In the quest for novel characters and providing scope for adventure into the unknown, choosing characters having association with the media has been the favorite choice among the producers and directors of the yore, more so who belong to the younger generation. MISSION ISTANBUL also seems to be following in the same genre, as the protagonists are media professionals who are using their power deriving from the pen to venture into the realm of whatever unknown that one can think off. The romance associated with the profession of media is the guiding spirit, as it allows the creative liberty to go and shoot into any realm and any terrain.
In MISSION ISTANBUL the character of Suniel Shetty seems to be inspired from a real life success, Marruf Raza, who was an ex-Indian army major, and went on to become a Correspondent with one of the news channels specializing in the defense matters. It was with Marruf Raza that the defense related matters started being reported from the field of action in a big way. The similarity with character of Suniel Shetty is interesting, and is a tribute to the new era of television journalism initiated in India.
Characters from media have been having their debuts from time to time, but no character has been able to by-pass the effervescence that Johny Walker had brought into his role in NAYA DAUR, and he was the first reporter on the Indian screen probably who was reporting about action live from the field. Before that Guru Dutt had played the role of an illustrator in MR. AND MRS.55 highlighting with panache the happening on desk in a magazine. Interestingly it was in MASHAAL once again after a long time lead role was given to Dilip Kumar who was a crusader against the malice of the system.
Portrayals of media characters have had the picturisation in the form of caricatures, and Rajiv Rai had done it in TRIDEV where Shekhar Suman had played the role of a media person and in MOHRA where Raveena Tandon was the protagonist. As a matter of fact many female actors have got a new lease of life in their acting career, or started being taken seriously after they portrayed the role a person from media. Dimple Kapadia had done it with KRANTIVEER, Juhi Chawla in PHIR BHI DIL HAI HINDUSTANI, Konkona Sen Sharma in PAGE-3 and so on. Aamir Khan did the same in DIL HAI KI MANTA NAHIN, while Shah Rukh tried his hands about it in PHIR BHI DIL HAI HINDUSTANI.
The portrayal of media based characters has been transformed from being the hunted to being a crusader, and Preity Zinta was its embodiment in LAKSHAYA. With the role of media evolving in Hindi films a day is not far off when sting operations would be adapted as a story line with gusto.