“Use of swear words has always been there in films. If a character is involved in a certain situation, then what’s the harm in putting them in dialogues? Although, there is indeed a certain way of using them. Moreover, using abusive words is quite common in real life too,” said Pradeep Sarkar, who has directed films like Lafangey Parindey and Laaga Chunari Mein Daag.
No One Killed Jessica saw Rani Mukherjee hurling abuses left, right and centre while playing a television journalist. Peepli Live also had some abusive words, as did Salman Khan’s 2009 blockbuster Wanted, though the expletives were used in a humourous way. Vishal Bhardwaj’s Omkara saw Ajay Devgan and Saif Ali Khan at their abusive best.
Last year, films like Ishqiya, Khatta Meetha, Tere Bin Laden had cuss words either in dialogues or songs. While Akshay Kumar-starrer Khatta Meetha had a song Bulls***, Tere Bin Laden had a song called Ullu Da Patta. Shah Rukh Khan danced on the tunes of Ishq Kamina with Aishwarya Rai in Shakti in 2002.
Even the titles of films are no longer sacrosanct. Kaminey and more recently, Yeh Saali Zindagi, are a few examples.
“The times we are living in, use of abusive words has become a common phenomena. With the landscape of cinema changing and movies getting real, film-makers and actors are ready to take the liberty. Use of abuses is common in conversational language,” said No One Killed Jessica director Rajkumar Gupta.
“Moreover, the censor board has also become open to different subjects and is quite liberal in this case. Its way of approaching a subject has changed as it understands the sensibilities of the story presented,” he added.
Earlier, use of abusive words was only limited to male actors. However, as the portrayal of women gets bolder, a lot of actresses are not shying away from hurling abuses. Rani Mukherjee did so in No One Killed Jessica, while Vidya Balan broke the mould with Ishqiya.
“I was very apprehensive about using slang. I have never used them in real life but I had to because the script demanded it. When you see this movie, you will understand that it is justified. The movie belongs to a certain terrain where slangs are part of lingo,” said Vidya.
Rani also said that she was doing what her character demanded and was quite “comfortable” doing so. Kareena Kapoor also got abusive in Golmaal 3 and Jab We Met, as did Divya Dutta in Delhi 6 and Kangana Ranaut in Raaz 2. Kangana will once again be seen using such words in her latest release Tanu Weds Manu.
Of course, not all films have a smooth sailing. Many found themselves in legal hassles due to the liberal use of cuss words. Journalists in Patiala recently asked the police to register a case against Rani Mukherjee, other actors and the film-maker of No One Killed Jessica for showing them in a bad light.
“It’s not the common man who creates such controversies. Ninety to 95 per cent of such cases are created for the sake of it. You would not see the aam junta saying we are not ready to accept it. They rather enjoy it,” Gupta added. However, director Abhinav Kashyap, whose Dabangg is sweeping the awards this year, prefers to keep it clean.
“I wouldn’t like to comment on others but I don’t approve of such words in my scripts. Different people have different ways of looking at things, you would never hear such words in my films,” he said.