Bollywood in trouble over screen steam

Sex sells—and nowhere is this mantra better put into practice than in Bollywood movies. Each year, the Bombay-based Indian film industry produces movie after formulaic movie featuring half-clad women singing and gyrating their hips provocatively with their male counterparts. Wet saris, winks, and other forms of innuendo make these movies nearly as titillating as any ...

605744_Ashwariya5.jpg
605744_Ashwariya5.jpg

Sex sells—and nowhere is this mantra better put into practice than in Bollywood movies. Each year, the Bombay-based Indian film industry produces movie after formulaic movie featuring half-clad women singing and gyrating their hips provocatively with their male counterparts. Wet saris, winks, and other forms of innuendo make these movies nearly as titillating as any standard Western fare. Even though Bollywood actually got its start before Hollywood, the industry is still figuring out how to please the many cross-sections of India's hugely diverse society. While increasingly racier scenes play to hoots of delight in the big cities, in the small towns these are making many uncomfortable.

Take Dhoom2, India's version of the James Bond story. A kiss—that's right, just a kiss—between two big stars, Aishwarya Rai, a former Miss Universe, and Hrithik Roshan, outraged someone enough to take them both to court: 

Bollywood actors are conveying vulgarity in the society," [the lawyer] told Reuters. "These films cannot be watched with our families, they are so vulgar at times.”

Sex sells—and nowhere is this mantra better put into practice than in Bollywood movies. Each year, the Bombay-based Indian film industry produces movie after formulaic movie featuring half-clad women singing and gyrating their hips provocatively with their male counterparts. Wet saris, winks, and other forms of innuendo make these movies nearly as titillating as any standard Western fare. Even though Bollywood actually got its start before Hollywood, the industry is still figuring out how to please the many cross-sections of India’s hugely diverse society. While increasingly racier scenes play to hoots of delight in the big cities, in the small towns these are making many uncomfortable.

Take Dhoom2, India’s version of the James Bond story. A kiss—that’s right, just a kiss—between two big stars, Aishwarya Rai, a former Miss Universe, and Hrithik Roshan, outraged someone enough to take them both to court: 

Bollywood actors are conveying vulgarity in the society,” [the lawyer] told Reuters. “These films cannot be watched with our families, they are so vulgar at times.”

Rai and Roshan’s quick smooch, more like a peck by Hollywood standards, has forced the producers to release it with a “parental discretion” certificate. India may be the land of the Kama Sutra and bawdy temple icons, but a majority of Indians remain uncomfortable with public displays of affection. As for Dhoom 2, a local court has actually accepted the petition to punish the actors. Stay tuned.

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