As someone who writes about films for a living, I have had the opportunity to write about films I felt were that were good and also about the ones that weren’t that great. But Ram Gopal Varma’s God, Sex and Truth is an endeavour that is so frustratingly eccentric, reeking of hypocrisy in every frame. As someone who isn’t very familiar with the work of both Ram Gopal Varma or Mia Malkova for that matter, it just comes across as a weird film that aims to cater to the average male porn viewer.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I have no qualms about RGV directing a porn film or with the industry itself as long it is done with safe boundaries. What irks me is the shroud of philosophy that RGV has adorned it with. God, Sex and Truth has been promoted as the ‘philosophical treatise of Mia Malkova’. Both parts of that sentence are false. The film in no way a philosophical treatise and neither is it a soliloquy of Mia’s thoughts.
The fact that RGV is eccentric is a known fact. When a filmmaker is candid enough to say ‘don’t watch my film’, why does he feel the need to inject moral rationality? I could have made peace with GST if Varma had admitted to making an erotic film. But no, he had to bring in women’s sexual liberation. “From the reactions that I’ve got so far, it’s very clear that people are really, and very seriously listening to her words. The same words, if spoken by a social psychologist or a yogi like Rajneesh, will not have even a fraction of the impact compared to being spoken by a beautiful naked girl,” RGV has been quoted as saying in an interview before GST’s release. The camera chooses to focus on Mia’s derriere and vagina when she is talking, not a voice over but actually talking. When the camera doesn’t have the dignity to focus on her face when she is talking, how will the viewer treat it any otherwise? The hypocrisy is just too hard to miss.
As Mia’s repeatedly talks about how women should be let to do whatever their body pleases, all I could think was how she was inherently part of the standard set by men. How her face with a hint of make-up and her body sans any hair, is a reflection of how a man wants his woman to look. I don’t blame her. The porn industry is known for its notorious standards, but isn’t true sexual liberation accepting your body unconditionally? God, Sex and Truth is voyeurism, not philosophy. The irony of it all was that he compared it with Padmavaat, practically the other end of the spectrum.
RGV claims that God, Sex and Truth is just the beginning of what he intends to do. He is more than welcome to pursue bizarre ideas or make more erotica. But instead of trying to make it sound deep and serious, I wish he blatantly admits to what his intents are. He might come up with vacuous concoctions that attempt to hide them, but his camera doesn’t lie.
This was first originally published on https://indianexpress.com/. You can find it here.
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