Over the last six months,the Hindi film industry has done it differently
Its been an eventful six months at the movies. The first half of the year has thrown up neat little surprises like Kahaani,Paan Singh Tomar,Vicky Donor,Ishaqzaade,Shanghai and Gangs of Wasseypur. The additions to the 100 crore club have come in the form of Agneepath,Housefull 2 and Rowdy Rathore. Its the best time to take stock of all the trends and life lessons Bollywood films have thrown our way.
The angry young crusader: Once there was Amitabh Bachchan in his angry young man avatar. Now,it is the time for the angry young crusader to come to the fore,challenge the system,fight against it and eventually win. He could be the honest cop of last years mega hit Singham or Shanghais honest IAS officer Krishnan. If you have a cause,Bollywood will find a crusader for it.
Baap ka badla is back: Vijay Dinanath Chauhan wanted to get back Mandwa and clear his fathers name in Agneepath. Sardar Khan went bald to avenge his fathers death in Gangs of Wasseypur. While Hrithik Roshan died fighting for his fathers cause in Karan Johars film,at least he had the satisfaction of bumping off Kancha. Manoj Bajpais Sardar couldnt kill his nemesis Ramadhir Singh but his death sets up the badla bandwagon for his son Faisal in Wasseypur Part 2.
The bleeps are dead: Unlock the parental controls. D.K. Bose and his daddy are so last year. In Gangs of Wasseypur,characters refer to mothers and sisters and their private parts as if to punctuate their dialogues. Characters in our movies finally talk the way they want to,as opposed to how they ought to.
Aviators,the new cupid in town: We need to dig deeper into the obvious fascination that the Kashyap Brothers have with Ray Ban aviators. In Abhinavs Dabangg,Chulbul Pandey wore his weapon of choice on the back of his shirt so that he could see in front as well as behind his back. The aviators also came in handy when Chulbul wanted to express his love for Rajjo. In Anurags Gangs of Wasseypur,its love across aviators for Faisal and Mohsina. Come on guys,fess up,whats the family connection with the aviators?
Bollywood referencing comes of age: While Farah Khan excels in spoofing the Bollywood genre in her films; Anurag Kashyap turned it into an art form. Wasseypur is illuminated with filmi references be it the reference to Trishul and how intimately it fits the story of Faisals character,the Deewar dialogue dollop of Main aaj bhi phenke huye paise nahin uthata (I still dont accept charity),the Mithun Chakraborty lookalike dancing,the jail song and the Yashpal Sharma cameo as the man singing Salaam-e-Ishq Meri Jaan in falsetto at a wedding. Brilliant.
Inspired choices: Our filmmakers love for the classics was on full display. Rabindranath Tagores Ekla Chalo Re anchored Sujoy Ghoshs Kahaani. Anurag Kashyap paints his latest film with the brush strokes of Francis Ford Coppolas Godfather. Shakespeares Romeo & Juliet heavily inspired Habib Faisals Ishaqzaade Parma and Zoya.
Sex is out there: The success of Vicky Donor proved that even a comedy about sperm donation,if handled deftly,could work with the family audience. The bedroom politics of Gangs of Wasseypur is crucial to the narrative. Sex is no longer confined to between the sheets under dim lights.
Lets get serious: Honour killings,coal mafia,side effects of rapid and unplanned development,terrorism mainstream Bollywood showed its willingness to get into territories hitherto uncharted. Its all about making a point. Take for instance the scene in Gangs of Wasseypur where a Hindu housewife hunts around for cheeni-mitti ke bartan to serve food to a Muslim character.
Hail the women: Its been a good season for women in film. On screen weve been treated to some rollicking women characters,from Vickys Beeji and Mummy,Kahaanis Vidya Bagchi and,of course,the fiery ladies of Wasseypur,Nagma,Durga and Mohsina. Women proved to be trailblazers behind the scenes too. Musician Sneha Khanwalkar is the real star of Gangs of Wasseypur. Writers Juhi Chaturvedi (Vicky Donor),Urmi Juvekar (Shanghai),Ila Bedi (Agneepath) brought a fresh perspective to stories.
Small-town India is a state of mind: Hindi cool is the new cool. Heartland India was never so sexy. Its a world where gangsters roam around in underwear and where washing clothes near a handpump is foreplay. Whether its the landscape of the fictional Almore,Wasseypur or Shanghais unnamed Indian city,the message from our filmmakers is clear: if we dont tell our stories,who will? No wonder gamcha is the new muffler.