Whatever other benchmarks LOVE AAJ KAL may achieve once it is released this Friday, in terms of openness about expression of passion on the Indian screen it is going to establish a new benchmark, it being the number of kisses being exchanged on the screen, between the lead pair Saif Ali Khan and Deepika Padukone. Even the Censor Board seems to be veneering around to the view that what has become a natural way of expression of love among the youth and not so young of the country today, exchange of kisses, need to be allowed on the screen as well.
Romesh Sharma and the Big B would indeed be happy that when they asked Jumma to give chumma in HUM in 1991, it has taken about 17 years for the censure board to acquiesce to the request and allow it to be expressed as a natural process of expression of love and passion. More than them, Mallika Sherawat and Emraan Hashmi would also be having a feeling of relief as the taboo associated with kissing that somehow became synonymous with their names would become a thing of the past.
As a matter of fact slowly but surely the camera of the Indian director had started moving from showing flowers entwined together symbolizing kissing, to allowing the actors themselves to kiss on the screen. But the liberal views in this regard established by Devika Rani and Himanshu Roy in their 1933 film KARMA created a marathon record of 33 kisses, which to an extent was matched by Mallika Sherawat and Himanshu Malik in KHWAHISH. As a matter of fact after the pleading of Big B in HUM to Jumma kisses started making their appearances intermittently in the films. The first such kiss in the series was between Vinod Khanna and Madhuri Dixit in DAYAVAAN, Madhuri Dixit in VARDI did an encore of the same and Jackie Shroff was the beneficiary.
Aamir Khan was one actor who too an extent brought the kiss out of the closet in a big way by doing the same with Karishma Kapoor in RAJA HINDUSTANI. But before him the lover boy of the past era Rishi Kapoor, after an initial inhibition when he was the real lover boy of the Indian cinema, jumped into the bandwagon along with her counter part with whom he made his debut in BOBBY, Dimple Kapadia, and the film where this history was created was SAAGAR. Dimple Kapadia also did the encore again with Anil Kapoor in JAANBAAZ.
While Big B had to plead for a Chumma from Jumma his son Abhishek Bachchan also appeared in a kissing scene in one of his earlier films MUMBAI SE AAYA MERA DOST, and the lady in question was Lara Dutta. As a matter of fact Saif Khan with LOVE AAJ KAL is emphasizing the initiative that he took in HUM TUM with Rani Mukherjee. KITES, is another film that is being talked about quite a lot about the passionate kissing scenes between Hrithik Roshan and Barbara Mori.
Indeed the manner in which kissing is slowly becoming a natural expression as a part of development of intimacy, the time is not far-off when it could become a regular part of all the feature films. After all, India is the only country that still fights shy of portraying it on the silver screen, while films made in all the parts of the world continue to use it as a natural idiom of the film craft.