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Bollywood is back in action

It's time when mushy romance movies be replaced by a more hard-hitting genre in Bollywood, writes Vajir Singh.

india Updated: Oct 23, 2006 12:03 IST

The image of the angry young man helped Amitabh Bachchan usurp the throne of Super Star of Bollywood from Rajesh Khanna. However, things changed with the entry of the Khans who brought the mushy love story back into vogue.

In the time of feel-good films and light-hearted comedies, the punch of a full-fledged action flick had been missing in Bollywood for some time. Not anymore. Hrithik Roshan made a comeback with the fightfilled Krrish, Shah Rukh Khan stars in Farhan Akhtar’s Don and next will be the much-awaited Dhoom II.

Audiences can also look forward to seeing John Abraham, who made headlines with his action sequences in Dhoom, star in the action-packed Kabul Express. The list doesn’t end here. There are several action films on the anvil, slated for release next year.

Priyanka Chopra in a still from Don. 

It would seem safe to say that this is a time when mushy romance movies can take a back seat to a more hard-hitting genre in Bollywood. Sham Kaushal, action director of

Krrish, Don


Kabul Express

, feels that it is the change in techniques in action movies that is attracting audiences. In the 80s and the 90s, it was one hero who duked it out with all the villains.

“Today the main revenue comes from multiplex audiences and the idea of one man bashing up a multitude of goons doesn’t cut it,” he says. Kaushal adds, “Today, the scenario has changed with filmmakers like Rakesh Roshan and Farhan Akhtar trying to change the existing norms.”

Rakesh Roshan also feels that audiences are tired of heroes who just break glasses and doors. “Most films revolved around family sagas, dramas and love stories. No one was moving away from it,” Rakesh says. “I decided I had to try something different, raise the bar and increase the standard of films being made here,” he says.

Sanjay Gadvi, director of Dhoom and Dhoom II, agrees with Roshan and feels that though action was always there, it’s getting better now with improved equipment and special effects.

“It’s a market driven industry. If a genre clicks, everyone follows suit,” says Gadvi. “It’s not a genre that works but good cinema. This year, various genres ruled the box-office and the future will see better and bigger cinema,” he adds.

In the case of the upcoming Jodhaa Akbar contrary to popular belief that is a soft, romantic tale, it is also an action-packed thriller, laced with war scenes. It essentially tells the tale of how Akbar fought a battle to win over Jodhaa.

Director Ashutosh Gowariker has reportedly hired the services of foreign technicians to supervise the war scenes at an enormous cost, amounting to several crores.

Then there is Anubhav Sinha who returns to the action genre with Cash. Though Sinha started his career with love stories like Tum Bin, Aapko Pehle Bhi Kahin Dekha Hai, the director changed tracks and made an out-an-out action flick Dus followed by Tathastu, an emotional tale of a father which didn’t do well at the box-office. But he’s upbeat about Cash and expects the film to have a bigger opening than Dus.

According to trade analyst Atul Mohan, “Action cinemas have always been a safe bet at the box office in the long run. With movies like Krrish, Dhoom II, Don and others that are currently in the process of being made, the action genre will definitely be ruling the box-office very soon.”

First Published: Oct 23, 2006 12:03 IST