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Bollywood's Bihar connection

Bihar's issues have remained a staple feed for Bollywood's political genre of movies for a long time. Such films have also generated a lot of interest among people and had their share of controversy surrounding the political personality portrayed in the films, writes Ashok Mishra.

entertainment Updated: Sep 12, 2010 21:11 IST
Ashok Mishra

Bihar's issues have remained a staple feed for Bollywood's political genre of movies for a long time. Such films have also generated a lot of interest among people and had their share of controversy surrounding the political personality portrayed in the films.

Remember Prakash Jha's Rajneeti? The film was shrouded in controversy following widespread speculations that Katrina Kaif's character was inspired by Sonia Gandhi.

But after the movie's release, Kaif clarified that it was not Sonia but her daughter Priyanka Gandhi whose mannerisms the actress had closely followed for her role.

Before Rajneeti, Jha's other three films - Apaharan, Gangajal and Damul - have also been political thrillers.

In 'Apaharan', Jha tried to expose the nexus between criminals and politicians in Bihar, especially the thriving kidnapping industry, while his 'Gangajal' was spun around the infamous Bhagalpur blinding case.

Another hard-hitting political film set in Bihar is Shool. Starring Manoj Bajpayee and national-award winner Raveena Tandon, the movie is about an honest police officer who is in a tough fight with a corrupt local politicians.

Damul, starring Dipti Nawal, highlights caste politics and bonded labour in Bihar.

Bollywood has also featured Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad, known for his wit and earthy brilliance, in a feature film titled Padmashree Laloo Prasad Yadav.

The film with four characters - Padmashree, Laloo, Prasad and Yadav -justifies its name. It ends with a scene at Bihar Chief Minister's house in Patna.

Taking cue from Lalu's mannerisms, a number of films have been churned out in Bhojpuri. His look-alikes have also figured in many Bhojpuri films, including Mahua and Banke Bihari MLA featuring leading Tamil actress Rambha.

Another highly acclaimed movie, Gulzar's Aandhi was rumored to be a take on late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's life.

In reality, the Suchitra Sen-Sanjeev Kumar-starrer was based more on Tarkeshwari Sinha, one of Bihar's pioneering woman politicians.

Another film Seher, featuring Mahima Choudhary and Arshad Warsi of Munnabhai fame, received rave reviews for exploring the nexus of organised crime and politics revolving around railway contracts in eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

Madhur Bhandarkar's film 'Satta' starring Raveena Tandon dealt with a widow- politician.

Some other acclaimed movies have been Anil Kapoor-starrer Nayak, Gulzar's 1999 film, Hu Tu Tu, Mani Ratnam's Yuva, Rajesh Khanna-starrer Aaj ka MLA, 'Kissa Kursi Ka', 'Pratighat', Govind Nihalani's 'Aghaat', Shashi Kapoor-starrer New Delhi Times and films on clan politics like 'Sarkaar' and 'Sarkaar Raj', which were inspired by the Godfather movies.