If I Ran the Censor Board, Here is How I Would Fix Indian Romances

I have many ideas! While aware it is extremely unlikely, I do think that making me the head of the Indian censor board would basically fix EVERYTHING. Read on, and I bet you will agree with me.

Rules for romances:

Age

  1. At some point in the script, the exact age of the Hero and Heroine must be stated.
  2. If they are more than 10 years apart in age, this must be acknowledged as an obstacle to be overcome in their relationship.
  3. If an actor or actress is playing more than 10 years off their actual age, look books of them in character must be distributed to an independent focus group. If the focus group majority does not guess within 5 years of the age of the character when presented with the actor’s image in character, the script must either be rewritten or recast.
Ajay Devgn and Erika Kaar look adorable in this new still from ...
Remember Ajay and Erika Kaar in Shivaay? She was going home to “finish school”, the script left it open as to whether she was in college, or grad school, and what year. And Ajay was just an ageless tour guide. But what the audience sees is this clearly 30-something guy effortlessly romancing a college student. Have the script say “I am 35” and she says “I am 25” and then have them both say “there’s a big difference between our two ages” and go on from there! The romance would be totally different!

Marriage

  1. When any man and woman in a film are shown being married, from the leads to their siblings to their friends, there must be a line of dialogue from both man and woman indicating this marriage takes place with their enthusiastic consent.
  2. If for reasons of a plot a marriage takes place without enthusiastic consent from both parties, either the rest of the film should be spent showing us how they come to be reconciled to the marriage, or the couple must later be shown to have happily divorced.
Himmatwala' First Look: Sajid Khan brings back the 80s - Photogallery
I am sick of the “hero forces guy to marry his sister even though guy doesn’t want to” trope! That’s not going to work out, if bride or groom is unhappy at the wedding, show them getting a divorce or spend a good long while showing how they figure out how to live together.

Trick Romances

  1. If the hero or heroine begins a romance through a trick (for example, pretends to need tutoring in a subject which they excel), the object of their affections must be shown independently talking to a friend or writing a letter or otherwise to explicitly say “I am attracted to this person and enjoy spending time with them”. They need not see through the trick, but they must at least be enjoying the flirtation that has resulted from it.
  2. If a hero or heroine begins a romance through a trick, they must sincerely apologize for the deceit when it is revealed.
tamanna-and-prabhas-still-from-bahubali - Great Telangaana | English
This movie needed Tamanna to write in her diary or something “I know I should hate that this guy is marking me, but secretely I love feeling beautiful and desired”. And then it needed Prabhas to apologize and say “Sorry I came on like that, but I heard you talking in your rebel group and I knew I couldn’t woo you straight on.” That’s it! Fix so many problems!

Stalker Romances

  1. If the hero or heroine falls in love from a distance and begins following and researching the object of their affection, the object of the affection must be shown to be tacitly aware of their interest and amused by it (never afraid),
  2. The hero or heroine must be shown to have a plan to eventually make contact directly with the object of their affection, even if that plan is interrupted by further plot movements (for instance, she is kidnapped before he can speak).
  3. After the couple are united, the object of the stalking must clearly state in dialogue that they were aware of the interest and enjoyed it.
Hoshwalon Ko Khabar Kya Lyrics - Jagjit Singh's Gazal from ...
Every movie should be like Sarfarosh. She notices him noticing her, she manages to clearly indicate her reciprical interest, after they are united she is aggressive in showing her interest towards him.

Weddings

  1. When a wedding is broken up by a dramatic declaration of love, we must get closure on 3 points: 1. what happened to all the guests invited by the side that is no longer part of the wedding, 2. who is going to pay the caterers, 3. how do all the family and friends of the last minute replacement spouse learn they need to come in time to see the ceremony

(this last is perhaps something that only matters to me, but at a certain point in my Indian film watching, it began to REALLY REALLY MATTER. If every romance ended with a 5 minute text scroll going over all these important points, I would be a happy camper.)

If we could only pick one, which would be your top choice from these rules?

