Samantha Akkineni’s ‘Oo Antava…’ item makes a bunch of Andhra men cry foul

A group of men in Andhra Pradesh has called for a ban on the ‘Oo Antava..’ song performed by Samantha in the Allu Arjun film, ‘Pushpa – The Rise’

North, south, east, or west, audiences of popular cinema want all that would entertain them through the three full hours they sit in a dark room watching their favourite actors play in gay abandon for them on the silver screen in front of them. And makers of popular blockbusters have always made sure the masala elements are in place every time a film is released.

That’s exactly what the makers of the Allu Arjun-starrer ‘Pushpa – The Rise’ also must have imagined when they set out on making a film with the reigning superstars of Telugu filmdom.

Among the many elements they threw in was a hot dance number, performed by none other than the cute and lovely Samantha.

Samantha item number creates a flutter

The dance number, also called ‘item’ in cinema parlance, took the whole of South India by storm when it was released a day ago. The ‘item’ number performed to perfection by Samantha Akkineni garnered 22 million views and more than one million likes in no time. Such was the manner in which the item number was received by fans out there.

But then, the song that goes “..Oo Antava…” has offended a certain group of men in Andhra Pradesh. According to these men who have found the lyrics and visuals of the song offending, the song allegedly portrays men as a lustful, perverted lot.

And so, they want the song to be banned. They have dragged the issue to court too, demanding an immediate ban on the song. The court hasn’t decided as yet.

Voluptuous moves and lust-laden lines aren’t new in Indian cinema. Women who degrade themselves into mere sex dolls, and men who act in the most perverted manner on screen are not rare. Bollywood and Tollywood have had tons of such sequences and they have all been lapped up by the audiences, who keep asking for more. Further still, these item sequences performed by scantily clad men and women crooning sexy or vulgar lines prove as catalysts to most of the films’ successes too.

Oo Antava..Oo Oo Antava (Telugu) Lyrical Song

Item numbers act as catalysts for a film’s success

While Bollywood has had its share of “Munni badnaam hui”, “Shiela ki jawaani” et al, the Telugu and Tamil film scene have their own sexy numbers like “Pakka localu” and more that border on voyeurism, lust and vulgarity. These numbers are much sought after too, by the male audiences as they rush to buy tickets for the first day first shows, helping the box office numbers tingle a lot.

Directed by Sukumar, ‘Pushpa – The Rise’ will release in theatres on December 17. The film is being sought after not just in Telugu terrain but also by the Malayalam audiences – and that is owing to the presence of Kerala’s much-loved actor Fahadh Fasil’s presence as antagonist in the movie. Malayalee audiences anticipate a showdown between bigwigs Allu Arjun and Fahadh Faasil on screen, and look forward to that.

However, the “Oo Antava…” seems to be in trouble in Andhra Pradesh. Samantha Akkineni’s dance number for the Allu Arjun – Rashmika Mandanna starrer ‘Pushpa: The Rise’ could but help the film rise on BO charts. The controversy and the suit filed against the song will only help in its further success. And that also doesn’t mean that film makers will desist from making such item numbers in future. There are more to come for sure.

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Sanjeev Ramachandran

A journalist with 23 years of experience, Sanjeev has worked with reputed media houses such as Business Standard, The Ne More »
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