Actor Akshay Kumar was in his elements during an in-conversation event at the ongoing second edition of the Red Sea International Film Festival. His talk, though, was controversial, which, of course, made it all too fascinating.
Kumar began by saying that he was making a movie on sex education, which would open in the early part of 2023. Now, we all know that sex education has been a huge taboo in India (let us not even talk about the host country).
So what, one would say. So was the subject of toilet, which was a subject of one of his films. It was well received, and it spoke about how important it was for women especially to have one inside their houses.
The Bollywood actor told a full house: “I’m making a movie on sex education. It’s a very important subject. In a lot of places, it is not there. We have all kinds of subjects we learn in school but sex is one education I’d like all the schools in the world to have it because it is important.”
No details were revealed about the title or director, but Kumar did add: “It’s going to take time to release. April or May I will be releasing that movie. It’s one of the best films I have made.”
Kumar is one of the most successful stars in Bollywood, and he has made hits such Toilet: Ek Prem Katha (2017), which examined sanitation conditions in India, and 2018’s Pad Man was the true story of a man who made low cost sanitary pads for women in villages and small towns.
“I like doing these kinds of movies, social stuff,” he said. “These kinds of films are not that big a commercial success but surely give me satisfaction.”
There was a lot of mass hysteria as the star arrived. Setting up a clip from Toilet, the actor and producer said: “That’s another thing in India we have, which has drastically now changed, thanks to my Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He is the first Prime Minister who spoke about Swachh Bharat (a country-wide campaign initiated by the Indian Government in 2014 to eliminate open defecation).”
One man in the crowd said: “I’m from Pakistan, your neighbour country. I have a request. You do fantastic movies like Pad Man and Toilet. There is an issue between India and Pakistan as well… Your recent movie Bell Bottom has certain things against Pakistan.”
The actor responded: “Sir, it’s just a movie. Don’t get so serious about it. It’s just a movie. There are many things like that. It’s just a movie, sir.”
Bell Bottom talks about a series of Indian Airlines hijackings in the 1980s, and has Kumar playing an Indian secret agent. It faced criticism and was banned in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar for “inaccuracies”.
The Festival runs till December 10.
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