Negative Characters–How They Transformed the Film Industry

The role of Gabbar played by Amjad Khan in “Sholay” (1975) became the epistemology of a classic gangster for everybody. This image is evoked from one of the scenes in the movie, wherein the don comes to threaten the inhabitants of a village. With his intense screen presence and the efficiency of reflecting a stringent decoy, Gabbar gave rise to a new form of gangster culture in the Indian cinema. So, the audience was not only looking for a charming hero, but also a strong antagonist. The movie had such a great impact on forming a gangster culture that even daily conversations of people started experiencing glimpses of such culture, wherein someone out of a set of friends would randomly ask, “Khali haath agaye?” The movie therefore, could be seen as the beginning of a new era as it changed the definition of a villain altogether.

Immediately after three years of Gabbar’s entry into the world of movies, there came another character which positively influenced the masses with his glittery swag. This character of the don was not only presented as daring and dangerous, but also someone who wore dapper suits and travelled in expensive cars. Those were the times when the film culture was beginning to engulf the Indian masses with its larger than life tales. Indian youth was moving towards a new form of popular culture. There was a sudden shift in the attire of young men. The ideologies of the negative characters that were depicted in the films also changed. During this era, movies were amongst the few sources which had potential to bring about a new culture in the society.

The Indian population had not yet recovered from the atrocities of 1993 bombings in Bombay, instilling a sense of terror in people, when Munna Bhai made his entry to entertain the people in a different way. The reason why Munna made his way to the world of pop-culture was because of his empathetic personality, hysterical dialogues and an attitude of a typical gangster. These associations came to function from the very beginning itself, when Munna Bhai asks his mother to give him a ‘Jaadu ki Jappee’. The iconic Jaadu ki Jappee made its way in the common dialogue of the masses and is still recollected with sheer sense of happiness and humor.

In recent times, there is an altogether different kind of appreciation towards Indian Movies. In a country where dramatization, sensationalism and item numbers hold a different spot, movies like Gangs of Wasseypur have started holding a new kind of position. The movie largely depicts Faizzal Khan going to meet his girlfriend’s parents for a marriage proposal. His authentic and intense rage, humorous dialogue delivery and method acting skills molded the shape of the Indian cinema with new dynamics. It is undeniably true that there was and is still an aggravated demand among the audience for such movies.

A country where profanity and violence were highly censored slowly started experiencing a high appreciation for such characters on the big screen. Therefore, guns and goons became a new part of the pop-culture in the society. Though the binge watching culture has already made its entry in the society, there is still a heavy demand of Indian series among certain classes of the population. All remakes of Gangs of Wasseypur secured good position in the hearts of the Indian youth. Even in the present times, there is a serious requirement of such a presence for the hopeless youngsters to binge on. It was in the past that the entry of shows like ‘Sacred Games’ and ‘Mirzapur’ happened. Though the binge watching culture becomes a different form of popular culture, the strategy used in “Sholay” seems to play a good role over here as well. Kaleen bhaiya in such a show tends to talk in the same way as Faizzal Khan used to do in Gangs of Wasseypur. He therefore has become widely appreciated by the masses. Hence, the idea of dons interspersed with the binge watching, has become a new form of popular culture.

Picture Courtesy- indiatimes.com

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