When I woke up on Monday, 12 December, I honestly didn’t anticipate that there would be frenzy around a song. But upon close inspection, I realised, it wasn’t just any song – it was a Shah Rukh Khan song from his upcoming movie Pathaan. Granted, he wasn’t in the video for most of it, it was mostly Deepika Padukone swaying in a golden monokini amongst other swimwear – but it did cause the internet to crash, pardon my hyperbole, and a whopping 2 million views were achieved in 2 hours.
Yet it isn’t exactly the most creative concept out there – a stunning woman swaying her hips for a man in a music video isn’t exactly ingenious. But somewhere down the line, these "item numbers" do get the views. So you could hate or love them, but you can’t ignore them – not when it’s Deepika and SRK taking the lead.
So here I am, sharing some thoughts on the newly released song, ‘Besharam Rang’, trying to figure out if sexualising a fruit is still a trendy trope.
After giving it some thought, I have concluded that we should stop trying to make fruits sexy. It’s might be an effective metaphor, symbol or simile but Deepika seductively biting into a strawberry is oddly disconcerting. Not because it panders to the male gaze, although that’s reason enough, but because food can be just food sometimes.
It’s nice to see that both these multi-talented gorgeous actors have no issues being objectified. Both Deepika and Shah Rukh did their bit. Although Deepika did most of the heavy-lifting as SRK intensely gazed on, shirtless. Equal parts objectification is definitely something, but I will keep my value judgement to myself.
It’s safe to say that most item numbers are sexual, even though this particular song may not be considered one. But some of Deepika's dance moves, where she is thrusting various parts of her body, definitely suggests that it is an item number. But does reading this make you oddly uncomfortable? Try watching it. Sigh.
For a change, though, the lyrics make sense – which in Bollywood, is a feat in itself. Remember the song Deepika featured in the previous week, ‘Current Laga Re’, with the hook line being, “Rent laga re, main naachu toh saabko current laga re?” I do too, my friend. And that’s three minutes of my life I will never get back.
I get it, ok? These songs are supposed to be fun and make you forget about your otherwise distressing life. The world is burning and despite all that, you want three minutes of your time devoted to Deepika energetically or seductively wooing you. I wouldn’t blame you. I may tangentially judge you, but I don’t blame you.
I am excited about the film too, to be honest. It’s Shah Rukh, and he is the 'King of Romance' and very soon to be 'the King of Action' by the looks of it. And despite all the problems that Bollywood brings with it – SRK has always been the lesser evil of the lot.