The reality-inspired Bollywood cinema has moved beyond the standard biopics and historical incidents. New-age writers and filmmakers are finding inspiration in real incidents involving commoners, which inspire, impress and awe, and at times also make us proud as Indians.
It has become a trend to narrate stories about extraordinary incidents involving ordinary people. What began as a mainstream experiment with films, like “Madras Cafe”, “Airlift”, “Padman” or “Neerja”, is finding increasing favour of filmmakers with releases in the genre such as “Uri: The Surgical Strike” , “Article 15”, “Kesari” and “India’s Most Wanted”.
These films draw inspiration from the valour of commoners, who stood up to the occasion to do something that stands out, in a real-life situation.
Bollywood’s inclination for such real stories will be on display this Independence Day when “Batla House” and “Mission Mangal” will explore two different shades of realism in a bid to define what it means to be a patriot.
Nikkhil Advani’s “Batla House”, starring John Abraham, is inspired by the alleged encounter of 2008 in Delhi in the wake of the serial blasts. The film seeks to find answers to several questions about the operation, which remains a mystery.
“Mission Mangal” stars Akshay Kumar as a mission head with actresses Vidya Balan, Taapsee Pannu, Sonakshi Sinha, Kirti Kulhari and Nithya Menen playing the all-women team at ISRO who made India’s 2013 Mars Orbiter Mission possible.
Film historian SMM Ausaja considers it a “positive sign” for Bollywood.
“Cinema and art should always reflect the society. It’s a positive sign that more and more filmmakers are coming up with films based on reality. With the medium, like films and shows, new generation will get to know about the important events of the past,” he said.
Earlier this year, the Akshay Kumar-starrer “Kesari” fell back on history to discover an intriguing slice of commoners’ valour in the 1897 Battle of Saragarhi.
Actress Parineeti Chopra, who was a part of “Kesari”, says it’s important to depict such reality through cinema.
“While doing ‘Kesari’ I realised that there are so many people who have no idea about the bravery of 21 Sikhs who fought against 10,000 Afghans. There was so little information available about them online or in text books. After the film almost everyone knows about them. We should keep making reality-based films because cinema has the power to make people aware and educate them,” Parineeti told IANS.
Ayushmann Khurrana’s latest release “Article 15” is inspired by the 2014 Badaun gang-rape and murder. Although Ayushmann plays a fictitious cop, his character and certain fictional drama is used intelligently in the film to highlight the sordid societal reality of heartland India.
Over the past couple of years, directors have been attempting to portray reality through different types of movies. The common factor about these films is they are all stories seeped in everyday flavour, narrating inspiring stories of common man who triumph in unusual circumstances.
“No one Killed Jessica” , Airlift”, “Black Friday”, “Madras Cafe”, “Neerja”, “Talwar”, “The Attacks of 26/11” and “Shahid” are a few recent Hindi films in this category.
Filmmaker Raja Krishna Menon, who directed “Airlift”, said real life stories helped set up drama in films as very few other genres do.
“Filmmakers pick stories they feel are important. As a filmmaker I generally look at those real life stories, which will depict an incredible amount of bravery or features a person who has gone out of his/her way to accomplish the impossible,” he said. (IANS)