ZARA ZARA TOUCH ME? NO, THANKS

In the post Covid-19 era, phys­i­cal emo­tional in­ti­mate scenes could be a no-go in Bollywood

Hindustan Times (Jalandhar) - - CITY - Shreya Mukher­jee and Sonil Ded­hia shreya.mukher­jee@htlive.com n

Do phool takraayeng­e, aur hum samajh jaayenge,” quips ac­tor-film­maker Satish Kaushik as he con­jec­tures how ro­man­tic and in­ti­mate scenes could rewind to the ’70s and ’80s in the post Covid-19 era. But on a se­ri­ous note, con­sid­er­ing how new rules of on-screen in­ti­macy — emo­tional and phys­i­cal — are be­ing out­lined across the world in these times of so­cial dis­tanc­ing, “safety is more im­por­tant than pas­sion­ate scenes,” says Kaushik.

Film­maker Shoo­jit Sir­car had re­cently raised the topic about how the shoot­ing of in­ti­mate sce­nar­ios in films will change af­ter this pan­demic.

And while ac­tor Dia Mirza had a fit­ting re­ply, “Guru, the en­tire process of mak­ing a film is in­ti­mate!”, screen­wri­ter­di­rec­tor Hitesh Ke­walya says in a coun­try like In­dia, where we work shoul­der-to-shoul­der, “it’s dif­fi­cult to main­tain so­cial dis­tanc­ing to be­gin with. It won’t be easy, but we’ve to find a way”, says the Shubh Man­gal Zyada Saavd­han di­rec­tor.

Cine­matog­ra­pher Sudeep Chat­ter­jee, who is work­ing on Gan­gubai Kathi­awadi, be­lieves

“phys­i­cal and emo­tional in­ti­mate scenes can be man­aged” by putting the “ac­tors, who’d be per­form­ing these scenes, in quar­an­tine and mon­i­tor­ing their health be­fore shoot­ing, or with cer­tain cam­era an­gles, and use of tech­nol­ogy and vis­ual ef­fects”.

Ac­tor Ku­nal Kemmu gives his per­spec­tive by say­ing since he has a two and half year old daugh­ter at home, he would like to check into a ho­tel till a sched­ule is com­pleted. “It would cut off the risk of my fam­ily be­ing af­fected even if there are any chances. Ob­vi­ously, there is no clar­ity as to when we will start shoot­ing but

ro­duc­tion houses re de­cid­ing on cer­tain rms keep­ing in mind the ety of ev­ery­one,” he says. Though in­ti­mate scenes of­ten be­come talk­ing points and gen­er­ate in­ter­est, trade ex­pert Atul Mo­han feels not many “ac­tors would be ready to take the risk” of do­ing such scenes. “We’ll have to avoid shoot­ing such scenes,” he adds.

In­ti­macy co­or­di­na­tor Amanda Cut­ting, who has worked on web se­ries Mas­tram and also on an un­aired pre­quel pi­lot for Game of Thrones, says that pro­to­cols have al­ready been put in place in Spain, Aus­tralia and Italy, and In­dia could take a cue from them. “We’ll have to look at dif­fer­ent op­tions. Can in­ti­macy be done with­out kiss­ing? Ab­so­lutely. An in­ti­mate mo­ment can be two peo­ple mak­ing eye­con­tact or a hand touch­ing an­other hand which tells a pas­sion­ate love story,” she says.

Ac­tion di­rec­tor Sham Kaushal says that change is the law of the na­ture and a lot of things are go­ing to be dif­fer­ent when it comes to how we ap­proach the shoots now. “We’ll have to rein­vent our work­ing style and be cau­tious. Also, the tech­nol­ogy is so ad­vanced. We can take help of VFX to show a few things.”

Cen­sor board mem­ber and writer Mi­hir Bhuta says reg­u­la­tions from the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion and the Min­istry of Health, in this re­gard are awaited. Bhuta, who is avoid­ing adding group scenes in his projects, adds, “Phys­i­cal in­ti­mate scenes in­volves two peo­ple at a time. That can be done by get­ting them tested and quar­an­tin­ing them. But that’d be dif­fi­cult for over 25 peo­ple on the set.”

A still from Dan­gal A still from Gun­day

A still from Oc­to­ber

A still from Shubh Man­gal Zyada Saavd­han

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