I gotta say, purely selfishly, I care most about the Weddings rule. More selflessly, I care about the marriages always being enthusiastically consented to rule.

22 thoughts on “If I Ran the Censor Board, Here is How I Would Fix Indian Romances

  1. WEDDINGS. I don’t get this!! KKHH sucked in this regard! If Aman is from London, that means his family flew ALL the way, in the 1990s to attend his wedding and possibly even paid for it, since Anjali isn’t super rich. And they have to see some random dude get married instead??? They took days off from work for this and what, is the gossip supposed to be worth it?? UGH.

    Like

    • YES! And they bought new clothes, and they probably put in some time making nice and getting along with Kajol’s side of the family, and so on and so forth, and now it’s all for NOTHING.

      On Sun, Jun 28, 2020 at 7:50 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Like

  2. Hmmm…from the guests’ perspective no one really cares who the bride/groom is at the wedding…Indians attend sooo many big weddings a year…most often you don’t even know the bride/groom…maybe you are distantly related….or you know a parent/grandparent/sibling…it doesn’t matter…the point of the wedding is to show off your clothes/jewels…socialize with whoever you do know… drink…eat…dance…gossip about the family in question and critique the wedding decor/clothes….no one cares about who actually ends up getting married (okay except maybe the immediate circle).

    As for payment, of course, you make the offending party pay for everything now…or maybe the new bride/groom family takes over the share?? Hmmmm…that would be an awkward discussion…

    And as for the new bride/groom’s family…the answer is obvious…you get married without them for now…and then you throw another gigantic bash and invite everyone then!

    Liked by 2 people

    • So the new bridegroom has to graciously pick up the tab for the wedding he stole, then throw a bonus wedding for everyone who missed out on the first one? On the other hand, he does get the bride, so I guess he still comes out ahead.

      Really the tidiest ones are the ones in Hum Aapke Hain Koun where it’s still the same family involved, just a minor change to the cast of characters.

      On Sun, Jun 28, 2020 at 8:18 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Like

      • I’d say that picking up the tabs for two weddings is the penance for creating a situation where there’s a last-minute change in the main cast!

        Like

  3. I find everything you said extremely relevant.Those 40+ actors romancing young heroines requires an insane amount of suspension of disbelief.And when an older heroine romances a younger guy,people’s radar comes up.Ofcourse,neither is right(it does look a bit jarring)but the bias continues.And those icky dream sometimes it makes me want to sue them.The Bahubali scene you mentioned was the first clip of the movie I had seen,and it irritated me enough that I actually watched Bahubali after its sequel(or prequel?).

    Like

    • I considered using my imaginary All Powers to just force everyone to cast people within 10 years of each other as romantic partners. But then I thought about how some of my favorite onscreen couples wouldn’t have passed that test, and yet I didn’t care. So, you can have a big age gap so long as the actors believably look like the age they are playing (Aamir in 3 Idiots for instance, somehow convinced us he really was a college student). Or so long as you deal with it, because a May-December romance when treated realistically can be a really great romantic conflict (De De Pyaar De, Ek Nau Paheli, Rab Ne Bana di Jodi). But casting people who clearly look decades apart and never letting the script acknowledge it is just STUPID.

      On Sun, Jun 28, 2020 at 10:26 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Like

    • Yes! I actually really like stalker romances, so long as they follow those three rules. I don’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater and say “no stalkers ever”. And obviously, wedding rules are very important.

      On Sun, Jun 28, 2020 at 11:01 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Like

      • I’d say the number one thing for me would be the age gap focus group thing, just because of movies that I think could have been saved if they hadn’t cast someone terribly.

        I am absolutely looking at Hrithik in Mohenjo Daro, because he is fairly unbelievable as that character at that age. If it had been his first movie, with those fresh faced KNPH looks from 1999/2000 I think the whole movie would have been received differently, or if they’d re-written the character to be older, maybe.

        But I’m also looking at people like the Khans, and Akshay Kumar. They all look freaking great playing opposite the heroines from their 90s movies, why do they have to have the youngest possible starlets on their arm in their movies? SRK is the only one of those that doesn’t make me feel grody when he’s opposite someone like Deepika, who is 20 years his junior.

