It seems like filmmakers Shoojit Sircar and Amole Gupte had a point when they spoke up against children participating in reality shows.
On Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Li’l Champs this week, viewers were left shocked to see little children — some no older than seven and eight years of age — participating in toilet jokes. This, to facilitate the promotion of Akshay Kumar’s new release, Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, which tackles the sensitive subject of toilet hygiene and privacy.
While it’s a noble subject with huge social relevance, why the kids were made to be the face of jokes around the subject, is anybody’s guess. The jokes involved the children using an artificial commode to sing songs, suggesting the act of defecation, while Akshay and the judges laughed their rockers off.
The fact remains that toilet hygiene is no laughing matter, and certainly not with kids around. In fact, the common perception now is that by reducing the toilet theme to a joke, the film’s team seems to be mocking its own intentions. The whole campaign to promote the film through insistent references to bodily functions has put audiences on the defence.
Says a senior filmmaker, “Beyond a point, it has gotten embarrassing. There was no need for such aggressive campaigning for this film. The theme and its message should’ve been allowed to reach the audience on its own, without so much pushing and plugging.”
One hopes that the aggressive campaign doesn’t backfire. After crippling debacles like Tubelight, Jagga Jasoos and Jab Harry Met Sejal, Bollywood desperately needs a hit.