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Intense roles sketched by Rituparno Ghosh
By Priyanka Khanna, IANS
This week's release "Raincoat" with Ajay Devgan and Aishwarya Rai in an intense role sketched and directed by Rituparno Ghosh has found favour with not only critics but also metro moviegoers.
It blends the spirit of auteur films with the conventions of mainstream Hindi cinema and its commercial success will be an acid test of saleability of a serious artist.
Ghosh is, of course, not the first filmmaker of his ilk who has given this sort of balancing act a shot.
Govind Nihalani, who tried his hand at an out-and-out commercial Hindi film with "Thkshak," returned to experimental moviemaking with the English-language "Deham", a screen adaptation of an award-winning allegorical play about the sale of human organs.
Neither of the two Nihalani films clicked at the box office. A similar fate befell "Is Raat Ki Subah Nahin" by Sudhir Mishra. The film garnered rave reviews, opened well at the box office, struck a chord with audiences in some urban pockets but then petered out.
And who can forget Shyam Benegal, the earliest pioneer, who made two completely different films virtually at the same time - "Zubeidaa" and "Hari Bhari" -- in the late 1990s.
Notwithstanding the ups and downs that these filmmakers have encountered with their experiments with disparate genres, they are all still in the thick of the action, says a trade observer. They have never had it so good: the marketplace has expanded dramatically in recent years and there is space for a wider variety of cinematic idioms than ever before.