Super Fine Films. That’s the name of the banner that produced www.SheetalBhabhi.com, a film now playing at a single screen theatre near you. In your paper’s entertainment supplement, buried amidst advertisements of some not-so-impressive films that came out in May and some biggies set to release in coming months, you might have spotted a small ad of this B movie, showing a woman in a figure-hugging sari and (very) low-cut blouse.
An ode to Savita Bhabhi
The inspiration for Sheetal Bhabhi is Savita Bhabhi — the insatiable, married protagonist of a graphic novel-styled pornographic website — who had wild romps with salesmen (who went door-to-door selling bras), doctors, and even horny teenagers in the neighbourhood.
A few years ago, Savita Bhabhi entered the rooms and imaginations of Indian men looking to get off on a luscious ‘bhabhi-type’, but the website shut down after the government deemed it “unfit” in 2009.
Among the many such admirers of Savita Bhabhi was Mahendra Dhariwal, who is the ‘creative producer’ of Sheetal Bhabhi, his ode to India’s most lusted after fictional sex goddess. Dhariwal’s film tells the story of four randy men — one of them played by the inimitable Shakti Kapoor — who lust after the wife (Hina Rehmani) of their friend, played by Jatin Grewal.
My reasons for wanting to watch the film were plenty. There’s nothing quite like a well-made B movie. Or like a lot of Hindi films from the ’80s and ’90s were — so bad, they were good. Satellite television — and the 30-something Hindi movie channels with their library of films from these two decades — make access to gems made by Kanti Shah (Shaadi Basanti Ki Honeymoon Gabbar Ka, Duplicate Sholay) and many Ramsay flicks possible.
Shah’s Gunda, in fact, is widely regarded as the ultimate B movie of all time, with Orkut groups and blogs dedicated to the film. (Check out YouTube scenes from it if you haven’t already.)
Similarly, no one made a sex comedy the way Dada Kondke did. Andheri Raat Main Diya Tere Haath Main remains unparalleled.
But we don’t do B movies that often anymore. Blame it on the multiplexes, but a www.SheetalBhabhi.com is a rarity. Intrigued by the ad, I reached Galaxy cinema in Bandra (probably the only multiplex where it’s showing), to catch the very first show of this ‘super fine’ film. Among the 12-odd people in the theatre were two middle-aged men, three college-going boys, and two couples sitting in two different corners of the theatre. There was another guy, reading (or hiding behind?) a business daily, as his friend fumbled with his phone, waiting for the film to begin.
Rasgullas for a diabetic
The film opens with Kapoor’s character, very subtly named PK Lele, staring at his maid’s cleavage. Kapoor seems completely at home — literally — as the dirty old man, summoning a kind of hunger in his eyes that would put most other actors to shame. Lele faces a little problem: his maid, who’s sweeping the floor, is not bending down enough for him to get a ‘clean’ view of her bosom. So when she’s not looking, he slyly lops off a few inches from her broom. The next time she’s at it, she has to bend lower, and her pallu falls to one side, giving the actor a chance to bite his lower lip as his eyes feast on the, err, scenery.
Dhariwal’s film could have been raunchier, but strict censor laws mean his characters are only allowed to emerge from swimming pools in bikinis — towels when stepping out of the shower — and bedroom scenes reveal little more than squirming faces. While there are fewer innuendo-packed dialogues than you’d expect, many scenes were apparently brutally excised by the censors.
“This happens only to small filmmakers,” rues Dhariwal. “What was Ragini MMS, after all, if not a pure sex film with horror thrown in for added effect? The multiplexes gave it prime time slots and the censors were lenient with it, but my film is looked down upon as a B-grader.” Yes, sadly, there is no justice in this world.
The only ‘respectable’ sex scene in the film has a woman lying naked on her belly as ‘her man’ squeezes what looks like a bunch of red grapes on her back. Turned on beyond belief, she turns around, so he can then squeeze the juice in her mouth, her tongue teasing the camera. Then, the scene ends.
The film’s plot itself is hardly different from what you would find in, say, an Anees Bazmee film starring top actors — philandering husbands lusting after a feisty seductress is something we are subjected to in screwball comedies from time-to-time. The dialogues may be cornier here, but only just.
Sample this: one of the lecherous men who have been trying to bed Sheetal Bhabhi can’t help but wonder how her husband could neglect someone as attractive as her. “Yeh toh wahi hua ke diabetes ke mareez ko rasgulle ka dabba mil gaya ho (it’s like a diabetes patient being gifted a box of rasgullas),” he remarks.
In another scene, a man tells a woman who bumps into him, “Aapne apni gaadi mere compound ke wall main thok di (you banged your car into my compound wall),” smiling in a way that makes it clear he’s not talking about her car here.
But in spite of the innuendos, and a halfway house of a sex scene, www.SheetalBhabhi.com didn’t quite end up being the B movie I was looking for. Dhariwal, though, hopes his film will change the fortunes of such films: “Agar meri film chali, toh bees aisi film aur ban jaayegi (if my film does well, 20 more such films will get made).” He says he shot Sheetal Bhabhi in 40 days on a budget of Rs3 crore and claims the film has been released in more than 450 screens across India.
A cinematic avatar of Savita Bhabhi may have been a long time coming, but Dhariwal’s effort lacks the juice to be that film. All puns intended.