XXX Uncensored: How Balaji have Broken Barriers in Bollywood Through Sex

News regarding Ekta Kapoor’s XXX Uncensored did its media rounds for quite some time.

First, it was slated to be a feature film, but now it has been revealed that it is a web-series on ALTBalaji, a subscription-based video-on-demand platform.

Once upon a time, Ekta Kapoor’s serials were stereotyped for showing the same old ‘Saas-Bahu’ serials.

But those days seem far from over as Ekta and the Balaji team present the first Youth Erotica with XXX Uncensored – directed by Ken Ghosh.

Earlier, ALTBalaji’s Gandi Baat was quite a bold series. But this latest offering star bigger names. 

Popular TV faces like Rithvik Dhanjani, Shantanu Maheshwari, Ankit Gera and Bollywood actress Kyra Dutt are a part of the cast 

Just earlier today, the teaser of the series released and as expected, it is steamy and unashamedly kinky.

However, this is not the first time we’ve seen a Balaji venture that is bold.

I, Anuj Radia reflect on how Ekta Kapoor’s move of bringing erotica to the forefront might be progressive for Bollywood and the entertainment industry, as a whole.

XXX Uncensored on ALTBalaji

Going by the first glimpse, the web-series is an anthology.

Five different stories that feature a different cast and all of them tied together with the idea of sex, is the basic crux of the story.

A thought-provoking point is raised by Bollywood Life, who has stated:

“It’s high time, we stop exploring only females in the erotica genre. Even the male counterparts should be equally considered.”

In the first glimpse of XXX, we see how Rithvik gets turned on by Kyra as she seductively bites the chocolate bar.

History is a witness that every time, it is a pretty and seemingly promiscuous woman who seduces the male character.

Perhaps, it is now time that we see a tall, muscular and charming male seduce the female characters?

Other than the sex, it will be interesting to see how the narratives in XXX weave into the series.

‘Commercial’ Balaji Motion Picture Films

The oldest myth in marketing is that ‘sex sells’ and this strategy is a pivotal aspect of the commercial successes of many films produced by Ekta Kapoor.

If you thought that Balaji backing steamy films is new, it seems like this ‘trend’ has been on-going for many years.

Kya Kool Hai Hum series

The first adult comedy under Balaji Motion Pictures was Kya Kool Hai Hum.   

Surprisingly, the film is praised as a “refreshing, fun-filled entertainer targeted at the youth mainly.”

This praise translated into becoming a profitable venture at the box-office, making way for moderately successful sequels: Kya Super Kool Hai Hum and Kya Kool Hai Hum 3.

These films (especially the third instalment) openly talk about reproduction, shows skin and makes double-entendre jokes.

But of course, this openness has been criticised for the lack of strength in storyline and script.

Regardless of how critics found the films, one cannot deny that the franchise is fearless in its representation of sex.

The Dirty Picture

Another fearless film that ruffled feathers and caught attention was The Dirty Picture. 

A biopic on Indian actress Silk Smitha – who was known for her erotic roles. 

Essayed by Vidya Balan, this Milan Luthria presents the unthinkable, be it skin-show or risque dialogues. 

There is everything in the film which makes it a ‘commercial’ watch. A good storyline, whistle-worthy lines, catchy tracks and great acting.

Unlike Kya Kool Hain Hum, the script and narrative do not focus around sex, but rather the opposite.

The Dirty Picture is a progressive film which looks beyond intercourse as an unspoken and hush subject.

In fact, it openly addresses the double standards within our society regarding sex and questions why something as natural as that is considered ‘taboo’.

As well as offering entertainment and titillation, the film, in a very subtle way, compels the audience to think.

Veere Di Wedding

Veere Di Wedding (VDW) is one of 2018’s highest-grossing Bollywood movies.

Whilst many slated the movie to be inspired by Sex and the CityVDW has been appreciated for breaking the glass ceiling of so-called ‘female-centric’ films.

Seeing a group of women talking about sex openly, using profanity, smoking and drinking is something which we are not accustomed to seeing in Bollywood.

We have seen such representations in male buddy films like Pyaar Ka Punchnama. But this Shashanka Ghosh film gives a fresh angle.

For instance, there is a scene which shows Swara Bhasker masturbating using a sex toy – which raised several eyebrows.

This scene embraces female sexuality, rather than just addressing a natural practice like self-pleasuring. 

Beforehand, we never got to see bold sequences in such commercial platforms.

But Veere Di Wedding does not only ruffle the feathers, but it also breaks the boundaries by exhibiting explicit scenes and language.

Hence, regardless of gender, sex is used as a tool to portray the normality of it.

Critically Successful & Unconventional Movies

In addition to receiving commercial success, many bold Balaji films have been highly praised by critics and in hindsight, became profitable projects.

Love Sex Aur Dhokha (LSD)

Many of the aforementioned titles mainly use sex as a means of entertainment and titillation.

LSD presents sex as a means of shock and raising awareness of society.

In this film, we see a story about how a girl was taken advantage of and is subjected to sex.

Subsequently, that is recorded as a sex-tape and that footage was sold, resulting in serious ramifications on the girl’s life.

Then there is another narrative which focuses on an investigative reporter who uses his power to extract revenge on a music producer for using casting couch.

What also makes this film stand out is the fact it is made using the found footage style which gives a realistic feel to the film – hinting that such incident may exist in life. 

Ragini MMS 

What happens when you fuse Gerald’s Game with Paranormal Activity? You get Ragini MMS. 

Critic Taran Adarsh praises the successful film stating:

Ragini MMS amalgamates components of horror, paranormal and sex seamlessly.

It titillates, it petrifies, but most importantly, it tells you a story which is daunting, imaginative and unconventional.”

As Adarsh says, this film does exactly that.

The movie does not just aim to fascinate the audience but rather lets sexuality compliment the narrative and it does a great job at doing that. 

Moreover, the fact that it is one of the first Indian scary date films made in a found-footage style, makes it stand out from others.

Subsequently, it became a profitable venture bearing in mind that it was a made on a shoestring budget.

This paved way for a commercially successful sequel starring Sunny Leone – which was also made on a modest budget.

There is also an additional series on ALTBalaji.

Lipstick Under My Burkha

Distributed by Balaji, Lipstick Under My Burkha is another film that embraces female sexuality, though this film is on a smaller-scale comparatively to Veere Di Wedding. 

Set in the crowded by-lanes of small-town India, the film exhibits the secret lives of four women in search of a little freedom.

Though stifled and trapped in their worlds, these four women claim their desires through small acts of courage and stealthy rebellion.

Ratna Pathak Shah plays a 55-year-old widow rediscovers her sexuality through a phone romance.

As Pathak Shah says in a media interview, 

“Sex is a small part of the four women’s story—important, of course, like it is in most people’s lives—but this is not the only issue.”

This gives prominence to the idea that sex is not everything but is an aspect of life.

Final Word?

On the whole, one cannot deny that Ekta Kapoor has slowly and steadily pushed the envelope by presenting sexuality on commercial mediums like cinema and digital streaming platforms.

Balaji has always shown contents which would otherwise be frowned upon by the general population. 

No matter how small-budgeted a film is, there has always been a profit in return, which suggests that sex truly sells.

It will be interesting to see whether XXX Uncensored pushes the boundaries even more and whether the sexual quotient will be weaved-well into a narrative arc.

About Anuj Radia 788 Articles
Journalist and film enthusiast.

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