Filmmakers in Bollywood have often explored the genre of period films. But it seems that stepping into the shoes of characters that belong to another decade is the flavour of the season as several top actors have taken up films set in previous times.
The latest to jump on the bandwagon are Sushant Singh Rajput and Ayushmann Khurrana with their respective films — Detective Byomkesh Bakshy (set in the Kolkata of the 1940s) and Hawaizaada (based on Shivkar Bapuji Talpade, who is believed to have constructed and flown India’s first unmanned airplane in 1895).
"Although there’s always an element of intrigue with the past, such films are a bit challenging because we haven’t lived in those eras. But I love history, so more than a challenge, it was an opportunity for me," says Ayushmann, while Sushant insists that "it is an important film for me, not because of the timing or anything (it’s releasing after a long time), but because it’s a very special film."
Others like Hrithik Roshan and John Abraham will go in the rewind mode as well. While Ashutosh Gowariker’s Hrithik-starrer Mohenjo Daro is a love story set during the Indus Valley Civilisation, John’s 1911 is based on the true story of Indian footballer Sibdas Bhaduri, who captained Mohun Bagan in the historic 1911 IFA Shield win over the East Yorkshire Regiment.
"I just love romantic stories, especially those which are set in different times. And if those times are several centuries ago, then the intensity of that romance grows multiple folds. In the case of Mohenjo Daro, the time is 2500 BC (4,500 years ago)," says Gowariker.
That’s not all. Ranbir Kapoor’s next, Bombay Velvet, is set in Bombay of the 1960s, in which he plays a boxer, while Ranveer will play Peshwa Bajirao in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Bajirao Mastani also starring Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra. "The preparation and characterisation for Bajirao is going to be very distinct because it’s a biographical representation of a real-life person," Ranveer told HT Café earlier.