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January 7, 2010 5:30:14 PM IST
Enkayaar, Bollywood Trade News Network
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Continuing with our feature decade in analysis, today's column would like to throw some light on how the conventional villain has gone out of vogue from the world of Hindi cinema during the last decade.

Bad Man or the Villain goes out of vogue from Hindi cinema during the last decade

But for an Arjun Rampal in OM SHANTI OM now the villain as a specialist category of actor slowly but surely went out of vogue during the last decade. The mainstream actors ready to don the mantle of the villain in Hindi cinema replaced him. Sunil Shetty was another actor who had flirted with this genre earlier in MAIN HOON NA. In the same manner a Naseeruddin Shah returned to play the role of villain once again in KRRISH after he had experimented with this genre in MOHRA.

As now it was the mainstream actors who were playing the role of villains as well, the punch line dialogues and the mannerisms that defined a villain of Hindi cinema also went out of vogue to be replaced by villains who were image conscious and were more victim of circumstances than being villain per se by choice. Another characteristic of this trend was that the mainstream actors did not continue to play the role of villain in consecutive films, but limited their experiment to one or two films. May be they did not want to be bracketed under the category of villain but wanted to experiment with this genre. Shah Rukh Khan initiated the trend of the mainstream actors playing the role of villains in the previous decade, and he returned with panache to claim his mantle.

During the last decade it is the circumstances, which have emerged as villain rather than the machinations of Individuals. After all, every individual has streaks of black and white in his persona and this is what was being underlined through the evolution of villains in the world of Hindi cinema. The same was highlighted in a big way in Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's AKS, which brought out in distinct relief the existence of good, and bad in an individual.

This evolution was in sync with the trend at the international levels where the actors do not slot themselves as heroes but give precedence to the characters that they get an opportunity to play. John Travolta is one of the celebrated examples at the international levels followed by George Clooney. No wonder, Imran Khan after the phenomenal success of JAANE TU YA JAANE NA went on to play the role of a villain in KIDNAP. Just a decade ago, no film star would have been agreeable to play the role of villain at all, as nobody had the courage to play a negative character (except for Shahrukh Khan, who achieved stardom by playing a negative character in the film BAAZIGAR). The time warp of image used to hang over the head of the mainstream actors like a proverbial bubble, which nobody was inclined to break out off.

May be, the emergence of new breed of actors, as also producers and directors facilitated this paradigm shift in the world of Hindi cinema where characters started being given prominence rather than the star value and indeed from this perspective the decade of 200-2009 can be considered as a decade of monumental achievement.

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