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Will history repeat?

Will history repeat?
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Highlights

If you are a Hindi cinema buff like me, then probably, like me, you are also counting hours to August 12. In my case, a baggage of history excites me and also a prophecy that I would like to make. This weekend of August 12 could change the way our movies releases have worked in recent years. Let me talk about all this one by one.

If you are a Hindi cinema buff like me, then probably, like me, you are also counting hours to August 12. In my case, a baggage of history excites me and also a prophecy that I would like to make. This weekend of August 12 could change the way our movies releases have worked in recent years. Let me talk about all this one by one.

First my child-like enthusiasm for this weekend is because of the two releases coming up from two of our biggest stars – Akshay Kumar’s ‘Rustom’ and Hrithik Roshan’s ‘Mohenjo Daro’.I look forward to ‘Rustom’ for two reasons. One, right now Akshay is in the purple patch of his career.

He is getting better with every movie and with ‘Rustom’ it seems that Akshay will better his last super effort of ‘Baby’. The second reason is Neeraj Pandey; this director is the “Rustom” of all thriller makers today. ‘A Wednesday’, ‘Special 26’ and then ‘Baby’.

Look hard and in the history of Indian Cinema, you will not find a director, who has belted out thrillers like him. Neeraj Pandey and Akshay Kumar, more or less own the thriller genre today. No arguments possible here. The buzz that ‘Rustom’s trailer generated is testimony to victory of content from Neeraj Pandey.

I am waiting for ‘Mohenjo Daro’ mainly for two reasons. While historians and people blessed with the research information would like to find faults with his story telling, Ashutosh Gowariker remains our biggest ‘period’ filmmaker in the last two decades.

The scale that he attempted with both ‘Lagaan’ and ‘Jodha Akbar’ speaks volumes about his conviction as a director. The second reason is that we are known as Indus Valley Civilisation even today. How many movies did we make in and around that period? Zero! Through Ashutosh’s lenses, our kids will probably learn some history in a narrative that is worth looking forward to. Ashutosh deserves big-time pat on his back just for trying here.

We cannot ignore the combination of Hrithik and Ashutosh too, as much as the Bollywood cynics try to deny it. Hrithik is a superstar with huge screen presence. If you think he can do whatever he does on the screen - add the fact that of all the superstars on screen today,

and I include for sure the ever celebrated Aamir here - Hrithik has the biggest range of emotions. Comedy, royalty, superhero, loud, subtle, anger, soft, romantic – he can don any shade of emotion.

Hrithik delivered Akbar with such gusto in Ashutosh’s ‘Jodha Akbar’ that only he could have done that. Therefore, I am waiting with bated breath to see what Hrithik will do with this huge opportunity in ‘Mohenjo Daro’.

Then comes the baggage of history. We have some very iconic examples of two movies releasing on the same day and going on to become super hits and classics. Films like ‘Dil’ and ‘Ghayal’; ‘Raja Hindustani’ and ‘Ghatak’; ‘Gadar’ and ‘Lagaan’ were released on the same day and became huge hits.

But the best parallel of history could be ‘Dil’ and ‘Ghayal’ for ‘Mohenjo Daro’ and ‘Rustom’. ‘Dil’ was released with much fanfare. It had Aamir, the biggest lover boy hero at that time. The younger generation was going for the genre of romance. ‘Dil’ had Madhuri – she was the current flavour of the day back then.

Dil’s music was another driving factor for the box office numbers. Along with that was ‘Ghayal’ - most critics and even audiences had initially laughed at the timing of the release of ‘Ghayal’. Sunny was at his low point of career. Meenakshi was being considered past her prime.

Amrish Puri with his wide-eyed angry stare was becoming boring and he was here too. Sunny Deol holding a gun in the posters was as boring as it could be. Then came the pleasant surprise. Both movies had their own appeal and both won the box office. At least for me ‘Ghayal’ is a big time watch even today.

You can actually map this Bollywood history point on ‘Rustom’ and ‘Mohenjo Daro’. Akshay-Neeraj duo is in form. We are expecting great stuff here. ‘Mohenjo Daro’ is being laughed at for its name by historians and critics. Like ‘Ghayal’ people are questioning the timing of its release.

Most have written off ‘Mohenjo Daro’ already. Something tells me we are in for a big surprise here. As for me, I’m waiting for both the films. I do not know when Bollywood film makers will have the guts to offer such a super weekend, again.

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