A character overtaken by time
- Malaysia Airlines plane with 5 Indians onboard missing, presumed crashed off Vietnam coast
- Bharatiya Janata Party releases second list of candidates for Lok Sabha elections
- No compromise with live-ins or gay rights, moral values supreme: RSS
- In Mumbai, new warship system malfunctions, Navy officer killed
- I'm not a terrorist, Modi should have met me: Arvind Kejriwal
A.K. Hangal, a name synonymous with genteel character roles that stood for old world values — grace, compassion, loyalty — passed away on August 26, but the character he made famous had left our movies long ago. Arguably amongst the finest character actors — Rahim chacha in Sholay who believes in the power of forgiveness, or trade union leader Bipinlal Pandey in Namak Haraam, who stands up for the rights and dignity of workers that he represents — Hangal brought to his characters a special kind of decency. On most occasions he played someone who is loyal, yet never servile. Someone who would never overstep boundaries, no matter what the provocation.
In today's Hindi films, however, an altered narrative, brought on by the death of formula films, as also the rapidly changing social structure, leaves little scope for the loyal family retainer, or "Ramu kaka", as made immortal by Hangal. In the fast paced postmodern zamana with nuclear families sans havelis and live-in domestic staff, there is no room for the loyal conscience keeper of the family. And with Hindi films getting Hollywoodised, a loyal, long-standing family retainer in a contemporary flick would be as much of an escapist fantasy as lip synced song sequences. Or perhaps even more of one.
In fact, today, when it comes to character actors, Hangal's longevity in cinema is not something too many can boast of. Between then and now, the plot has changed. With 100+ films being churned out every year in Hindi alone, the requirement for fresh faces, particularly for character actors, makes an enduring celluloid innings almost impossible. At a recently concluded edition of the Screen Big Picture debate on character actors, the panelists concurred that today's character actors, despite sterling performances, remain unsung heroes, the convenient "that guy" who everyone recognises but whose name nobody can remember.
- Chai pe Charcha gets police protection, EC officials to check on poll norm violation
- Complaint against Kejriwal: Kutch cops gather evidence
- AAP chief to hold first public meeting in Gujarat today
- Nominations for North Bangalore primary begin
- ‘Our campaigning in the state will be out of the box’
- ‘Aai Retire Hotey’ to take the stage for 100th time today