Rural flavour grips Bollywood

New Delhi, Jan 5 (IANS) Designer dramas set in the glossy urban milieu may regale Hindi film audiences, but the endeavours of a few creative minds who are delving deep into the Indian hinterland to prise out stories reflecting the rustic and raw flavour of villages and towns are paying rich dividends.

Vishal Bhardwaj's "Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola" is all set to continue the trend started by rural-based hit dramas such as "Ishqiya", "Peepli Live" and "Paan Singh Tomar".

The film, featuring an interesting combination of new generation actors like Imran Khan and Anushka Sharma with a veteran like Pankaj Kapur, is set in Haryana. Given Bhardwaj's past offerings "Omkara" and "Ishqiya", one expects "Matru..." to be truly Haryanvi in taste.

The intent surely seems to be it - whether it is Imran in the traditional khamiz, a tunic worn by the men of the region, Anushka in a 'desi ghaghra' or the raw music, which is very much in sync with the movie's set up.

What inspired Bhardwaj to narrate rural stories?

"I love Indian folk music and villages. People from there are more interesting than the urban people. So, I really like to have those characters in my films. I grew up in a small town of Meerut (in Uttar Pradesh) and so mostly my movies reflect experiences of my childhood. While making movies I go back to my past and draw experiences from that," he was quoted as saying recently.

In the recent past, the Hindi film industry has witnessed an upsurge in rural dramas. "Dor", "Gulaal", "Rakta Charitra", "Gattu", "Dabangg", "Udaan" and the two-part "Gangs Of Wasseypur" were set against rural backdrops. Be it the ups and downs of politics, gang wars or even just the aspirations of people in small towns - these have been tackled with aplomb, and, at times, with a tinge of satire.

If it strikes a chord with critics and fans alike, the formula is working equally well at the box office.

No doubt that "Dabangg" could boast of a star like Salman Khan, but its backdrop was totally rural! You rarely ever had a hero named Chulbul Pandey, but his quirkiness and magic worked - making the movie the highest grosser of 2010; and part two titled "Dabangg 2" too has crossed the Rs.100 crore mark.

Sanjeev Bijli, joint managing director of PVR Ltd., gives credit to the changing taste of viewers and filmmakers.

"The Indian moviegoers, and makers have matured so much... it is very heartening to see (the change)," Bijli remarked at a recent event.

The willingness of the audience to step into the theatre to watch something beyond the A-list stars, the jazz and jamboree of fancy family dramas, and romantic sagas is certianly helping filmmakers to push the envelope.

Producers and distributors too have become experimental and don't hesitate to take a risk to promote and support small budget entertainers portraying rural India, their set of problems a la post-independence movies like "Naya Daur".

Bijli says such films are providing profitable option for distributors and exhibitors.

"From a distribution and exhibition company's perspective, (it is great because) we don't have to bank on just big budget commercial films. (So,) We will be able to bring small films with much more confidence now than we could about six years earlier," he said.

Off shore too such films are a huge hit and crime thriller "Gangs of Wasseypur" (GOW) and "Peepli Live" are a case in point. If GOW wowed film aficianados at the prestigious 2012 Cannes film festival, "Udaan" became the first Indian film in seven years to represent the country in the Cannes official section.

One hopes the trend is only poised to grow.

(Radhika Bhirani can be contacted at radhika.b@ians.in)

--

Did you know that you can get stories like this on the Yahoo mail app?
Download it here.

Yahoo Cricket

Latest News

  • 'Indian Idol Junior' sets ball rolling with Bollywood music

    Mumbai, May 22 (IANS) "Indian Idol Junior" is back with more glamour quotient and young talent from all over India. The singing reality TV show was launched here with a blast from the past, with contestants paying tribute to some of the legends of music industry like Lata Mangeshkar, Kishore Kumar and Sonu Nigam. The children traced the journey of songs in the music world from 1950s era by crooning hit numbers "Aaiye meherbaan", "Aayega aane wala", "Mere sapno ki rani", "Ruki ruki thi …

  • Divyanka Tripathi intimidates her fans

    Mumbai, May 22 (IANS) Actress Divyanka Tripathi, who plays Ishita Bhalla in soap opera "Ye Hai Mohabbatein" left two of her fans intimidated. While hosting a segment at the Star Parivaar Awards with the 30-year-old, actor Shravan Reddy, who plays Neil in soap opera "Dosti...Yaariyan...Manmarzian" got frightened before he had to get on stage because he has a huge crush on her. "Being in one frame with Divyanka made me extremely nervous as she is a beautiful lady and an even better person at …

  • Polish court adjourns Polanski extradition case until mid-September
    Polish court adjourns Polanski extradition case until mid-September

    A Polish court on Friday adjourned until mid-September a hearing on whether to extradite filmmaker Roman Polanski to the United States over a 1977 child sex conviction. Polanski, who lives in France, is in Poland making a movie but did not appear in the Krakow court on Friday and was represented by lawyers. Judge Dariusz Mazur said Poland had requested further information from U.S. authorities by Aug. 8. …

  • Bengal delegate in Cannes for business

    Kolkata, May 22 (IANS) Keen to make a mark in the global arena, the West Bengal government is scouting for business opportunities at the 68th Cannes International Film Festival, an official said on Friday. The state government has roped in actor-director Arindam Sil to woo production houses to shoot their films in the state. According to state Information and Cultural Affairs Secretary Atri Bhattacharya, Sil left for Cannes on May 18 and is actively engaging and liasoning with production …

  • Make your hair holiday-ready

    New Delhi, May 22 (IANS) Before you take off on a summer vacation to a destination of your choice, spare a little time to think of haircare. Hairstylist Asgar Saboo gives essential tips to ensure your hair is holiday-ready and looks its best during your vacation, said a statement. * Use dry shampoo: Dry shampoo has been gaining popularity recently. …

  • 'Tanu Weds Manu Returns' highly recommended by B-Town

    Mumbai, May 22 (IANS) With her 'swagger' in "Tanu Weds Manu Returns", Kangana Ranaut has once again proved why she's called the 'Queen' of Bollywood! The actress' double role in her latest release has her fans and friends from the film fraternity giving her and the film a thumbs up. …

  • Maintain food safety, hygiene in summer

    New Delhi, May 22 (IANS) Take extra care to protect food in summer and keep bacteria at bay. Saurabh Arora, founder of www.foodsafetyhelpine.com, shares tips on food safety and hygiene: * Maintain hygiene: Wash hands before cooking and after handling raw meat, fish and poultry. Avoid cooking and touching food items if you have cold, runny nose or fever. …

  • Azharuddin trains Emraan for biopic 'Azhar'

    Mumbai, May 22 (IANS) Former Indian cricket captain Mohammad Azharuddin finds Emraan Hashmi as the perfect fit to portray him in his biopic "Azhar", while the actor says the cricketer is helping him learn the nuances of the game. "Emraan is very apt for the role. A lot of people asked me 'Why Emraan is doing my role in the film?' But Emraan is my favorite," Azharuddin said here at the teaser launch of the biopic. …

Loading...