With its interplay of repression and suggestion (and, to those ends, its careful deployment of midriff), Bollywood cinema is probably the sexiest non-explicitly sexual medium currently on the planet. It hardly ever surprises me, then, when I hear about the industry's casting couch scandals, which seem to pop up every couple of months - it makes perfect sense that an art industry that functions as a vehicle for repressed sexuality would be repressing a little sexuality of its own behind the scenes. But this particular scandal did shock me a little, if not for the fact that it seems to have dragged out to an unusual extreme, then because the final word on the matter seems so glib.

Up-and-coming actress Preetii Jain accused director Madhur Bhandarkar of repeatedly raping her over a five year period, after dangling a film role. Jain was then arrested last month in Bombay for allegedly hiring a hit man to take Bhandarhar down. The director denies the charges, and Jain hasn't yet been brought to trial. But Bhandarkar has announced that he's taking a step to preempt any future casting couch allegations: he's hired someone to do his casting.
categories Cinematical