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Ayushmann Khurrana is the poster boy of small town movies. Can Kartik Aaryan’s Luka Chuppi keep up?

Kartik Aaryan and Kriti Sanon’s Luka Chuppi is the latest in Bollywood new wave of movies set in small town India. Can it match up to Ayushmann Khurrana and Akshay Kumar’s best work?

bollywood Updated: Feb 28, 2019 18:07 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Kartik Aaryan,Luka Chuppi,Bollywood
Kartik Aaryan and Kriti Sanon in a still from Luka Chuppi.

Writer/lyricist/poet Javed Akhtar in a recent interview on comedian Kunal Kamra’s show made an interesting point about the evolution of Hindi film heroes.

He said that in the ‘50s and ‘60s, protagonists in films would belong to the lower middle class or the working class. Their aspirations would be simple; it was an honest time. After the emergency, the Hindi film industry was introduced to the Angry Young Man stock character to mirror the rebellious emotions of the society. These days, Akhtar said, we are seeing more and more movies set in the small towns of India. They’re about real people who represent the values of our nation and not the elite who make decisions.

This week, we’ll see the latest entry in this new wave of small town movies. Luka Chhupi, starring Kartik Aaryan and Kriti Sanon, is set in Mathura and tells the story of a couple in a fake live-in relationship.

Here are seven other films set in small town India that have tasted blockbuster success.

Shuddh Desi Romance

Residents of Jaipur might disagree about their city being either ‘small’ or a ‘town’ but the Sushant Singh Rajput and Parineeti Chopra-starrer had all the ingredients of these movies - a progressive theme set against the backdrop of a community struggling to come to terms with it.

Sui Dhaaga/Badrinath Ki Dulhania

Varun Dhawan has quietly managed to work in both mainstream Bollywood and indulge his inner actor with quirky choices. Both his small-town movies touched upon important themes such as the dowry system and the cottage industries. Sui Dhaaga was set in Chanderi, while Badrinath was set in Jhansi.

Stree

Perhaps one of the most successful films to emerge from this new wave is Stree, starring Rajkummar Rao, Shraddha Kapoor and two favourites of the genre - Aparshakti Khurana and Pankaj Tripathi. The film is a horror comedy set in the town of Chanderi.

Bareilly Ki Barfi/Shubh Mangal Saavdhan/Dum Laga Ke Haisha

Perhaps the king of this sort of film, actor Ayushmann Khurrana is the poster boy for having found his niche and flourished in it. Kartik might want to take a lesson or two from him. Not only were these three films successful at the box office, they are all examples of Ayushmann’s brave choices. While Bareilly Ki Barfi (also starring Kriti) was set in Bareilly, Shubh Mangal Saavdhan was set in Gurgaon and Dum Laga Ke Haisha (which also starred the same lead pair) was set in Haridwar.

Also read: After Beyond the Clouds, Majid Majidi’s next Indian film to be set in a small town

Other films that fall in this genre include Akshay Kumar’s Toilet: Ek Prem Katha (Mathura) and Jolly LLB 2 (Lucknow), the ensemble film Lipstick Under My Burkha (Bhopal) and the Tanu Weds Manu series (Kanpur), Masaan and Mukti Bhawan (Varanasi), Manmarziyaan (Amritsar), and Batti Gul Meter Chalu (Tehri).

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First Published: Feb 28, 2019 18:06 IST