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Middle class from the lens of Ram Gopal Verma

Enkayaar, Bollywood Trade News Network
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RAM GOPAL VERMABefore the advent of Ram Gopal Verma on the Hindi film scene the portrayal of the middle class had more an element of sugar and lesser sting arising out of the day-to-day struggle that they had to endure. So to say, an element of romance was still embedded on to it, but after Ram Gopal Verma emerged, the sugar or the element of romanticism associated with the day-to-day realities was gone, and it was replaced by the burning desire to prove oneself against all odds.

He could read the pulse of the times, and in tune with the changes that were being injected into the nerves of the society, he gave a new interpretation to the dilemmas associated with the middle class. Ram Gopal Verma's middle class was basically that which was either depressed, so he belonged to a lower middle class category or representing the category of students who could not find a job for themselves in the market as they could not afford the convent education or were not that brilliant to be among the toppers. This refrain continued to operate as a sub-text after it made its debut in SHIVA. Here was a film where the angst of the student found its expression in the form of a tirade against the society, the operative part being that in the end law prevails and the rule of law comes into operation. So, though it was a glorification of the struggle of the middle class, the unethical manner of it was exposed by the time the film came to an end, and SATYA was its biggest manifestation.

SATYA is considered as a landmark as here was a film, which probed the psyche of thin, dividing line between stepping into the world of crime, and the despair in being on the right side of the law. His interpretations of the middle class have become the part of folklore as far as Hindi cinema is concerned, and it was his perseverance that he could go ahead and make a film like COMPANY. It brought into stark relief the operation of syndicates of Mumbai and the tentacles that it has been able to spread going up to Nairobi. Even when he was shooting in Bangkok or in Nairobi or Dubai he never picturised the glamorous quotient of these cities but went into the seamier and the real side of it.

One more interesting aspect of the films of Ram Gopal Verma when he situates is story in a middle class background is that he does not rely on one breed or region to be a representative character in his films, but his films truly represent the polyglot status of the Indian society. So he would have a Bengali, a Muslim, and a Tamilian all in one basket fighting it out together. It was only his prowess that he could make a successful villain out of Raghuvaran and the intensity of Raghuvaran that Ram Gopal Verma could project in SHIVA was not repeated again, and that was why probably he went back to his South Indian films. Be it SARKAR or SARKAR RAJ the polyglot nature of Ram Gopal Verma's films continues to amuse and amaze.

He has been consistent in his agenda of addressing issues that continue to vex the middle class in a day-to-day struggle, and as the society expands, problems compound and Ramu gets another armor to fire from his telephoto lens of the camera through which he spins his oeuvre of hard-hitting films, they may succeed or fail, but he continues on his quest.

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