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Ganesh Utsav And Hindi Films

Enkayaar, Bollywood Trade News Network
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Cultural landscapes of a city having a historicity of about fifty years or so, find prominent references in the most popular medium of entertainment aka cinema all over the world. Therefore, the annual parade of New York, the Samba of Brazil, the gondolas of Venice, the boulevards of Paris find reflection in one form or the other in nearly all the cinemas that are made by the filmmakers of these countries, apart from the landscapes also getting prominent references in international films shot on these venues. However, the same is not to be found about the Ganesh Utsav, which has evolved into such a big event over the course of years, after being introduced by Bal Gangadhar Tilak in 1920s in a gully in Chowpati, at Mumbai.

The backdrop of Ganesh Utsav wherever it has made its presence has been a towering one. The first copious reference to Ganesh Utsav, which is made in detail and it forming a backdrop of the climax, was in Jeetendra Sanjeev Kumar starrer TAKKAR of early eighties. In this film the idols of Lord Ganesh were being used for smuggling of contrabands, and this could probably have been the reason that it may not have been repeated for quite a long time. Then in HUM PAANCH, Mithun Chakraborty and Amjad Khan starrer, the Ganesh Utsav was celebrated in a big way, and the song, ‘Deva ho Deva’ still is played in all the Ganesh Utsavs since then with a prominence.

The real depiction of the Ganesh Utsav’s narrating in detail the politics of the mandals was caught in its real finesse by N Chandra in his ANKUSH, which gave to the Hindi cinema a new rebel star representing the angst of the youth of the street, Nana Patekar. This should be considered as the real film for Nana, because in his earlier film and the debut film, AAJ KEE AAWAZ he had played the role of a villain. The way the whole film was built up, it could be considered as the brand vehicle of the Ganesh Utsav, which was able to create awareness about the mandals, and the association of the youth of Mumbai predominantly with these Mandals.

Then it was left to the master craftsman Mukul Anand to reestablish the importance of Ganesh Utsav through AGNIPATH. The picturisation was novel as the immersion or the visarjan of Lord Ganesh was used as the violent background to trigger the return of Amitabh Bachchan to his village, a sort of enlightenment by the Lord of knowledge Lord Ganesh. This was for the first time that the magnificence of the immersion was juxtaposed against the unfolding violence.

If an Amitabh Bachchan had done it, then how could it be that a Shahrukh Khan would not do it, and fortuitously he was presented with this opportunity in the remake of the AB hit film, DON and Shahrukh could bring into relief his own interesting interpretation of the whole festive ambience.

But so far only the surface has been scraped by the film industry of this spectacle, which has its own particular adaptation and version of own areas. It is always easy to use the backdrop of the mandals to depict violence, but the real challenge for the film makers could be to develop a romance around the Ganesh Utsav and this could be traced from one festival to the next year. There is never a staid moment during this festivity and the film industry ought to adapt this unique spectacle and to tell the world that India also does not lag behind in having unique cultural edifices as a part of social landscapes, which transform the physical landscapes as well, during the ten days that this festival is celebrated.

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