Balaji’s Once Upon A Time Saga and Shootout films might be considered praiseworthy by most, in terms of gritty content and solid acting. To not be hypocritical or farcical here, even I relish these films. But there’s an inherent flaw in them that I have pondered on carefully before writing this post. I have time and again realized how incorrect it is of film makers to romanticize crime so fashionably.
Surely, most gangsters have a troubled past and a turmoil-filled life to their defense that snatched their innocence, but to justify any crime or grounds no matter how infinitely humanitarian it is, is to foster it. Entertainment is like power that comes with a massive responsibility to creating popular ideas, and in my opinion films like Once Upon and Shootout no matter how delicious they are in terms of action simply provide an incorrect and faulty image of a life that is inappropriately deviant.
The trend was started by RGV in his gangster sagas, and Balaji House used it as the right way to cash in their entry into mainstream Bollywood! There are many variants of entertainment but using cuss words and presenting lives of dreaded gangsters in ways filmy that presents an endearing picture of men who should be banished from our memories altogether.
I should be ashamed of myself, but yes I thought Emraan Hashmi was intriguing in OUATIM. Vivek Oberoi impressed me in Shootout at Lokhandwala. I critiqued Shootout At Wadala quite positively. And in my heart I know OUATIMD is one film I am awaiting with quite an interest.
Frankly, we are plagued with these banal ideas, smitten by Bollywood-ified lives of notoriety presented to us. The filmmakers produce to us denominated versions of hybrid between fact and fiction, and we fall for it. Most directors loftily build the drama quotient of the story from the counter perspective but the lines between right and wrong blends too intensely that it almost blurs.
To put the point straight, I think Gangster saga films are pointless and treated with a hint of thoughtlessness. We never pay much heed to what we are portraying as media and the impact it can have on audiences. A hunky dory picture of a life we should condemn ruthlessly is preserved, reared and nurtured by celluloid world with ignorance.
Such films discredits a common man’s basic expectations and belief systems from a democracy. Police is shown as a weakling or a corrupt machinery that runs on whims of those in power! Perhaps the reality isn’t far but to focus on it so bluntly is rude. And in the end why can’t gangsterism be portrayed in its right tint and not a blown version of beauty. It is gruesome and should be called gruesome! Being a baddie isn’t cool Bollywood! Grow up…
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