A policeman's role in Bollywood earlier meant playing second fiddle, but not any more. With "Dabangg" and "Singham", the doors have opened up for cop-centric films with audiences lapping up the brawny, brash and over-the-top characters.
The year 2011 saw Ajay Devgn and John Abraham donning the khaki uniform in "Singham" and "Force" respectively and creating a stir at the box office. The trend seems to be continuing this year with cop-centric movies like "Talaash", "Maximum", "Zilla Ghaziabad" and "Shootout at Wadala" lined up for release.
This is in contrast to earlier films, when a police officer found place mostly as supporting cast. But with the new trend, many leading actors are readily donning the role.
One of the most keenly awaited films, "Talaash" will see perfectionist actor Aamir Khan returning in the role of a police officer, 11 years after his hit "Sarfarosh".
Anil Kapoor is set to wear the police uniform for Ekta Kapoor's "Shootout At Wadala". The film is based on the 1982 incident in which gangster Manya Surve was shot dead in Mumbai. Anil portrays the role of inspector Isaque Bagwan and would be accompanied by Ronit Roy as Raja Tambat.
Filmmaker Priyadarsan's upcoming film "Tezz" has southern superstar Mohanlal playing the role of a dutiful cop from Scotland Yard. The heist film also stars Anil, Ajay, Kangna Ranaut and Sameera Reddy.
Sanjay Dutt is also in line for the cop's role as Thakur Pritam Singh in "Zila Ghaziabad". If all goes well, superstar Shah Rukh Khan might sign the Hindi remake of Gautham Menon's Tamil film "Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu", in which he would play a cop.
The changing scripts are also responsible for the positive trend.
Hriday Shetty's recent release "Chaalis Chauraasi" narrated a tale of four policemen, played by Naseer, Kay Kay Menon, Atul Kulkarni and Ravi Kishan.
"A chance discussion among friends one evening on the night patrolling of cops reported in the media, got us excited and led to the germination of the story idea," said Shetty.
Another recent movie, "Kya Yahi Sach Hai", directed by IPS officer Y.P. Singh, attempted to expose the level of corruption in the police force.