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Friendship Day: The Present Context

Enkayaar, Bollywood Trade News Network
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View  Rang De Basanti Movie StillsWhile friendship Day when it comes is celebrated with a great fanfare all over the country, the celebration of friendship through the celluloid expression has evolved into a dimension that is seeped into the modern context and realities. If one were to juxtapose RANG DE BASANTI on the one hand, which is an expression of friendship with that of DOSTI of the old times, it would be found that the filmmakers have tapped the latent potential of this social relationship to drive home the point that they want to emphasize.

The first real film, which emphasized the value of friendship, was DOSTI, which was an ode to friendship transcending the barriers of physical incapacitations. An underlying theme of friendship based films was the sacrifice, which a friend used to give for the other friend when both of them fell in love for the same girl. It all started in a big way with SANGAM, before making its presence felt in NAYA DAUR and other such films, but SANGAM was the landmark film of this genre. This concept went on to being further dwelt upon in AARZOO.

The advent of Amitabh Bachchan gave an action-oriented dimension to the concept of friendship and its first successful symphony found echo with SHOLAY and the epiphany was DOSTANA, with intermediate growth tentacles in the form of SUHAAG, COOLIE etc. In this phase a dimension was added to the concept of friendship where the friends during the course of films found out subsequently that they were in fact brothers, thereby underlining the point in a very subtle manner that two brothers can be good friends. The celebrated example of this kind included AMAR AKBAR ANTHONY, SUHAAG etc. During the time of AB the sacrificial kind of friendship variety also found expression through MUQUADDAR KA SIKANDER, which was a super hit movie, and as a result even new actors like Deepak Parashar and Raj Babbar used this genre to make their mark through NIKAAH. The friendship-based films were also the barometers for the friendship between the actors in the real life as well and when there was a fall out in friendship, through the films as well the fall out found expression. Therefore, NASEEB was a film which was the last time when AB and Shatrughan Sinha appeared as a friend as they had started falling out in real life and probably for this reason though they acted together in SHAAN they never were friends in the film.

When Sunny Deol made his debut, he gave a new definition to friendship, and its numbers increased to a group who were joined together in a cause fighting for their rights against the system, as it found profound expression through ARJUN, GHATAK, and GHAYAL etc. This phase was a defining phase as it was a social indicator that the binding element had undergone change from being a woman to now the fight against the system. This has been, from then on, been the basic edifice on which the friendship theme has evolved and it continues to prosper. This phase is characterized by the friendship, which revolves around one central character and others feeding on to him, or complimenting him in his objectives.

This trend has been extended to the genre of comedy films as well, where there is the main hero and has a friend who is rarely as famous in stature as the hero. The paternalistic approach to friendship is now the characteristic, which defines the friendship, and probably owing to this innate string of paternalism that one does not tend to hear songs celebrating friendship, as it was there just a few years ago. Not for this era, a song extolling the virtue of friendship therefore it is difficult to find any hit from this era, which can be hummed when one wishes to pay an ode to friendship. It is also a barometer to the way the social relationships are defined these days, guided by the needs and not conducted by ideologies.

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