Nothing sells like sex ... on the poster. Vikram Bhatt's upcoming film, Hate Story, shows a mystery girl sitting between a male actor's legs with a gun sticking out from her tattooed butt cleave, Sunny Leone starrer Jism 2 has a woman lying naked with all but a wet see-through sheet to cover her, and the Kyaa Super Kool Hain Hum (KSKHH) poster has male hands running all over a girl's bare back on the beach.
"All filmmakers are desperately trying to cover their costs in their first week. To cover that, they uncover women in posters," says film historian SMM Ausaja, who has written the book Bollywood In Posters. Trade expert Taran Adarsh feels, "Times have changed. Producers just have three days to lure audiences, and they are just selling a product by drawing their attention."
The makers say whatever goes with the film's 'mood' works. "The creatives completely gelled with our film. Our target audience is ready for it," says Girish Johar of Balaji Motion Pictures, producers of KSKHH. Hate Story maker Vikram Bhatt laughs off the 'boldness', saying, "The poster is a very tame representation of a film and of course, everyone wants eyeballs for the film." A point to note is that most of these posters do not show the face of the female actor on it.
The Film Publicity Clearance Committee, on its part, maintains that all creatives are checked before release."We don't pass vulgar posters. The publicity creatives are passed with every member's consent. But sometimes, going by the content of the film, some bold posters have to be passed," says Kumar Mohan, a member. "However, there are some producers who release such posters despite the committee's objection. But we condemn them, like we did the Blood Money posters that had women in two-pieces. They were pulled out from Mumbai within 72 hours (of our order)," he adds.
And some play on bad reviews too The Kyaa Super Kool Hain Hum poster also plays on the bad reviews for its forerunner, Kyaa Kool Hain Hum. ‘These people should hang their heads in shame — Khalid Mohd’, it reads. “All the critics panned the first film but the public loved it. So we made criticism our selling point,” says Girish Johar of Balaji Motion Pictures. the poster also mentions the movie’s release date as ‘cumming 2nd August’.