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Bollywood: Heroes or Villains

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Still from Kidnap
Winds of change are blowing, lashing against conventional Hindi cinema, our very own Bollywood. Not sounding too violent or shocking the audience out of their wits, the intended move is to capture the ebb and flow of the times. Be it so with Imran Khan the heartthrob of the nation having shot to fame with his debut venture Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na, very much following his uncle and mentor Aamir Khan's footsteps to stardom till he took a U-turn and picked up Kidnap from those which had fallen into his kitty. What makes him stand apart with Kidnap is the negative hue he has chosen and the baddie image he has opted for. We wonder why the hoopla when King Khan himself had done negatives role in his struggling days with Baazigar, Anjaam and Darr and fought his way to the echelons of success? Well on close scrutiny, the difference is perceptible.

The heart of the matter lies that Shahrukh had done a host of goody roles in movies like Raju ban Gaya Gentleman, Dil Aashna Hai and others till he landed upon Baazigar. He essayed villany to perfection in Baazigar, Darr and Anjaam and went onto pick up romantic movies Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and so forth. The evident difference lies that Imran has been bold enough to do not just a meaty negative role but one tinged with seductiveness and brazen looks right in his second movie even before having fastened his place secure and tight in the hearts of the audience completely. Even before having culled out an out and out romantic hero image akin to his uncle, he opted to swim against the tide. That Imran Khan has made a decision as bold as this reflects the new generation of artists who wish to be known as character artists and not mere stars per se by escaping the fetters of stereotyping. Neil Nithin Mukesh in Johnny Gaddaar has also aptly sensed the pulse of the hour.

Surpassing all nitty-gritty affairs while Imran has no qualms in accepting his fears surrounding the success of Kidnap and the audiences' response, he foresees a future for hindi cinema backed by the burgeoning multiplexes. Rising upto the challenge and carving a niche for themselves while deeply rooted within the genre is commendable indeed. It cannot be surmised that his predecessors have done that too with Akshay kumar in Ajnabee, Saif Ali Khan in Omkara and Being Cyrus and so forth. But with youngsters like Imran and Neil willingly braving themselves for the storm without anything to stake claim to is worth the applause.

The new age Hindi movies and these artists are defined by a newly-fangled repertoire that no longer finds them seeking refuge in the cliched or rather the tried-and-tested formulas of yesteryears but something innovative, experimental and worth the effort they put in. So too when we talk about the heroes, the heroines are by no far left behind. Imran minces no words in praising his co-star Minissha Lamba for her brazing upfront attitude in Kidnap.

Hindi cinema is undergoing a revolutionary change and the industry and the artists are all geared for it. Its no longer the chocolate hero image that strikes you, but one with shades of grey, oodles of courage and with nerve to stand up for their villainy. However it needs to be seen whether our innocent or not-so-innocent audience as we may take the privilege to say in these turbulent modern times are ready for it ?

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