Bollywood’s political correctness killed it, one hero at a time

So why couldn’t Arjun Talwar pull off a Kabir Singh? Whereas both were derived from their hugely popular Telugu originals. Is it because, while Kabir Singh meekly stuck to Arjun Reddy’s model, Arjun Talwar was a watered down version of the Jersey formula stopping to honestly reflect the vulnerabilities of a middle-aged hero who justifies the back gears of life as a failed cricketer? Something Arjun, 40, from Nani, described with heart and absolute seriousness. While the father-son equation in the critically acclaimed and National Award-winning Telugu blockbuster has caused friction in several covers, Ketan mainly worships his defeated father in the official Hindi remake. Is Bollywood losing for playing it safe? Is the connection cut for monkey balancing? Despite all the applause from the critics, why couldn’t Shahid Kapoor hit a six in the stands?

Interestingly, Kabir Singh’s kitten also had brickbats, as well as bouquets. Feminists ripped him for condoning violence against women (remember the slap scene?), but critics couldn’t stop the cash registers from ringing, just like Arjun Reddy, because the movies featured two passionate lovers who didn’t mince words. to kill the public. If he didn’t resent being slapped by his lover in the middle of an emotional exchange, he also didn’t hesitate to slap his irrational mind to stifle a heated argument. Just like how shameless Arjun was for wearing machismo, ardor and bewilderment on his toned physique, Kabir also carried his lust and despondency with candid swagger. Taking the pulse of the masses who were in no mood for political correctness, the precise editing added to the frankness of these impeccably communicated urban novels in both narratives.

Where did the math go wrong then? To map this, delving into the personality of the quintessential romantic hero who conquered the throne of Bollywood in the 90s might help. Switching gears from masculinity opposite Akshay Kumar in Main Khiladi Tu Anadi or a Sunny Deol to Darr, a Raj made playful and sexy in Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge even though Rahul has bonded friendship and love with a total sensuality in Kuch Kuch Hota Haï. The cold-hearted and calculating avenger of Baazigar, the obsessive stalker of Anjaam changed the discourse in Hindi cinema by making famous ‘a stallion is what a stallion does not’. The promoter of this thought, Shah Rukh Khan, conquered not only India but the world by serving a subtle and charming metrosexuality. He was anointed “hero”, which was perfect to one flaw.

But critics and business analysts failed to take into account that this “hero” would have a lifespan. Or maybe the filmmakers, actors, and screenwriters paid too much attention to urban banter on social media that they didn’t realize how much their stance would affect the mass reaction to the stories and characters they shared. they were creating. Maybe they went ahead with too much room for audience reactions and moods? A motto from which the Southern film industry has never shied away – to give audiences a hero they identify with.

We also had them earlier in Hindi cinema. For example, Vijay in Yash Chopra’s Deewar made us sit up and take notice despite the dangerous game of crime and punishment. Ramesh Sippy’s Shakti drew a sigh of sympathy for the wayward son as he engaged in a moral battle with his honest cop dad. Chopra’s Trishul made a winner out of a bastard son who muscles himself to the top for revenge. They were also heroes. Intense, flawed but damn easy to understand. Much like the protagonist of Mani Ratnam’s Tamil blockbuster Thalapathi, attempted with marked assiduity by superstar Rajnikanth, or his game-changing Nayakan, where Kamal Haasan played the role of Velu Naicker with undeniable histrionic sorcery.

As Bollywood’s dry run refuses to end, Southern banter with the raucous but important lead continues with Prashanth Neel’s Kannada action epic KGF: Chapter 2 breaking the Rs 1,000 crore mark at the box -office. There’s no denying that Rocky’s tumultuous journey as the dark lord of the Kolar minefields is a marvel, despite the threat of law and legality, is a much-loved messiah among his allies. Similar to how Shiva was in SS Rajamouli’s Chatrapathi, the Telugu film which catapulted Prabhas into stardom. Or Thomas Chacko in Bhadran’s Spadikam, a groundbreaking action drama that won Mohanlal the Kerala State Film Award. Dhanush won fame and love with his devious but cherished acts in Vetrimaaran’s Vada Chennai and Balaji Mohan’s Maari. These stories featured bold characters who weren’t shy about flaunting their flaws while braving the world as they were. He could be you in the flesh, even though they have grown to a larger than life stature.


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