Bollywood family entertainers, romantic dramas and movies have always been the centre of attention since the very beginning . But at the same time, it has always had a fondness for underworld-themed movies. The films like Company D, the Gangs Of Wasseypur series, Black Friday, Satya, Vaastav and the Shootout series among many other films have proved to be golden geese at the box office. After giving big hits to the cinema, these bad guys have again entered the fray in the form of the much anticipated block buster — Raees (based on the life of criminal Abdul Latif). Coffee with D (a spoof on the D Company), Daddy (based on Arun Gawli) and a Haseena Parkar biopic are some of the films that would probably be the movies this to watch out for this year. So why does Bollywood choose to go for dark alleys instead of the foreseeable threats?
Director Vivek Agnihotri draws attention to the captivation towards these “larger than life” characters usually makes a powerful case to be represented on celluloid. He supports it by saying, “Everybody wants to know how the life of Dawood Ibrahim looks like because the cops are after him. This curiosity is what amuses everyone. There’s also an enthrallment with guns, crime and law breaking involved — these make for awesome subject matter. It is not hard to see why these criminal movies work so well.”
Bollywood film directors seem to skate on thin ice by making such gangster movies. Whole lot dangers are involved in making dark films for instance, Coffee with D. reports unveil that filmmakers received instructions to edit the film so as to not put spotlight on the kingpin D. It was really a dicey situation. Director Karan Anshuman persuades the industry not to crumble upon hearing such empty threats. “There are of course certain risks you take when you are making films based on the underworld and there will be warnings from all quarters. I don’t think that filmmakers should give in due to such threats. They should make films the way they desire them to be. Now especially, since narrow minded thought is getting its way in the mainstream media, what with severe censorship of films and inflexible criticism of anything that goes against the norm, the fancy for these films is also coming back.”
SRK’s RAEES: Based on the life of criminal Abdul Latif.
The burning question that is raised about these films is “Do filmmakers finish up humanizing or glamorizing the bad elements of a society? Actress Tisca Chopra strongly believes they’re walking a fine line here. She says, “Filmmakers understands that just because he is a criminal, it doesn’t mean at all that he has no humaneness in him. It’s very fascinating to see the psychological underpinning of a character who is undertaking things which are of criminal nature.”
Priyanshu Chaterjee, who will play a significant role in a film based on the banishment of gangster Abu Salem, nevertheless believes that the audience isn’t childish and naive as one may believe them to be. He says, “Audiences watch these movies only for fun — they are not going there for any life changing lessons. The general audience is far too mature.”
Anurag Kashyap, director of the Gangs Of Wasseypur series agrees with Priyanshu. “When violence is real, you withdraw with it. Violence does not insist people to imitate that. Usually, we avoid the violence that makes us wince, because it annoys us. And what irritates us will not make us imitate that,” he says.