Parshathy J. Nath does a recap of videos that went viral this year and left you with a thought

A smiling Kalki Koechlin and Juhi Pande, with black eyes and red slashes across their faces, reassured us that women are responsible for rape in It’s Your Fault. Beauty of Red, an animation video spoke of how red turned from colour of innocence into a hue of shame. 2013 showed us that public service messages don’t have to be dull. They used creativity, humour, music and skilled film making to shock, appeal and be informative at the same time.

It’s Your Fault, a three-and-a-half minute video created by Rohan Joshi, Tanmay Bhat, Gursimran Khamba and Ashish Shakya of comedy collective All India Bakchod (AIB), became a rage online. The two-and-a-half minute Beauty of Red was hosted on by Menstrupedia.com and was shot by mypromovideos, an animation group based out of Coimbatore. It spoke of the taboos over menstruation.

World over, many social message videos went viral. Dumb Ways To Die by Metro Trains Melbourne, used dark humour to warn people against being reckless in railway stations. The video had cute blobs that took the dumbest decisions and died. It garnered over 50 million YouTube views in a week.

Everyone loves pretty air hostesses and dashing flight stewards, but not their boring instructions. What if they all broke into a dance and sang all that to you? Safety Dance, made by Virgin America had air hostesses and hosts jive to a lively rhythm, urging passengers to buckle the belts, switch off their cell phones and read the safety manual before taking off!

Among message-driven films, Werner Herzog’s From One Second To The Next, takes the cake. The video, which garnered over a million views in one week, begins with the shot of a hand reaching out, and a sister saying: “I had my brother in my hand and, all of a sudden, my hand was empty”. Talking about the danger of texting while driving, the documentary recorded first-person accounts of those who caused accidents. Master filmmaker Herzog blends dream and reality so beautifully, you can’t hold back tears.

Even after the furore over the Delhi gang rape case, violence against women continues unabated. Anurag Kashyap’s That Day After Every Day was an inspiring, hopeful short that spoke about gender harassment, not just in dark gallis, but even within the four walls of houses. The 22-minute film saw three women bite, thrash and kick a bunch of hooligans who try to molest them. A few raised eyebrows saying the film placed the onus of rape back on women. However, the criticism only fuelled the popularity of the film. More importantly, the film showed how small film makers could utilise social media to break free of the clutches of distributors and producers.

But, Bollywood’s badshahs continue to push their films into 100- and 200-crore clubs, through sheer hype. This year comes to an end with AIB’s rightful plea to ‘Grumpy ol Bollywood’. A tongue-in-cheek response to YashRaj Film’s rejection of their spoof on Dhoom 3, the video that went viral is loaded with sharp sarcasm. Groove with them as the high school boy band lookalikes hum: ‘Paisa Papapapa Paisa…Bollywood Tum Paisa Leke Udao’ and end this year with a smile and prayer that 2014 will gift us better films.