Censorship – the one word that unites Indians. Some want it, some don’t want it – and they both get united to follow their decision. As a person who has closely worked with films and now streaming – and someone still on the lower side of 40 – I maintain that censorship, the blatant version that’s available right now – is necessary in a country like India. I know, it’s a difficult thing to support, so I will come with all guns blazing, exhibit A, this TVF video, watch it, read the rest of the article after you scrape your jaw off the ground.
When did it become funny to poke fun at the filmmaking process of one of the finest directors in Bollywood? When did it become funny to assassinate the character of two of the most beloved and forward thinking celebrities? When did it become ‘comedy’ to insinuate, allege and basically ridicule the lifestyle of people? What’s TVF getting out of it, 4000 views and more? This video is one of the crassiest I have seen in my two years as a reviewer, and I have seen Zeenat Aman’s ‘Love, Life and Screw Ups’.
The problem is that mainstream hasn’t yet woken up to the ‘bhasad’ (mess) that’s going on in the streaming platform. More and more content creators are creating content with the simple, single brief of ‘make Bollywood look bad’. If there’s ever an academic course for making streaming content, I’d make ‘the’ Tanmay Bhatt’s performance in Mr X and Kanan Gill’s role in Noor mandatory viewing. That would prove even the best among them, has had bad days in Bollywood.
But let’s cut Tanmay and Kanan some slack. What boggles the mind is since when did TVF start making such stinky stuff? And more importantly, what gives them the right to? The instigations and accusations are one step away from litigation from a flurry of celebrities.
Now, I am not saying that such lowbrow content doesn’t exist in the film industry. Heaven knows the kind of content Bollywood brings to the table. But that content is not celebrated, it doesn’t come along your timelines, and it isn’t spoken about by social media influencers. But this video, because it is made by ‘one of their own’, will be. So, a video that alleges that Deepika Padukone signs up a film only if it has eight songs is out there in the open, spoken about, laughed about and becoming part of the mainstream narrative. A video that says Ranveer Singh is just a hyperactive, manchild is out there – and guess what – they can’t do anything about it. That’s equivalent to me churning out a 1000 word article that goes immediately viral, and I start getting accolades at the office, and when I return home, my mom tells me, “Why do you look so happy, you are just writing?”
What’s sadder is that this isn’t the beginning of a warped sense of humour. Streaming videos have as much of misogynistic underlays as the mainstream films now. A few months back, everyone was up in arms against the ‘Bol Na Aunty Aau Kya’ song. That was because the song came out of nowhere for the mainstream crowd. But that concept has been around since a while now. Watch any Amit Bhadana video, and you will see a random misogynistic streak in it. Only in the ‘Bol Na Aunty Aao Kya’ video, the proverbial hit the fan.
Whether the video content makers are bold and stupid, enough to make more videos like this remains to be seen.