Monday, February 14, 2011

Consumer advice, not censorship

Consumer advice, not censorship Ashish Sharma - 14 February 2011

Don’t walk into Sudhir Mishra’s film currently showing in a theatre near you unless you are prepared to suffer a relentless aural assault of the full spectrum of north Indian swear words. You must have heard all these words and phrases before, from people who don’t know better or who seek to vent their frustration, compensate for their limited vocabulary, add a dash of colour to their conversational skills, shock their listeners or express a general disdain for polite society and norms of civilised behaviour.

As a cinematic tool, such language can conceivably whip up some energy, even thrill, among the characters as well as at least a section of the audience. In some cases, as in Shekhar Kapur’s Bandit Queen for instance, it can even be an inevitable and integral element of the narrative. In lesser hands, though, it mostly serves as a thinly disguised ruse to concoct scenes and entire sequences.

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