Ram Gopal Varma is a strange creature. In the '90s, he made a bunch of classics so good, SO iconic, it was going to take a nosedive of unprecedented proportions to jeopardise his legacy as one of India's greatest filmmakers.
Cut to 15 years later, when, through a series of projects that can neatly be summarised by the phrase "WTF why?", RGV somehow ended up doing exactly that.
So, last month, when he announced that he had made a short film with a celebrity porn star (titled God, Sex and Truth: A Philosophical Treatise Of Mia Malkova), it just seemed like the next logical step in his supremely weird journey.
Normally, just the title would've been enough for me to ignore it completely. But then, in the lead-up to its release, Ramu posted this 30-second Instagram, which had him "beating the shit out of imaginary protesters" of his controversial project.
He then declared his film a "blockbuster hit", not even 12 hours after it dropped. Honestly, there was just too much hilarious nonsense going on around GST for me not to watch it now.
(At this point, you should know that the film is basically 20 minutes of a completely nude Mia Malkova talking about normalising sex, while showcasing her body in explicit slow-mo detail. I don't have any Photoshop skills, but I've done my best to censor it to an acceptable degree.)
Right, so TL;DW: God, Sex and Truth has Malkova waxing eloquent about the importance of sex for us as a species, and how religion and patriarchy have reduced it to a shameful act.
It also has her reiterating multiple times that women should be allowed to do with their bodies as they please, and that men just need to deal.
In the middle of her mostly inoffensive rant, quotes about sex and sexuality appear on screen, citing smarties like Sigmund Freud, Ayn Rand, and multiple feminist writers (alongside some rather inappropriate picks like Woody Allen and Hugh Hefner).
While super pretentious and criminally boring, it didn't raise any red flags for me halfway in. And then Mia Malkova ruined all my boners for the foreseeable future by saying these lines:
See, the thing is, this wasn't the first time I had come across that exact quote. I had actually read it in a column RGV wrote for Bollywood Hungama last year.
It was then that an awful realisation dawned on me: Even though it was Mia Malkova saying it, large chunks of the extremely graphic monologue were evidently written by Varma himself.
And by the time Malkova started talking about the things that turn her on in bed, my easily influenced brain could only picture Ramu saying the words that were being spoken on screen.
And, trust me, the image of RGV describing his love for analingus is NOT something you want in your head if you care at all about getting turned on again.
Ruined boners aside, it's hard to make sense of this endeavour. It's tedious as balls – more so considering its erotic premise – but its core message does deserve some applause, I guess.
Also, this isn't a topic RGV has just jumped into without precedent. Even in his 2017 short Meri Beti Sunny Leone Banna Chaahti Hai, he had argued that sex isn't something that a woman should be shamed for.
Here's the thing. Coming from *anyone* else, I would support this stance 100%. But when it's a filmmaker who's been accused of objectifying women telling the same women that they should embrace the objectification as a positive... Nah, fam. That's a no-go.
Now, RGV is actually a surprisingly self-aware guy. He's also a guy who will keep saying and doing increasingly more WTF things in the future, because that's just how he rolls.
I just hope and pray he doesn't ruin anything else I love after this.