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It is 2022, but Bollywood still thinks it can lure audience by making women gyrate their semi-naked bodies before older men

Item songs where the female actor is required to expose are not new in the Hindi film industry. They have used this trope for decades.

Recently, the first song of the upcoming Shahrukh Khan film ‘Pathaan’ was released, titled ‘Besharam Rang’. The song attracted a lot of derision and mockery over the way the film’s makers tried to use Deepika Padukone’s body to promote the latest Bollywood film.

The song is basically about 36 years old Deepika Padukone trying to seduce a 57 years old Shah Rukh Khan, which suggests to the viewers that Pathan will be a suspense film, where we try to figure out why is this young woman going after this old man. In order to seduce him, Deepika Padukone is shown in various bikinis and swimwear, and beachwear, basically any type of clothes that can show maximum skin of her without getting banned by the censor board.

For those brave enough to tolerate cringe content, the video of the song can be seen below.

Item songs where the female actor is required to expose are not new in the Hindi film industry. They have used this trope for decades. Helen, who was not a bad actor at all when given a chance, was reduced to an ‘item dancer’ by the industry. The public also lapped it up, and Helen became so popular that it was almost mandatory to add one song featuring her in every movie.

The ‘item dancer’ continued to be a standard Bollywood formula even in the 80s when the likes of Bindu, Aruna Irani, and Jayshree T started doing the item songs that Helen alone was doing for the past 2 decades. At least till that time, they made an attempt, a very lame attempt, but an attempt nonetheless to integrate those item songs into the movie. However, things were soon about to change.

Starting in the 90s, and continuing to this day, Bollywood started adding random item songs where a random female will just come and show her skin, do a raunchy dance, and this is supposed to make the film a super hit. Sometimes, the budget is less, so they don’t ask any random female to appear for the skin show song and use the lead female actor like they seem to have done for Pathaan by asking Deepika Padukone to bare it all.

For at least the last 70 years, when these item songs first became a regular thing in Bollywood, they have not evolved a single bit, and still think a female actor’s tantalising dance is enough to get the audience to cinema halls. Everyone has the internet now, there are OTT platforms full of men and women being fully nude, why won’t they watch that if they are just looking for a skin show? And mind you, most of those OTT actors are much prettier than the Bollywood actors and they have much much much better storylines.

The success of movies like The Kashmir Files, RRR, KGF, Pushpa, Kantara, Drishyam 2, etc this year shows that people are still willing to go to the cinemas and spend money, but they need something more than just an awkward skin show by the female lead to do that. They need a good story, they need something interesting, they need an experience. More importantly, they need something more than lazy storytelling and dated tropes. What they don’t need is just random females baring their skins, because they can get plenty of that at home on their mobiles.

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Searched termsDeepika Padukone SRK
Amit Kelkar
Amit Kelkar
a Pune based IT professional with keen interest in politics

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