After a long-long time a common man in the form of Nikhil Dwivedi without any star system to support him, is making a debut with MY NAME IS ANTHONY GONSALVES. The duration is long as there have been debuts during the last year by various common persons but the scale of debuts have been small, and as such they have not been able to hit the marquee because the roles enacted by most of them have not been that of a commoner but a man from the affluent family, therefore the chord is not struck with the audience.
Last film that had tried to address the issues of the common man was TRAFFIC SIGNAL of Madhur Bhandarkar and it was able to strike a chord as it brought into relief the problems that are associated with the common man in his struggle to eke out his survival on a daily basis. The common man as he is portrayed in the Hindi films has to have an element of taporipan and a sense of chutzpah to give a kick in the butt to the system. Shah Rukh Khan had given it his own interpretation in a convincing manner in RAM JAANE but as it went against the romantic image of Shah Rukh Khan it did not receive the same response with all the audience, but it was a major hit with the front bench crowd. In a different context, in RAJU BAN GAYA GENTLEMAN where Shah Rukh Khan played a sophisticated common man he got a rapport with the audience.
It always has been a dilemma for an actor whether to bring in a streak of taporipan to strike a chord with the audience. Till the time the multiplexes evolved, it was never a risk, but the advent of multiplexes has changed the preference of audience. It would be a difficult proposition for even an Anil Kapoor to enact the role of a Munna of TEZAAB in the present times, or that of another Munna in YUDDH who gave to the Hindi lexicon the word, Jhakaas'. Even for that matter it was Jackie Shroff who added a new lexicon to the language of the street on the pan India basis, Bhidu, which before him never was found spoken outside Mumbai, but now has a pan-India presence.
The success of a street character has more to do with the choice of a word which identifies the character. Be it Jhakaas, Bhidu or Aila which Aamir Khan came up with in RANGEELA as the novelty is what strikes the chord. Or for that matter Mamu which is now the pan-India word to connote being fooled, but before the advent of MUNNA BHAI it was rarely heard. But now if one were to travel to any part of the country Mamu is a new lexicon for all the youth of the country.
The moot point is that the common man identifies with a common man of the screen if he introduces something new in his lexicon in the character that he etches on the screen, and if Nikhil Dwivedi is able to do that for MY NAME OF ANTHONY GONSALVES, then he would succeed. After all the earlier avatar of Anthony Gonsalves in AMAR AKBAR ANTHONY became a raging hit only owing to the language of street that he brought to the screen.