What’s The Hoopla – Film BA Pass
The heroine breathing heavily, her bosom heaving with each breath she takes, the hero staring at her intensely, both running towards each other, embracing, a song sequence intercut with shots of the guy and the girl making out on a bed with a blanket covering all but their faces. This is the basic template of sex scenes in Indian films. What answers do we have to their 9 ½ Weeks and Last Tango in Paris and The Dreamers? Only a few – Kama Sutra, Fire. Point in case being, though Bollywood, in the recent years has become mature enough to show bold scenes, it is yet to perfect the art of showing mature sex scenes on screen.
Mainstream films have shunned sex for fear of losing their audience. When I say sex in cinema, I don’t mean gratuitous porn, but adult-oriented films that have a strong story with equally strong characters, films that don’t contain explicit scenes just because they can. I vividly remember, when I saw Dev D. for the first time. Here was a film that made no bones about how sexually progressive it was.
Just when I thought we had seen some improvement in terms of seeing sex or suggested sex on screen here comes a film that pushes the boundaries even further. Director Ajay Bahl’s B.A. Pass, an erotic thriller, is an adaptation of the short story The Railway Aunty (included in his second book Delhi Noir) by Mohan Sikka. And guess what, the trailer looks incredibly good. If the short story is anything to go by, we are in for a delicious treat. The Railway Aunty/B.A. Pass tells the story of a youngster Mukesh who inadvertently gets tricked into prostituting himself to older women. This is what I am talking about – filmmakers attempting to tell stories that are meant for adults, stories that are not dumbed down by pretension and shame.
Dubbed as “India’s first erotic drama”, BA Pass has apparently twenty two minutes of sexually explicit scenes. It has already garnered awards in the international circuit. In 2012, at Osian’s Cinefan Festival of Asian and Arab Cinema, it bagged the best film award in Indian Competition as well as a best actor award for Shadab Kamal. It was also voted as the best film by French Audience (The Prix Du Public) at the South Asian Film Festival in January, 2013.
So, the bigger question is, are Indian films ready to show us sex on screen like it was meant to be? It’s a long way to go before we can even think of something like Lars Von Trier and what he did with Zentropa. But the time has come. It looks like a start of a new era and I believe we are ready for bit of good, ol’ sex on screen.