The other day, I was watching the trailer of the third part of the Harold & Kumar series. Those familiar with the series would know that these films are gross, racist, and funny (at times). Besides all of this, they belong to a separate genre altogether; that of the stoner flick.
In India however, recreational drugs are a huge no-no and are largely not shown in movies. Most of the earlier Hindi films had the clichéd “only phirang queer-looking hippies do drugs” tagline attached to them. This was more or less the case ignoring the fact that our favourite Holi drink, Bhaang actually constitutes marijuana.
Apart from a few art films here and there, there has been nothing that overtly shows the usage of drugs until recently when Hindi films sort of ‘grew up’.
How many of you remember the joint-rolling scene in Rock On!!? It was part of a song and even I overlooked it at first.
This whole ambiguous nature of recreational drug portrayal is kinda hypocritical. The joint which Naseeruddin Shah rolls in ZNMD can be passed off as him rolling a cigarette. The “supposed” joint Katrina Kaif smokes in Meri Brother Ki Dulhan can be called a bidi. There have been a few movies which have been pretty open about it though. Onir’s I Am, Bejoy Nambiar’s Shaitan (remember joint-account), Anurag Kashyap’s Dev D and That Girl in Yellow Boots and Kiran Rao’s Dhobi Ghat would be such examples.
A lot of new Bollywood films do have a drug reference here and there but we are light years away from seeing a mainstream stoner flick in India simply because the whole acceptance factor comes into play. Also, for some reason drinking bhang and going completely mad is normal like in Meri Brother Ki Dulhan as opposed to, say, smoking up and doing similar mad things!
I agree that movies like The Blueberry Hunt are releasing soon but I can’t deny the fact that it’ll probably be the only movie that comes close to showcasing the drug culture in India.
For some reason, comedy has never been mixed with recreational drugs in our country unless you consider Charas- A Joint Effort by Tigmanshu Dhulia which turns out funny only because of the pathetic acting.
I understand the whole legal issue behind this but does that mean we stop making films about everything illegal? That’s just unreal. I am really hoping for a pure stoner flick in India someday. The whole idea of mixing masala with marijuana would definitely make an interesting watch.