remakes

The Marathi original of ‘Poster Boys’ is a cutting-edge comedy about a mix-up and manhood

The Hindi remake of the vasectomy-themed comedy stars Shreyas Talpade, Bobby and Sunny Deol and will be out on September 8.

The Hindi film remake of Sameer Patil’s popular Marathi film Poshter Boyz (2014) will be released on September 8. In Poster Boys, starring Sunny Deol, Bobby Deol and Shreyas Talpade (also the film’s director), three men find their worlds turned upside down after they find themselves on a poster advertising vasectomy. It’s the second remake of Patil’s comedy starring Dilip Prabhavalkar, Hrishikesh Joshi, Aniket Vishvasrao after Akshay Kumar announced in January that he would be producing a Telugu version.

Inspired by the story of three coolies who found themselves on a similar poster they had never posed for, Poster Boys is in line with a spate of recent Bollywood films dealing with taboo topics and bodily functions, ranging from constipation and sperm donors to impotence and menstrual hygiene, such as Vicky Donor (2012), Piku (2015), Toilet: Ek Prem Katha (2017), Shubh Mangal Saavdhan (2017) and Padman (2018).

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Poster Boys.

The Marathi movie is set in a village in Maharashtra. Three men discover their faces on a government poster for a family planning programme involving vasectomy. The consequences are immediate. No-nonsense school teacher Sadanand Kulkarni (Hrishikesh Joshi) faces divorce proceedings after his wife gets wind of the fact and feels that her dream of finally having a son after two daughters is in jeopardy. Village patriarch Jagan Deshmukh (Dilip Prabhavalkar) becomes the shame of his family and his daughter’s wedding is broken off. The resident cool youngster Arjun (Aniket Vishvasrao) is forced to part ways with his paramour after his prospective father-in-law catches a glimpse of the poster.

Much of the film’s hilarity comes from the reactions to the perceived emasculation of the men. The three leads also turn in brilliant comedic performances and consistently play off each other.

Poshter Boyz also makes a trip to Mumbai to examine the completely clueless bureaucracy that has created the confusion. The film doesn’t let the theme of vasectomy to overburden the narrative or use it for cheap jokes, and instead focuses on the journey of three men out to prove their innocence and sexual abilities against a brutish administration that refuses to acknowledge any wrongdoing.

Talpade, who produced and played a minor role in the original, directs and takes one of the lead roles in the Hindi remake. The trailer for Poster Boys reveals many direct shot-for-shot recreations from the original with the new elements being the Deol brothers transporting the setting to the Hindi heartland.

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Poshter Boyz.
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Changing the conversation around mental health in rural India

Insights that emerged from discussions around mental health at a village this World Mental Health Day.

Questioning is the art of learning. For an illness as debilitating as depression, asking the right questions is an important step in social acceptance and understanding. How do I open-up about my depression to my parents? Can meditation be counted as a treatment for depression? Should heartbreak be considered as a trigger for deep depression? These were some of the questions addressed by a panel consisting of the trustees and the founder of The Live Love Lough Foundation (TLLLF), a platform that seeks to champion the cause of mental health. The panel discussion was a part of an event organised by TLLLF to commemorate World Mental Health Day.

According to a National Mental Health Survey of India 2015-16, conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), common mental disorders including depression, anxiety disorders and substance use disorders affect nearly 10% of the population, with 1 in 20 people in India suffering from depression. The survey reported a huge treatment gap, a problem that is spread far and wide across urban and rural parts of the country.

On 10th of October, trustees of the foundation, Anna Chandy, Dr. Shyam Bhat and Nina Nair, along with its founder, Deepika Padukone, made a visit to a community health project centre in Devangere, Karnataka. The project, started by The Association of People with Disability (APD) in 2010, got a much-needed boost after partnering with TLLLF 2 years ago, helping them reach 819 people suffering from mental illnesses and spreading its program to 6 Taluks, making a difference at a larger scale.

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During the visit, the TLLLF team met patients and their families to gain insights into the program’s effectiveness and impact. Basavaraja, a beneficiary of the program, spoke about the issues he faced because of his illness. He shared how people used to call him mad and would threaten to beat him up. Other patients expressed their difficulty in getting access to medical aid for which they had to travel to the next biggest city, Shivmoga which is about 2 hours away from Davangere. A marked difference from when TLLLF joined the project two years ago was the level of openness and awareness present amongst the villagers. Individuals and families were more expressive about their issues and challenges leading to a more evolved and helpful conversation.

The process of de-stigmatizing mental illnesses in a community and providing treatment to those who are suffering requires a strong nexus of partners to make progress in a holistic manner. Initially, getting different stakeholders together was difficult because of the lack of awareness and resources in the field of mental healthcare. But the project found its footing once it established a network of support from NIMHANS doctors who treated the patients at health camps, Primary Healthcare Centre doctors and the ASHA workers. On their visit, the TLLLF team along with APD and the project partners discussed the impact that was made by the program. Were beneficiaries able to access the free psychiatric drugs? Did the program help in reducing the distance patients had to travel to get treatment? During these discussions, the TLLLF team observed that even amongst the partners, there was an increased sense of support and responsiveness towards mental health aid.

The next leg of the visit took the TLLLF team to the village of Bilichodu where they met a support group that included 15 patients and caregivers. Ujjala Padukone, Deepika Padukone’s mother, being a caregiver herself, was also present in the discussion to share her experiences with the group and encouraged others to share their stories and concerns about their family members. While the discussion revolved around the importance of opening up and seeking help, the team brought about a forward-looking attitude within the group by discussing future possibilities in employment and livelihood options available for the patients.

As the TLLLF team honoured World Mental Health day, 2017 by visiting families, engaging with support groups and reviewing the successes and the challenges in rural mental healthcare, they noticed how the conversation, that was once difficult to start, now had characteristics of support, openness and a positive outlook towards the future. To continue this momentum, the organisation charted out the next steps that will further enrich the dialogue surrounding mental health, in both urban and rural areas. The steps include increasing research on mental health, enhancing the role of social media to drive awareness and decrease stigma and expanding their current programs. To know more, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of The Live Love Laugh Foundation and not by the Scroll editorial team.