Posted: 31 January 2005 at 5:12pm | IP Logged
This year, watch Hrithik go bad
SUBHASH K JHA
IANS[ MONDAY, JANUARY 31, 2005 01:07:45 PM ]
MUMBAI: If 2004 saw Bollywood's top heroes playing bad guys with style, 2005 will also see some big stars, for instance Hrithik Roshan and Ajay Devgan, taking on the villain's mantle.
Although this year many films will celebrate the spirit of righteousness and noble heroes, the urge to be bad is very much around.
Hrithik Roshan will emulate John Abraham's hugely successful diabolical role in Dhoom , with a villainous turn in the sequel Dhoom 2 , with co-star Aishwarya Rai.
After playing the baddie in 2004's Khakee , Ajay has played another anti-hero in cousin Anil Devgan's Blackmail , though with unrewarding results.
Every major leading performer in contemporary Bollywood – from Shah Rukh Khan ( Anjaam ) and Aamir Khan ( 1947-Earth ) to Priyanka Chopra ( Aitraaz ) – has, at some point or other, played a villain.
Last year saw Sanjay Dutt ( Musafir ) and Abhishek Bachchan ( Yuva ) playing anti-heroes with great success.
But some leading heroes seem to have had their fill of evil. Akshay Kumar, for instance, who played mean men in International Khiladi and Ajnabee , feels he has had enough of villainy.
"No more bad-guy roles for me, for a long time." Akshay has now vowed to perform roles "that bring a smile to audiences".
In fact this year most major heroes, except Hrithik Roshan, are shunning evil parts. So upcoming actors are willing to try on the villain's role in order to be noticed.
A strange case is that of debutant Aseem Merchant's forthcoming film Bullet-Ek Dhamaka .
The filmmakers must perforce publicise Aseem, who is the film's antagonist, because the model-turned-actor bailed out the troubled project when it was on the verge of shutting down.
Now the filmmakers must return the favour by projecting Aseem on all publicity hoardings. The film's leading man, Iqbal Khan, is in the unhappy position of being sidelined in a project on which he was banking.
Too scared to speak up lest his role gets chopped, Iqbal can only pray. His only other release, "Fun2shh", bit the dust faster than we could mumble bust.
It's a catch-22 situation for newcomers with no money or connections. They either have to sell out or put their careers in freeze-frame for a distant fling with the dame named Fame, who is just not in the mood.
With Aseem hogging the limelight at the cost of the film's official hero, a very important question comes up for consideration.
If the days of the anti-hero are over, will this villain's day turn out to be a case of mistimed meanness?