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Biopics in Bollywood - resurrection of an acting career through common man saga



August 25, 2015 5:53:39 PM IST
By Nalin Rai, Glamsham Editorial
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The template of biopic focusing on the unknown protagonist and giving it a cinematic representation has become quite a successful pattern. MANJHI-THE MOUNTAIN MAN is a creditable addition to this saga. What gives credence to the cinematic story of this unknown protagonist is that it is a story of survival against all odds, and as it is the story of a common man the main stream stars have rarely been found to enact the role, but an actor just waits for this opportunity to stamp his or her authority of performance through the enactment as it is now happening with Nawazuddin Siddiqui. Nawazuddin has had a sweet run in his acting career over the last two years, but the sweet run was in the form of a character actors whose presence on the screen was for a limited time frame for example in BAJRANGI BHAIJAAN or KICK, but MANJHI- THE MOUNTAIN MAN gives him an opportunity to unleash his power of performance and acting oeuvre with full might on the silver screen.

MANJHI-THE MOUNTAIN MAN, MARY KOM, NEERJA BHANOT AND PAAN SINGH TOMAR
MANJHI-THE MOUNTAIN MAN, MARY KOM, NEERJA BHANOT AND PAAN SINGH TOMAR

He has been quite successful at that as well and post MANJHI-THE MOUNTAIN MAN one only hopes that Nawazuddin Siddiqui would go on to scale new frontiers in the arena of acting as it has been done by his peer Irrfan Khan.

It was Shekhar Kapur who in the recent times had successfully experimented with the genre of biopic with his BANDIT QUEEN which stir the conscience of the nation though it was a negative character, in the sense that it was based on the life story of a dacoit but what had captivated the imagination of the nation was that THE BANDIT QUEEN was able to shred the romanticism associated with character of dacoits as it tore away the veneer to reveal the underbelly of social stigmas which force an individual to choose ravines. Tigmanshu Dhulia had taken this template of dacoits to new heights with his biopic PAAN SINGH TOMAR and after enacting the role Irrfan Khan never looked back.

The narrative of biopic in the history of Indian cinema began with RAJA HARISHCHANDRA the first biopic which sort of provided basic guidelines for biopic of the future- should be loaded with emotions, should be backed by amazing dialogues and should have a large canvas.

Biopic as a template in most of the cases have picked up the male protagonists as a subject for cinematic representation, but the phenomenal success of MARY KOM has underlined the fact that this template also has a potential for bringing in more stories to light. It indeed would be interesting to watch out and see whether the biopic based on the life of Neerja Bhanot titled NEERJA BHANOT- the life story of flight attendant of Pan Am who was shot dead by terrorists – would catch the imagination of the audience or not.

From the present trend, one can say with conviction that NEERJA BHANOT also would strike a bulls' eye at the box office as the small movies for small man have found moorings in the small screen theatres where the films are displayed these days.

The biopic is celebration of a resurgent India an India that believes in the attitude of- never say die- and a toast indeed be raised to it and one only hopes that more directors would come forward and tell the story of such common persons in the most uncommon manner and enthrall the audience.

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