MUMBAI—The teaser for Ram Gopal Varma’s first-ever web series, “Guns & Thighs,” was launched on May 26 in his office to a shocked response. If the teaser of the show is anything to go by (besides the title), then the series (40 episodes in all) “promises” (his press release choice of term!) a lot of “firsts”(?!) for an RGV “product” – as the media release flaunts with pride in bold and italicized fonts: “captured in never before seen shots, it has a high degree of violence, cuss words and even nudity.”
Varma, professionally unhinged after nothing but disasters for almost 10 years and umpteen directorials, feels that in comparison, his movies like “Satya” and “Company” would be children's stories.
After watching the teaser, we agree that he has kept his promise. But to what effect? Hollowness in content is the first reason why tools such as excessive physical and verbal violence (cuss words) and depravity in any form are shown in Indian films in the first place. The Indian audience has been smart enough in movies to reject it outright, come RGV, his one-time writer Anurag Kashyap and more.
RGV has gone berserk here as the Web, as of now, has no censorship. But that’s the very problem. Such depravity may invite trouble to all those spinning interesting stories (even with responsible adult themes and necessary and subtly depicted violence). The censors may examine possibilities of censorship for the Web, which can be disastrous in every aspect, all thanks to such depraved men.
This reporter has always maintained the stand that Censorship is anachronistic and unnecessary on principle, with the asterisked condition that filmmakers are socially responsible and exercise due self-censorship. And what is “due self-censorship?” Well, it is something that applies to the socio-cultural mores of this country and not a generalization of that term.
India is still high on susceptible illiterates (and some literates) who are glamour-struck of sex, violence, and other sordid aspects. Unlike the general populace from advanced countries, they cannot differentiate enough and effectively between the reel and real. This social imbalance, I dare say, is more in the Northern and North-Western parts of the country, though that is more of a statistical observation. That is the reason why, tragically, evil like censorship is necessary as of 2017.
With men like RGV, or a Kashyap showing the depravity he did in films like “Raman Raghav 2.0” or “Gulaal” among others, so many genuinely creative people are losing out as even their esthetic or implied depiction of social wrongs with a message can and have become targets of the CBFC and its rule-book.
Watch the trailer here.