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Rajkumar Santoshi: The director with social conscience
Enkayaar, Bollywood Trade News Network
If there is one director who has consciously and regularly through his films tried to raise issues against the system and posed quite uncomfortable questions about the way it functions Raj Kumar Santoshi's name would be among the frontrunners. His latest offering HALLA BOL follows in the same illustrious category as it has tried to raise the issue of the inefficiency of the system to resolve the issues of public interest, which forces the common man to rise in revolt. The difference in HALLA BOL lies in the fact that here the choice of the medium to vent out the anger is the youth of the country. For Ajay Devgan, it seems that he has just taken-off from were he had left the issue in YUVA.
Right from the beginning of his career, starting with GHAYAL, followed by DAMINI, GHATAK, KHAKEE, etc., Raj Kumar Santoshi has every time picked up a contextual issue and has left such a forceful impact that his films are considered a milestone in the history of Indian cinema. The films are contextual, and they have evolved over a course of time from being melodramatic in the initial stages to make the impact to underplaying the melodrama. The phenomenally successful career that Sunny Deol made for himself and the role of the saviour of the last resort that he has come to be identified owes much to the films of Raj Kumar Santoshi.
The associations that Raj Kumar Santoshi had with Sunny Deol and the association that he had with Ajay Devgan are a study in contrast. In the case of Sunny Deol, the impact had a huge element of melodrama while with Ajay Devgan it was the restrained approach to the subject. Association of Ajay Devgan with Raj Kumar Santoshi brought into the public realm the fact that Ajay Devgan is one of the finest actors who excels in delivering a negative role with a rare sense of panache.
It would also be after a long time that Pankaj Kapoor would be seen in a mainstream commercial cinema in a powerful role. In fact last time Pankaj Kapoor was seen in such a powerful appearance was in DUS. For this Raj Kumar Santoshi has to be thanked as he has this knack of picking up an actor who is out of horizon and catapulting him on to the centre stage. It had happened with Amrish Puri in GHAYAL, with Kulbhushan Kharbanda in DAMINI as also with Danny in GHATAK.
2008 has begun on a nice note with HALLA BOL as it did with GURU in 2007, and it would be interesting to watch more films of these kinds as the year unfolds.