One of the key questions that determines the understanding of huge box office collections in Bollywood is simply this: How do you sell the film? At a time when the benchmark of Bollywood BO success has been raised to an elite figure of Rs 100 crore, filmmakers are not just forcefully influenced by it, but also compelled to look for ways to generate maximum buzz before the film's release rather than focusing on factors that can contribute to its longevity. While interesting promotional campaigns and actors' off-screen romance prove instrumental in grabbing viewers' attention, controversial posters - either featuring a sexually suggestive pose, carrying racist connotations, or being religiously offensive - is an instant way to help films make headlines.
A nude Aamir Khan in the first poster of Rajkumar Hirani's 'PK' has managed to do exactly this. The poster, which has become a hot topic of discussion, has encouraged people to make their own opinions about Aamir's role, the film's script and make them desperate to watch it.
Since movie poster is an interesting blend of art and commerce, it should be paid great attention to, to convey the essence of the film. Read on to know about the movie posters that stirred up some controversy, sometimes purposely, sometimes not.
Read on to know about the movie posters that stirred up some controversy, sometimes purposely, sometimes not.
The Dirty Picture: Vidya Balan may have won plaudits for her performance in 'The Dirty Picture', but it is true that the film stirred up a controversy when a city court in Andhra Pradesh asked the cops to book Vidya for striking an offensive pose on the film's posters. Nampally criminal courts ordered the Nallakunta police station in the city to book a criminal case against the Bollywood star. The judge asked police to book the actress under relevant sections of Indian Penal Code and also under Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986.
Jism 2: Even though the film marked Bollywood debut of adult film actress Sunny Leone, filmmaker Pooja Bhatt used a sensual poster to promote Jism 2. The poster which was reportedly lifted from fashion designer Felix Bendish's poster for a fashion event in Goa, also made headlines when it was revealed that Nathalia Kaur was featured in the poster.
Ek Chhoti Si Love Story: The poster of Shashilal Nair’s ‘Ek Chhoti Si Love Story’ didn’t go down well with the Women's wing of Shiv Sena. The poster was set ablaze at a theater and the film’s screening was also stopped, courtesy its sexually explicit content.
Kurbaan: Karan Johar's ran into a controversy when Shiv Sena objected to its poster which featured actress Kareena Kapoor's bare back. As reports suggested, Shiv Sena had also sent a saree to Kareena, urging her to cover up.
Dirty Politics: Mallika Sherawat raised eyebrows when she draped the American flag for the poster of her Hollywood film 'Politics Of Love' and recently the actress draped the Indian flag for the poster of 'Dirty Politics'. The actress is seen atop an Ambassador with a beacon draped in tri-clour with a CD in her hand. Even though the poster stirred up a controversy, director KC Bokadia said he wouldn’t give in to any pressure and change it.
Guzaarish: This poster of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s poster was slammed because Aishwarya Rai Bachchan was seen smoking a cigarette. As reports suggested, the producers of ‘Guzaarish’ replied to the protest letter by stating the sequence was demanded by the script.
Donno Y.. Na Jaane Kyun: ‘Dunno Y . . . Na Jaane Kyun’ which deal with gay relationships, too had to deal with series of controversies. The first emerging from the promotional poster of the film which featured two men in a sensual posture. This film about two gay men made headlines since it also included India’s first male gay kiss between Kapil Sharma and Yuvraaj Parashar.
Julie: Neha Dhupia, who won 2002 Femina Miss India, hit the headlines when she was featured in a backless pose in the poster of Julie. The actress was also slammed for her bold role in the film.
Murder 2: In addition to Jaqueline Fernandez striking a backless pose, the film poster courted controversy for its striking resemblance from Kim Ki Duk's Korean Film 'Bad Guy'.
Nasha: Known for resorting to weird publicity stunts to grab everyone’s attention, Poonam Pandey's Bollywood debut ‘Nasha’ couldn’t have stayed away from controversies. Poonam’s outrageous posters from her debut Bollywood movie Nasha left many miffed. In addition to protests against the film across India, many protestors took to streets to set her film posters afire on July 20 in Mumbai.