Boldness knocked on screen first in 1970s-80s.The films of the 1950s and 60s were high on romance but the censor board prompted by a conservative society marred the creative freedom of the filmmakers – Jyothi Venkatesh
However with the dawn of the 1970s, the filmmakers decided to keep up with the changing society.
Raj Kapoor as a director never ceased from displaying a certain sense of raw sexuality in his films.
He either titillated the audiences by making his actresses wear a bikini or would show them in extremely erotic wet saris.
Raj Kapoor reprised the trend of kissing on screen with his 1973 film ‘Bobby’. In a teenage romance drama, the director did not only just make the actress wear the skimpiest of the clothes, but he also encouraged his own son Rishi Kapoor and Dimple Kapadia to kiss on screen.
Kapoor yet again made Shashi Kapoor and Zeenat Amam lock lips in the 1978 film ‘Satyam Shivam Sundaram’ later in the decade. He later took boldness to a new level with his film ‘Ram Teri Ganga Maili’.
Mandakini sitting under a waterfall, with her breasts clearly outlined through her wet sari became the most-talked-about scene in the film.
Keeping with the new found freedom on-screen, the other filmmakers also followed in his footsteps.
Dimple Kapadia became the new symbol of sexual liberation in the mid-80s when she kissed Rishi Kapoor in the 1985 film ‘Sagar’ and later her steamy romance with Anil Kapoor on-screen in ‘Janbaaz’ became the talk of the town.
Madhuri Dixit also kissed Vinod Khanna in the 1988 film ‘Dayavan’. Even the new kids on the block in late 1980s, Juhi Chawla and Aamir Khan shared a kiss on screen in their debut film ‘Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak’.
With the advent of the 1990s, kissing became a common phenomenon on celluloid. It was Karisma Kapoor and Aamir Khan’s minute long kiss in the 1996 film ‘Raja Hindustani’ that created a stir. Ironically, this correspondent was in the Advisory Committee of the Censor Board then.
Taking a cue from their predecessors, the new filmmakers took boldness to a new level on-screen. In the 2003 film ‘Khwahish’, Govind Menon made Mallika Sherawat and Himanshu Malik kiss as many as 17 times on screen.
The film was a big flop at the box-office but it did garner a lot of publicity. Later many directors chose to touch on the subject of lust as an easy ticket to the box office.
Neha Dhupia’s 2004 film ‘Julie’ also bombed at the box office despite her claims that sex and only Shah Rukh Khan sell in Bollywood.
It was Anurag Basu’s erotic thriller ‘Murder’ that created a stir in Bollywood ans almost overnight, Emraan Hashmi and Mallika Sherawat became overnight stars with their sexual chemistry in the film.
Later actors like Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai followed their footsteps in ‘Dhoom 2’ and Shahid Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor in ‘Jab We Met’ and also Vidya Balan and Arshad Warsi in the film ‘Ishqiya’.