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Bollywood: Sex out of the closet in 2003
26th Dec 2003   00.05 IST
By N K Deoshi  

What was once considered taboo in Bollywood is the in-thing now. More actresses are now open to play roles like that of a prostitute or a sex worker. And thanks to some bold newcomers in 2003, the very definition of exposure in Hindi films has reached a new standard.

Year 2003 began with the Bollywood's hottest belle Bipasha Basu (view Bipasha Basu videos ) playing a cunning seductress to John Abraham in the erotic thriller Jism . The movie was received quite warmly by 'curious' viewers and frontbenchers who had to fold their legs whenever some hot scene came. But more than that Jism consolidated Bipasha's image of a daring actress who had no qualms about going to the limits that had seldom been reached in Hindi cinema previously.

That was just the beginning of the year. What was to come in the coming months would be no less. The following months saw a number of newcomers carrying forward the trail that was blazed by Bipasha.

Lissome Mallika Sherawat (view Mallika Sherawat videos) caught the eye with her seven hot kisses and a bit of cleavage flaunting in Khwaish . Sadly the movie did not get as much attention as Mallika's uninhibited act. And according to Mallika, we haven't seen anything yet. The bold belle considers being sexy as a 'big compliment' and promises more raunchy stuff in her coming movies.

Then came ' Boom ', the movie that launched two international models Padma Lakshmi ( view Padma Lakshmi videos )and Katrina Kaif ( view Katrina Kaif videos )into the tinsel town. This black comedy by Kaizad Gustad went bust at the box office, but one scene got famous was the one which Madhu undresses before Jackie Shroff and the latter digs his face into her cleavage and the two end up smooching. Quite arousing. The new standards of skin-show had already begun to set in Bollywood. Those clichéd shots of two flowers meeting or fire burning were passé. Bollywood was becoming bold, direct and straight-to-the-point.

Other newcomers like Celina Jaitley ( view Celina Jaitley videos ) and Priyanka Chopra ( view Priyanka Chopra videos ) did not disappoint either. Celina particularly seems cool about her skimpily clad act in Feroz Khan's Janasheen . Some portions in the film showed her wearing a tiny two-piece bikini while playing a violin by the seaside. The exposure in the film seemed so deliberate that it appeared that as if Celina's character needed to wear lesser clothes to let out her inside musical talent.

Former beauty queens Lara Dutta ( view Lara Dutta videos ) and Priyanaka competed with each other in not only in getting the attention of Akshay Kumar in Andaaz , but also in undressing before the camera.

And not to be left behind by her contemporaries, another former beauty queen Neha Dhupia ( view Neha Dhupia videos ) set the male tongues wagging, eyes popping and pulses racing by coming out of the sea in a 'tiny' red bikini in Harry Baweja's Qayamat .

And let us not forget the already established stars like Kareena Kapoor ( view Kareena Kapoor videos) and Aishwarya Rai accepting the roles to play prostitutes on reel. Kareena is already acting in Chameli which is about a brief encounter between a prostitute and a bank employee Rahul Bose And Ash has signed to play a sex worker in a Hollywood flick that will also star Meryl Streep.

All in all, Year 2003 was different from the previous ones in the way that it redefined the standards of sexual display in films. The only disappointment lies in the fact that none of these films (except Jism) did well at the box-office. Movie buffs rather preferred to see 'homely' flicks like Koi Mil Gaya , Baghban and the recently released Kal Ho Na Ho .

And as far as the don't-give-a-damn attitude of actresses is concerned, it is understandable in the case of Kareena and Ash who have already made a niche in tinsel town and now want to experiment with different roles. But what is striking is the sexually explicit debuts made by new belles in Bollywood. They justify their choice by saying that exposure was the demand of their role. But they forget that a role also demands good acting and dialogue delivery. Perhaps, that is no longer the priority nowadays.


Bipasha Basu

Mallika Sherawat