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Tusshar Kapoor is on his way to becoming the king of adult comedies

While promoting his upcoming sex comedies, Tusshar Kapoor candidly said that he will never leave the genre if he can help it

Urvi Malvania 

Bollywood historians will remember January 2016 as the month that saw the release of two adult comedies: Kyaa Kool Hain Hum 3 and Mastizaade. If these films earn good money, which they should with their low production costs, there could be a deluge of such films in the future, marking the end of innocence for the Hindi film industry.

If YouTube hits are any indicator, audiences are sure to lap up these films: Kyaa Kool Hain Hum 3's trailer has been viewed over 17 million times, and that of Mastizaade has found over 13 million viewers. The comments that follow are ecstatic.

Besides innuendo in ample measure, the two films have one thing in common: Tusshar Kapoor in the lead role. The son of Shobha and Jitendra "Jumping Jack" Kapoor and the brother of soap opera queen Ekta Kapoor, Tusshar seems to have found a niche for himself after more than 15 years in filmdom and around 30 films.

Purists may flinch at his film selection but adult comedy seems to be a genre whose time has arrived, Pehlaj Nihalani, the Censor Board's sanskari chief, notwithstanding. And Tusshar, who turns 40 in November this year, is all set to become its undisputed king.

Tusshar's ride to his "calling" has been rather bumpy. He rolled in at the turn of the century, a year after two star kids - Hrithik Roshan and Abhishek Bachchan - made their debuts in 2000. While Roshan found instant fan following and success with Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai, Bachchan didn't quite make as big a mark with Refugee. Satish Kaushik's Mujhe Kucch Kehna Hai, a remake of Telugu super hit Tholi Prema which launched Tusshar (opposite Kareena Kapoor), was a surprise success.

But a series of misses - Kyaa Dil Ne Kahaa, Jeena Sirf Merre Liye, Yeh Dil and Shart, to name a few - followed that one hit. So much so, that sister Ekta had to step in. Her production house, Balaji Telefilms, rushed to his rescue. In the films Ekta produced, Tusshar was cast in the lead roles (Kyaa Kool Hain Hum, Kyaa Super Kool Hain Hum and C Kkompany). But nothing seemed to work. Tusshar, who worked with director David Dhawan as an assistant before making his acting debut, was clearly no Govinda who could carry a film on his shoulders.

Perhaps what he needed were films with an ensemble cast. So he tried those too - successful ones like Shootout at Lokhandwala, The Dirty Picture and Khakee. The films stood out. Tusshar didn't.

Tusshar had by now been in the industry for over a decade, but his acting skills were hardly the talk of the town. So much so that when Rohit Shetty had cast him in his mindless Golmaal series, where Tusshar was made to assay the role of a mute man who made ridiculous sounds to have himself heard, the audiences hadn't minded.

But along the way, he had already had a brush with adult comedy. That was with a home production, Kyaa Kool Hain Hum, in 2005, says an industry veteran who does not wish to be named. Sitting somewhere between family movies and adult cinema, this was a genre whose potential film makers hadn't quite explored.

"There is a huge appetite for such films," says a Bollywood analyst. Besides, being low investment ventures, the breakeven point for such films is much lower, he adds. "Take the example of Grand Masti, which released in 2014. It made Rs 100 crore at the box office (the film was made on a budget of Rs 35 crore)."

While many might not find these films palatable, the reality is that they end up making quite a lot of money. "No one can debate the business sense behind these movies. The content, on the other hand, can be debatable," says the analyst.

If feel adult comedies do not qualify as good cinema, Tusshar doesn't appear to be perturbed. While promoting both his upcoming films recently, when he was asked whether he would like to try other genres, the actor candidly replied, "Why will I move out of it if it is working for me?" Being typecast, he said, is also a form of acceptance.

Tusshar has company in Aftab Shivdasani, another actor who has found his niche in adult comedies. Shivdasani started the journey around the same time as Tusshar with Masti in 2004. He has since starred in movies like Grand Masti and is the co-lead in Kyaa Kool Hain Hum 3, which has been promoted as India's first "porn-com". Another actor who at one point of time seemed to be heading in the same direction as these two is Ritiesh Deshmukh, Shivdasani's co-star in Masti and Grand Masti. Deshmukh, now married and with a child, said he won't be doing any more adult comedies. The genre is evidently for Tusshar to rule.

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First Published: Sat, January 23 2016. 00:22 IST
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