GANGS OF MUMBAI! A DIRECTORS CUT!
Gangster ﬁlms as a genre have been the fodder for scriptwriters and directors over the years, but this genre has hardly found any audience appeal other than a rare instance like RGV’s Satya’ or ‘Feroz Khan’s ‘Dayavan’. But yet ﬁlmmakers try to make this genre even though it’s not really favored by the family going audiences. This week saw Arjun Rampal as the dreaded don of Dagdi Chawl, Arun Gawli, but it had no takers at the box-office. Next week we might see the lady don bio-pic Haseena Parkar, the sister of the highly notorious don Dawood Ibrahim. Shraddha Kapoor plays Haseena and her real life brother Siddhanth Kapoor plays her reel life brother Dawood. What would be the fate of this ﬁlm directed by Apporva Lakhia? It’s a million dollar question. Even the greatest actor of all times Amitabh Bachchan failed to draw in the moolah as the suave don in Mukul Anand’s ‘Agneepath’ which is a cult classic today and the superstar received a National Award for it, but commercially it was a ﬂop. What these ﬁlmmakers don’t understand that the Hindi ﬁlm audience is generally a family audience and give them a Sooraj Barjatya ﬁlm like ‘Maine Pyar Kiyaa’ or ‘Hum Aapke Hain Kaun’ or ‘Hum Saath Saath Hain’ and they will lap it up. Even the master of don ﬁlms , RGV who has made cult hit ﬁlms like ‘Satya’ and ‘Company’ could hardly repeat his success. So what is it that makes ﬁlmmakers go for gangster dramas? Then Anurag Basu directed ‘Gangster’ starring Shiney Ahuja is one such instance where the ﬁlm really worked but it had fantastic music by Pritam and a good performance by Kangana Ranaut. Some of the ﬁlms directed by Sanjay Gupta too had similar plots like ‘Aatish’, ‘Ram Shastra’, ‘’ Musaﬁr ‘, ‘Shootout at Wadala’, ‘Apoorva Lakhia’s ’Shootout at Lokhandwala’, , didn’t work at all and Milan Luthria’s ‘Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai’ did work but its sequel hardly had any takers. The reason for making such ﬁlms might be the fascination for Hollywood gangster ﬁlms and the story coming out from the headlines of national newspapers. Maybe the makers glorify the gangsters but not intentionally but their presentation of such characters deﬁnitely make them seem more powerful. Maybe the earliest successful gangster ﬁlm was Yash Chopra’s ‘Deewar’ where the Big B played one of his most powerful roles as Vijay , a dock worker who becomes a top gangster , based on the life of the real don Haji Mastaan. The script by Salim-Javed was powerful and the dialogues too were powerful but he dies a tragic death and he took away all the sympathy from the audiences making the ﬁlm a big hit. Also Feroz Khan’s take on Mario Puzo’s ‘Godfather’ titled ‘Dharmatama ‘ was a huge success. Now next in the pipeline is the much talked about ‘Haseena Parkar’ whose trailer is grabbing eyeballs and there is a lot of buzz about this ﬁlm in the industry. For Shraddha Kapoor’s sake and Apoorva Lakhia’s sake, we hope this ﬁlm really works at the box-office. Otherwise Goli Maro!