Showing posts with label Vidya Balan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vidya Balan. Show all posts

Monday, July 8, 2013

Sexuality in Bollywood: Evolution of Female Desire Part One

Indian Sexuality Zeenat Aman is Satyam Shivam Sundaram
Zeenat Aman in Satyam Shivam Sundaram
As vamps dissolved in popular cinema, the lead heroines’ sexual identity was given more space to evolve. The heroine was stuck in between being modest and being sensual. Essentially, she had to be sensual enough to lure the audience in, but not too sensual or she would seem to be an unfit companion for the honorable hero.  Zeenat Aman beautifully expresses the duality of modesty and sensuality in her role in Satyam Shivam Sundaram [1978]. Aman is a quiet village girl that although initially rejected by her husband, remains a dutiful wife. As the daughter of a Hindu priest, she is also depicted as a virtuous woman who spends a majority of her time visiting and maintaining a Hindu temple. However, her religious devotion is given dichotomy of both virtue and sensuality.  Aman also presents her sexuality in her general appearance. She wears traditional saris, but wears no blouse underneath, leaving her breasts visibly veiled under thin cloth. However, Aman’s  religious, obedient wife persona, balances her refined sensuality. This heightened sense of the heroine’s sexuality has been taken further in modern Bollywood movies.

Indian Sexuality Zeenat Aman is Satyam Shivam Sundaram GIF Bollywood BlouseCompared to modern Bollywood films, Zeenat Aman’s sexuality in Satyam Shivam Sundaram seems subtle. It has been more acceptable for leading ladies to both express their carnal desires very openly. Unlike Aman, they were no longer mainly objects of sexual desire, but possessed a sexual desire of their own. This sexual expression of the heroine has been tactfully addressed in some contemporary films, such as blockbuster The Dirty Picture [2011]. The biopic starring Vidya Balan is inspired by the life of the infamous South Indian sex symbol, Silk Smitha. This audacious poster matched the audacity exhibited in the film itself.

The Dirty Picture has dual layers of sexuality. The first layer is her sensual image in her films, and the second layer is her personal relationships with men in the film industry. Balan has romantic relationships with all three men, and intimate relationships with two of the three. She jumps from one brother’s bed to the next, hoping to find love and acceptance. Sexuality both fueled and destroyed Balans’s career in The Dirty Picture. She is in continual pursuit to find her soulmate, but all she receives is lustful men who believe she is like racy image she portrays onscreen. By the time she realizes she loves Hashmi, a man who appreciate her for mind and body, it is too late. Even though this film is not abundant with much vivid sexual imagery, it achieves an intelligent portrayal of the pursuit of love and happiness.
Vidya Balan "The Dirty Picture" GIF Emraan Hashmi Bollywood Sexuality
Vidya Balan "The Dirty Picture"

Recent films, like The Dirty Picture and Jism,  have been able to express females as not only  being an object of desire, but having their own desires and acting upon them. Filmmakers like Mahesh and Pooja Bhatt have included several elements of female sexuality in their films, that will be discussed in my later article. What do you think of Bollywood's evolution of female desire? Do you think that Bollywood is becoming too westernized, or is Bollywood evolving as society becomes more modernized and submits to the changing social norms?

Look for more of Sexuality in Bollywood Series in the Future.

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Friday, June 14, 2013

Ghanchakkar: Music Review

Music Director: Amit Trivedi
Starring: Emraan Hashmi & Vidya Balan

Every time a new Emraan Hashmi album is released I am one of the first people to get it. Like others, I believe that no matter who composes the soundtrack or directs the movie, anything with Emraan Hashmi will have good music. My evidence is based upon  non-Bhatt banner films like Dil Diya Hai and The Dirty Picture. Let's get started with Ghanchakkar.
Vidya Balan and Emraan Hashmi Ghanchakkar

Its a comedy staring Vidya Balan and Emraan Hashmi. It's their second time on the silver screen, after The Dirty Picture. Our director this time is Raj Kumar Gupta, who made Aamir and No One Killed Jessica. The music composer is for Ghanchakkar is Amit Trivedi, who has brought us unique arrangements in the past from  films like Dev.D, Ishaqzaade, and Aiyyaa.

Staying true to it's tittle, the soundtrack of Ghanchakkar is crazily good. The arrangements and combinations are totally out of this world, and its surprising that all of these different elements work so pleasantly together on the ear. We have a mixture of mainly old school disco, electronica, and traditional sounds.

The first track on the album is Lazy Lad sung by Richa Sharma. This song has an interesting blend of  upbeat traditional and county sounds, like the banjo in combination with the dhol. Like the other tracks in Ghanchakkar, Lazy lad is very desi with a lot of clever English words thrown in the middle. It's a fun song where an annoyed wife nags her husband in a million clever ways.

Next is our qawwali track, Allah Meherbaan, by Divya Kumar. This probably the best song on this soundtrack. The qawwali style fuses really well with the electronica sounds, it also sounds like a deliciously good remix of a old school qawwali. The background beat carries the song so well, and catches the listener's ears from the first second.

Emraan Hashmi and Vidya Balan Return in Ghanchakkar Couch
"You kinda look like that guy from The Dirty Picture
Our third track is Ghanchakkar's title song, Ghanchakkar Babu sung by Amit Trivedi himself. The song lyrically and musically makes no sense, but that's what makes it so entralling. It works. It Trivedi's voice captivates the listener immediately. This hilarious song has an old school disco beat that you would hear in seventies Bollywood, complete with trumpets. The only hang up I have about this song is the intermittent female voice saying "Yeah Yeah Yeah" among other things. I really felt the song could do without. Next we have Ghanchakkar Babu the remix. This is just a sped up version with an additional beat. Unless you want to party with this, stick to the original version.
Emraan Hashmi - Allah Meherbaan Still
Allah Meherbaan Still
The last track Jolu Ram by Altaf Raj. This piece has a classical, as well as disco arrangement  and delightfully sounds as if it was crooned by a drunken man. We have interludes of the man speaking reminiscent of the popular song, Kolveri Di. The song like Lazy Lad and the others are dotted with English pieces which further enhance the songs. We have all kinds of fun words like dal makhani, digestion, and frustration thrown into Jolu Ram.

Ghanchakkar is definitely a quirky ride.  It is exactly the type of music you would should be in every Bollywood comedy. Not only is it hilarious, it is pleasant to listen to. So much of this soundtrack will have you smiling. There is not a bad song in this album. I really wish there was more on this album. Four tracks and a remix are too little. Once again, Emraan Hashmi doesn't fail to disappoint. Good job Trivedi. Remember to not forget this one!

My Picks: Allah Meherbaan, Lazy Lad, Ghanchakkar Babu, Jolu Ram