        Having either an in-text examination of the relationship, by the characters, would be good and also casting more equally-aged actors would be great.

        Like

        • Yes! Mohenjo Daro is a great example! You don’t even have to recast or super rewrite the script, changing his age doesn’t necessarily change anything. Make him a sweet innocent farmer man who never felt the need to leave his land, and is like 35. It changes almost nothing. Of course, you’d also have to add in dialogue to address the age difference in the romance, but that’s not hard either, “I am so much older than you, and yet I know nothing about this city, I feel even younger than you are”. BAM! Done!

          I’ve got no problem with May-December romances, in fact I think there should be more of them, so long as the script addresses the inherent problems. It’s a good thing! Show why age gaps are hard, and how couples deal with them, instead of making it normal for a teenage girl to fall in love with some 40 year old guy.

          On Mon, Jun 29, 2020 at 10:35 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

          >

          Like

          • Alll of this! That is exactly what I rant about every time I drag myself through that movie (….it’s pretty. He’s pretty. It’s just…it could have been better). If he was the oldest brother of the (insert number of brothers and sisters) who never wanted to leave their land and always wanted to provide for his younger siblings so they could have independence and freedom, after their father left the farm to him. Then something happens to the charismatic brother and he can’t go this year, so it falls to Hrithik who hasn’t ever left the town and is shy around even people he knows. Bam, fixed.

            May-December romances offer so much in terms of character growth and turbulence for the story, I love them because of that. So often they’re used as like…not that. Instead its the 19 year old falling in love with the 40 year old, which is yucky…but if it was a 29 year old falling in love with a 50 year old that isn’t yucky and provides some real issues for the storyteller to sink their teeth into .

            Like

          • Counterpoint: Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi is a 19 year old falling for a 40 year old and don’t you dare say that is yucky!!!!

            But yes, agree totally, the May-December romance can be a really powerful original interesting kind of romance. But you have to actually grapple with the issues! Chennai Express, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, Ek Tha Tiger, even Lamhe, they dealt with the confusion and the difficulty and the guilt and it’s great! I don’t want to run my censor board so that you can’t have a May December romance any more just, you know, acknowledge it. Make it an issue and then resolve it.

            On Tue, Jun 30, 2020 at 10:47 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

            >

            Like

  4. I like the marriage rules a lot. Also the trick rules. This is something they usually spend quite a bit of time on in the trickster Govinda movies and it’s a good thing they do because I absolutely cannot get on board with it otherwise. This is one of the reasons I hate Coolie no.1 because the deception goes on way too long and he should have come clean before marriage which is usually what happens in those movies.

    lol the look book rule.

    Like

    • The look book rule is VITAL! Think how much agony we could have been spared if an independent group of people had looked at photographs and said “he’s playing a college student???? NO WAY!!!!”

      On Mon, Jun 29, 2020 at 1:08 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Stalking in the movies lead to Eve teasing ,and female street harassment.
    Films like Arya (Allu Arjun’s Telugu movie) stirred agony to countless teenagers.

    Like

  6. Yes to all of them!
    Stalker and age rules would be my priorities. But the problem with the stalker situation is if the only thing a person being stalked knows about a stalker is that he stalks her, it makes no sense she would enjoy it. There has to be some other interaction outside of the stalking for her to be interested. IMO, films should just retire this trope already.

    Like

    • I don’t know, I don’t think it is that hard to give her something to make her notice him. Girl’s can have love at first sight too! Or at least, “like” at first sight. I feel like I’ve seen in movies things like where he is stalking and runs to catch the bus and trips, and she looks out and smiles because he looks cute covered in mud. That’s easy enough, right?

      Wouldn’t work with stuff like listening to her phone calls and things, but that’s just creepy-stalking. Following her around stalking, that gives a chance for some back and forth, he’s there and being alive, she might notice him while he’s following her.

      On Tue, Jun 30, 2020 at 11:45 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.