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Mithun’s third innings

sawariyah Senior Member

Joined: 01 November 2005
Posts: 785

Posted: 18 March 2006 at 2:57am | IP Logged
Mithun's third innings
By IndiaFM News Bureau, March 17, 2006 - 04:28 IST
It is common knowledge that Mithun Chakraborthy has signed Mani Ratnam's Guru and both of them though tight-lipped about the project are quite ecstatic on working with each other. Word is that this is going to be one of Mithun's best performances in recent times. Mithun and Ratnam were supposed to work together earlier in Ratnam's Anandam but the former refused as he was asked to shave his head off for the role.

Now this is touted to be Mithun's best comeback movie but we really wonder whether the hoopla is actually worth it. After all the comebacks he has made in mainstream commercial cinema, we really wonder if this film will bring him back in full form like from his hey days.

Mithun was a top star of the 80's until he shifted towards Ooty in mid 90's where he ventured into the so-called 'B grade films'. Most of these films were shot in a span of 30 days and hence Mithun used to have about 8-10 releases a year. Now, this was not a man searching for quality cinema or performance-oriented roles. In fact it was his conscious decision to do such kind of films and he was in no way apologetic about it. This was not Mithun – the actor (who had won for himself 3 National Awards at one point of time in his career). This was Mithun – the businessman! His films provided entertainment to a particular section of the audience, proved beneficial to the producers and gave a lot of work to small time stars and upcoming actors as well as technicians. In fact he had parts of the film shot in his 5-star hotels in Ooty at a discounted rate which helped the producer as well as himself, financially. Though doing small time films, the number of films he was churning out per year, earned him almost as much as any A-grade stars. In fact the house full boards outside the B and C grade centre cinema halls in the interiors of the county where his movies run are something worthwhile to look at. Something that even top notch stars cannot guarantee! The funda was simple. He had made for himself a target audience and was just catering to their likes. At the height of his stardom, Mithun was the country's highest individual tax-payer in the country in 1986.

The media tagged his return to the so-called A-grade cinema with Vikram Bhatt's Elaan in 2005, where he essayed the role of Baba Sikander, the main villain. The film which was said to be on the lines of a modern day Sholay proved to be a dud and so did his role.

Some thought that his shift towards A-grade cinema was a conscious decision as his popularity could prove fruitful to his son Mimoh who is making his debut in He – The Only One. But doing an Elaan didn't mean that his B-graders were drying up. In fact a month after his A-grade comeback failed to gain money, his market in the B-grade land was still going stable with films like Qatl-e-Aam.

A non-sensical appearance in Sohail Khan's Lucky – No Time For Love too went unnoticed and then came the big or rather the small film with big hype Classic – Dance of Love. Initially during the making it was said to be a sequel to Disco Dancer, the film which made the Bengali Babu a star overnight. Of course the film was nothing of that sort and the once hit team of Mithun and director B. Subhash could not sustain a face-saving opening for the film.

Believe it or not, Mithun had two releases back to back and both umm… really couldn't do much for just about anyone. There was Kalpana Lajmi's Chingaari, a film where critics say he was in top notch form. That film sank without a trace and then came producer Salim's Sun Zarra. An old outdated look really could not rake in the audience and the film didn't have anything novel to offer as well.

Check out a fraction from his vast repertoire of Ooty inanities Meri Pyaari Bahania Banegi Dulhani, Bengal Tiger, Khatron Ke Khiladi, Jwalamukhi, Justice Chowdhary, Sultaan, Phool Aur Aag, Aag Hi Aag, Zamindar, Deva, Kahani Kismat Ki, Sanyasi Mera Naam, Ganga Ki Kasam, Heeralal Pannalal, Yamraaj, Mard, Ustadon Ke Ustad, Chandaal, Military Raaj, Sher-E-Hindustan, Shapath.

Also, he set the platform for other actors like Jackie Shroff, Dharmendra, Aditya Pancholi and Johny Lever who too made an entry in the world of B-graders and gave him company in many a film in the late 90's. Filmmakers TLV Prasad and Rajiv Babbar were the ones who believed in Mithun's modus operandi and directed most of his films.

And how can so many B-graders just come to his doorstep without him essaying a triple role in one film. Precisely what he did in Rang Baaz (and we thought only an Amitabh or a Rajnikant could do it!)

And for all those who thought that he was a bad actor. Well not so long ago, Mithun won the Filmfare Award for his small time film Jallad in the Best Villain category. This award came at a time when there were not many award functions happening in the country and the credibility was high.

So what's really going wrong with the two time National Award winner? Some say, his luck has run out, some say he's still in his B-grade mould and needs some really author backed roles to play.

One really hopes Mani Ratnam's film Guru (co-starring Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai and Vidya Balan) and Budhdev Das Gupta's Kaal Purush (co-starring Rahul Bose and Sameera Reddy) give us back Mithun – the actor. Das Gupta is the same Bengali director whose film Tahader Katha fetched Mithun his second National Award.

Hope he strikes back sensibly and significantly after which we won't have to talk about any more of his comebacks. Wishing the Bengali babu moshai all the best!

umi82990 IF-Sizzlerz

Joined: 27 January 2005
Posts: 18369

Posted: 18 March 2006 at 7:47am | IP Logged
thanks for sharing... Wink
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