PRAN - The legend of Hindi Cinema

Cyclewala Michael RIP?

Seventies, eighties and even the initial phase of nineties saw the emergence of typical ‘Christian‘ stereotypes: they were either pigeonholed as tough talking land lady Mrs. D’Souza with a heart of gold as in Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s films or portrayed as a drunkard in ‘Michael daaru peekar danga’ avatar.


Their portrayal oscillated between vamps wearing frocks, villains using apun ko lingo and a cross wielding Goan to a noble priest who dies saving truth and fidelity. Now a more realistic new reel catholic who is neither a drunkard nor a characterless vamp has replaced these as encountered in Karan Johar’s Jennifer in Kal ho na ho. The negative portrayal of the community (as in Vinod Pande’s Sin or Imtiaz Ali’s Socha na tha) has become the thing of the past.     


Just remember a scene from seventies blockbusters Majboor where happy go lucky Michael (Pran) croons ‘…. phir Na kehna Michael daaru pikar danga karta hai’. The baddie turned goodie paid with his life to save Vijay (Amitabh Bachchan) from antagonist.


Such character, though fortify the entertainment quotient, nevertheless plays to the gallery. Never did they occupy centre stage and essayed lead role in a Bollywood movie.


 ‘The gizmos have exposed us to different cultures dotting the globe, which has enabled to influence the new generation,’ Manuel Fernandez, a media executive explains.


‘They have now opened up to foreign ideas that once used to be a social pariah,’ recalls Fernandez.


If we gloss over the chronological portrayal of movies depicting different shades of Christian characters we find shades of similarity in almost every such character.


Karan Johar, Vinod Pande, Imtiyaz Ali and Mahesh Bhatt have improvised a lot and to a great extent get success to dismantle the myth that shrouds such roles. Though they too have at one or the other point in cinematic history tried to push similar characters in their movies.


The stereotype is losing its steam – naturally a good omen for cine goers.






Tags : Pran Majboor Mahesh Bhatt Imtiyaz Ali Vinod Pande Karan Johar