importantly a strong willed female who chooses professional assignment over personal affairs. It is the husband here who is insecure and not her.
Sonalee Kulkarni who plays Mamta is a mother to a new born baby who divides her time between the baby and husband. As a mother her priority is her child but she also take things into her hand and tries to spice up their bedroom.
Manjari Phadnis is a housewife, who like most Indian housewives has to give attention to not only to her husband, but also her family. She is a multi-tasker who takes care of the studies of a child in the family, helping her in-laws with food and pampering her husband. She is the one who should crib about the job, yet it is her husband who whines that she does not spend her time with him, instead of accepting his responsibility or contributing towards her work.
Maryam Zakaria plays a college professor. She does not have any qualms when she asks a person to wear a condom, she knows that it is her right to have safe sex and that her partner has to accept it. She is the one who rebels against her husband and tells him that he is impotent and that it is he who has a problem and not others.
Kainaat Arora in the beginning of the film plays a college student who has a crush on a boy. But heck she is not a Anjali who will leave the college just because he does not pay attention to her. She completes her studies and in the second half of the film she is a successful entrepreneur with no regrets.
Bruna Abdullah is not your average demure Bollywood college student, who flips her fake eyelids when she sees a boy. Instead, she takes him to her house and not vice-versa, for her sex is to be enjoyed and virginity is not to be kept as something precious which is to be gifted to the husband after marriage.
It is believed, that Gandhiji wanted to ban Mastram, a magazine which published erotic stories. Gandhiji felt it destroyed the moral fabric of the great Indian society, however Mastram survived and so did Indian Civilisation. No one knows who had started/created Mastram, yet it enjoyed a healthy run till mobile phones invaded even Indian lower class.
In 2008 Savita Bhabhi a porn toon comic came into existence and it was a hit among Indians. The laws on pornography are still not clear but Savita Bhabhi was banned by the Indian government. The creators of this comic series had come up with an animation movie titled Savita Bhabhi in May 2013.
The story set in the future, informs us that Mumbai has been renamed as Bombay. The Government has grown powerful and it bans the site which is critical of its views. The technology minister has banned porn sites and that’s when Suraj who is scanning the internet for porn, finds the Savita Bhabhi cartoon.
While help of his friend Harry, Suraj travels into world of Savita Bhabhi, a La Inception. The machine suffers malfunction and Savita Bhabhi enters into their world. The rest of the story forms how Savita uses her sexuality to save the world from the hands of draconian government.
What makes Savita Bhabhi interesting is she has no inhibitions about her sexuality, she enjoys sex and she does not shy away from it. She also knows that she also has a right to have pleasure in sex and she is vocal about her sexual needs. What makes people uncomfortable is that Savita Bhabhi makes us all look like hypocrites living in a society where sexuality is repressed.
There are some common factors between Grand Masti and Savita Bhabhi the Movie. For example censorship plays an important role in both the films. While in Grand Masti the principal does not allow interaction between boys and girls. He also enforces a dress code forcibly according to his own will. While in Savita Bhabhi the Movie the minister bans the site which he deems is unfit for public. In both films, it is revealed that they enforce the ban due to their personal bias and ego, not according to wishes of people.
Both these films, a sex comedy and animated porn offer us strong female characters who choose what they want. They are not like heroines from YRF, for whom everything revolves around the hero.These females know life is more than one relationship and they are not afraid to take decisions which are beneficial to them. More power to such characters, and lets hope to see such strong female characters in mainstream Indian films.