No sex please, we’re Indian has long been the mantra of popular Hindi cinema. So flowers would kiss, or the young unmarried damsel would vomit tellingly and the audience would know that sex had happened. All very coy and silly, I agree.
Sex was for the baddies until Basu Chatterjee’s Shaukeeen (with a triple ‘e’ for the three protagonists), an amoral tale of senior citizens’ libido came along. Three dirty old men, constantly fantasizing, take a ‘stag’ holiday in Goa. They try to impress the pretty young singer at the hotel only to discover that she is their driver’s girlfriend.
The film was a laugh riot, with two of Hindi cinema’s the most avuncular faces (Ashok Kumar and A.K. Hangal) unleashing their naughty side. Utpal Dutt was not a surprise because he had essayed a variety of roles in his films.
The situations, the dialogue, the comic timing and expressions – kept young and old riveted. I may have missed a few innuendoes, young as I was in 1982 – but the overall effect was mischievous fun. Very Wodehousian, very classy! ( and I shudder at the thought of the impending remake).
Reality is different. Dirty old men are actually creepy and we would not enjoy their company. Similarly infidelity is not likely to produce laughs between the couple involved. Pati, Patni aur Woh ( 1978) and Rang Birangi (1973) told us that infidelity happens, and that the straying partner is usually contrite. While genuinely funny, the movies in no way endorsed infidelity.
Grand Masti, on the other hand, unashamedly dials up the unintelligent humour quotient. Could the actors really mouth the double entendres about bananas and pussy and not wash out their mouth with soap and water. Adult comedy? I have not seen the film, only viewed all possible clips on Youtube and they are downright puerile. I don’t know how this movie ends, but I do know that its precursor – Masti – ended with ‘all’s well’. The journey is funny (is it? Unfunny and obvious, is my verdict), so some scraps of a story can be thrown in to occupy the two-and-a-half-hours. And the general rational is that the public wants this.
Dear makers of movies like Grand Masti – raunchy is not funny, slapstick jokes about penis, pussy, boobs, shit are not funny unless they are ‘punny’ and aided by restrained acting. Adult comedy is about subtle humour – that’s when raunchy and the rest of the above will work.
A Wikipedia post says that no one can watch Grand Masti and come out respecting women. Is there a sorrier comment than that?