He has played popular gangsters such as Bhiku Mhatre and Sardar Khan on reel.
Now, Manoj Bajpayee is back with a crime show on TV — called Encounter — that will present fictionalised accounts of dangerous encounters between cops and gangsters. The show launches tomorrow (April 11), and will be aired every Friday to Sunday at 9 pm on Sony Entertainment Television.
While Bollywood continues to present often-glamorised stories of underworld kingpins like Dawood Ibrahim and Chhota Shakeel, crime shows on TV tend to project a more realistic view.
Anup Soni, host of the show Crime Patrol, says, "We shouldn’t glorify bad characters or make heroes out of them. If we do highlight such characters, we have to tell people that crime never pays. We have to show the results, not only the crime."
Encounter will depict how the Indian police has tackled crime over the last 30-40 years. Excited about hosting it, Manoj says, "The show is about the famous lashes between gangsters and the police that took place in Mumbai. I’m the connecting link between the stories. The format is such that the anchor’s role is real and natural. We are not glorifying anyone."
But, are viewers fascinated with negative characters?
Producer of the 2007 thriller, Shootout At Lokhandwala, Sanjay Gupta, says, "Bad has always been good. Bad is exciting and interesting, while good is boring. The fascination (with negative characters) is natural."
Tusshar Kapoor who acted in Shootout At Lokhandwala, says, "Real life incidents always create buzz and remain etched in the minds of the people, so they attract eyeballs."