Adult content in Bengali cinema: I
Adult content in Bengali cinema: I: At present it covers the period 1931-2009. In time we hope to cover the period before 1931 as well.Adult content in Bengali cinema: II: 2010 to the present.
The sources of this article include
Adult-oriented films in history
Aranyer Din Ratri (1970)
The Samit Bhanja and Simi Garewal characters have (implied) sex in the film. Veteran photographer Nemai Ghosh, an associate of the film's director Satyajit Ray, described the sequence as 'explicit.' This, indeed, was the first time that a couple--an unmarried couple at that--made love on the Indian screen.
Till then kisses were suggested by the petals of two cut flowers touching each other, or two birds nuzzling. There was not a single film, in any language, that had even suggested (through dialogues or innuendo) that there was such a thing as sexual intercourse, leave alone imply it through actions on the screen. The metaphor used in Julie (197?), made several years after Aranyer Din Ratri, was considered the most risqué/ daring/ unsubtle/ vulgar/ amusing of them all, depending on the viewer’s point of view. When actors Vikram and Lakshmi start nuzzling the camera moved to an automatic music turntable in the room. The needle of the gramophone descended on the disc to imply insertion, and later the gramophone’s arm lifted itself upward, thus removing contact between the needle and the disc, to suggest withdrawal.
(There had been films about unwed pregnancies, though—notably Dhool ka Phool, Hare Kaanch ki Choorhiyan and—the most symptomatic of them all—Aradhna (1969), in which the couple legitimises the act by getting married the next morning.)
So, how were children born? In Aa gale lag ja (1973?) Shashi Kapoor gave Sharmila Tagore, clad in a blanket but unconscious because of the extreme cold, a body massage (through the aforesaid blanket) so that she did not die of frostbite. That massage resulted in a baby.
Raj Kapoor revealed kilos of Padmini’s generously endowed bosom in Mera Naam Joker (1970) but the film made it clear that Raju and the Padmini character, though they had shared the same room for a couple of days, had not had sex.
To that extent Aranyer Din Ratri shook up Bengal—and arthouse audiences in the rest of India. At least it implied that the two were copulating.
However, there was nothing even remotely 'explicit' about the scene--unless you are turned on by bare male backs. That was the only skin audiences got to see: Bhanja's back heaving up and down, and Simi's face.
In other parts of the film (not in this sequence) actress Simi, playing a Santhal tribal, did indeed show more skin than 1970 audiences were used to in India. (Mehboob Khan's 1942 Roti had been forgotten as a pre-independence film by then, for censorship norms were more lax during the British Raj.) ==36 Chowringhee Lane (1981) Debashree Roy later said that she had pleaded with Aparna Sen when she was asked to shoot her first love-making scene (with Dhritiman Chatterjee) in a bedroom at the age of 16 for Sen’s directorial debut. She begged not to be made to do those scenes.
Ghare Baire (1984)
Director: Satyajit Ray
Writer: Rabindranath Tagore (novel)
Cast: Soumitra Chatterjee, Victor Banerjee, Swatilekha Chatterjee
Many Bengalis were upset by the kissing scene.
Nemai Ghosh later commented, 'The protagonists kissed on screen foretelling a dangerous liaison.”
In this film set in the early 1900s, when the British ruled India, a rich Western-educated landowner, defies tradition and his own relatives and sends his wife to school. He then refuses to confine her to the married ladies' section of the house. Along comes a friend from his college days, who has the glamour of being a firebrand revolutionary--he is revolting against the economic policies of the Raj. The wife gets attracted to the revolutionary's ideals--and slowly to him. Now the husband sounds alarm bells, which she ignores...
The film is about a bored housewife’s adulterous fling w a dashing young photographer. And they make love.
But all that we see of Rakhee while making love in Aparna Sen’s Paroma is her bare arm (two seconds). Mukul Sharma’s bare back and her face (15 seconds) and either the furniture and room decor and/ or the two in a clinch for the rest of the 3.12 min sequence. No kissing-shissing, though smooches had resurfaced in Bombay six years before, in 1978.
2003: Stark naked in Bengal
In the Bengali film Parmapar (2003) Subhra Basu played a young girl persuaded by her grandmother, who had been an art college model herself, to pose naked for the first time for art students. The sequence (YouTube) got past the censors because the scene is too dark for anything to be seen distinctly, except that Subhra Basu is standing and then lying prone, totally naked. Even though this was the first Bengali film with total nudity and the scene got talked and written about extensively, the film flopped and Subhra did not get even one film role in Bengal or elsewhere, not even one requiring her to strip again.
Antarmahal: Views of the Inner Chamber (2005)
D: Rituparno Ghosh
W: Tarashankar Banerjee
Producers: Jaya Bhaduri, Vashu Bhagnani
Antarmahal is set in the late 1800s, in the house of a rich landowner Bhubaneswar Chowdhury (Jackie Shroff). He has two wives, Mahomaya (Roopali Ganguly) and the very young Jashomati (Soha Ali Khan), and two goals. He wants an heir and he wants his estate to have the grandest idol of goddess Durga for the next Durga Puja. For the latter he hires a young sculptor Brij Bhushan (Abhishek Bachchan) and instructs him to make goddess Durga look like Queen Victoria, to curry favour with the British. However, Jashomati and Brij Bhushan are attracted to each other and the idol turns up looking like Jashomati instead, exposing an illicit relationship between the two.
There is no cheesecake in the film, though.
Shunyo e Buke (2005)
Churni Ganguly played a flat-chested woman in the film that essayed other people’s reactions to such women. Churni’s acting was greatly lauded.
Written, directed by Mainak Bhaumik,
p: Nitesh Sharma
Aamra was Bengal’s first sex comedy.
D: Qaushiq Mukherjee (aka Kaushik Mukherjee)
W: Srabasti Basu, Qaushiq Mukherjee
P: Nitesh Sharma
Q's 2009 feature film was about three Bengali women going on a sexual rampage one night.
Adult content in Bengali cinema: I Adult content in Bengali cinema: II Adult content in Hindi-Urdu cinema Adult content in Kannada cinema Adult content in Malayalam cinema Lesbian themes in Bengali films Lesbian themes in Hindi-Urdu films Lesbian themes in Malayalam cinema