‘Gandu’: The movie banned for a sex scene is now on Netflix
(Credits: Netflix)

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'Gandu': The movie banned for a sex scene is now on Netflix

A controversial Indian arthouse film has landed on Netflix despite previously being banned for explicit content. Gandu was met with major backlash upon its 2010 release but is now available to stream.

The film follows a reckless musician who steals from his mum’s lover before going off on a drug-fuelled rampage with a rapper. Already the content and topic of drug use would push the age rating of the film up, but it’s the intense nudity that made it so controversial. 

While described as an ‘abstract film’, shot in black and white with a clear art house vision and cinematic streak, it took two years for Gandu to be allowed to premiere in India. When it finally did in 2012, audiences reportedly walked out due to the sex scenes.

When showing scenes between Gandu’s mother and her lover, there is full-frontal nudity and reportedly unsimulated sex, blurring the lines between cinema and pornography. This is incredibly rare in cinema and is usually only attempted by directors looking to really push the limits. Nowadays, sex scenes in TV and film are heavily choreographed, usually with an intimacy coach present to ensure everyone involved is safe and comfortable with what they’re doing. 

Director Qaushiq Mukherjee fought for the film’s release for several years. Despite being blocked in India for several years, the film was generally met with major critical acclaim. It picked up the Jury Award for Best Film at the South Asian International Film Festival before its general release.

Since then, it has gained largely favourable reviews. It has a 68% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes with one critic complimenting the film’s rebellious spirit as they wrote, “It is hard not to be excited by this fiercely idiosyncratic approach to protest filmmaking and Gandu gleefully tramples all expectations of Indian culture.”

However, some viewers warn that this film isn’t for everyone due to the explicit content. But as it’s shot with a cinematic flair, it’s a unique and interesting approach. As one reviewer writes, “The masturbation scene and the oral sex scene are shot quite artistically and fit with the tone of the movie; there’s nothing pornographic about them.”

Now, Gandu will be available to stream on Netflix with a strict age rating of 18 and over.