Breaking news — the new theme of Bollywood

From Jessica Lal murder case to Mumbai terror attacks, Bollywood seems to have taken a fancy for the breaking news with a number of filmmakers inspired by headline-making stories.
With the success of Anurag Kashyap’s Dev D, Dibakar Banerjee’s Oye Lucky Lucky Oye and Love, Sex Aur Dhokha the industry, often accused of forgoing reality for escapism, for once has found a success formula in news stories.
Kashyap, who has already made Black Friday, a film on 1993 Mumabi serial blasts, incorporated stories like hit-and-run case, drug abuse and infamous DPS MMS scandal in his Dev D, which was a modern take on Sharatchandra’s Devdas.
Similarly, Banerjee was inspired by the exploits of a small-time Delhi thief Bunty to make his national-award-winning film Oye Lucky Lucky Oye.
In his latest film Love, Sex Aur Dhoka, also India’s first digital film, Banerjee went one step ahead by weaving stories around headline grabbing issues like honor killing, MMS scandal and sting operation.
“The film shows us things that are happening all around us. The idea of this film came from the many MMS scandals that were being reported in the newspapers. I wrote two short stories at that time, which were later expanded it to three,” Banerjee said about the film.
Rajkumar Gupta, who directed Aamir, is currently working on a film called No One Killed Jessica, which is based on the 1999 murder of Jessical Lal in a Maharauli restaurant by Manu Sharma.
The film stars Rani Mukherjee and Vidya Balan and recreates the murder, which dominated the headlines until recently. Gupta shot the film in Delhi recently.
Onir, best known for My Brother Nikhil, is back with his I Am project. The film, a collection of four stories on race, homosexuality and child abuse, is inspired by real life incidents.
“A lot of the stories that are in ‘I am’ are based on incidents that one has read in newspapers or heard on TV. They are real stories,” Onir says.
The director calls it the “newage” cinema, which is neither mainstream nor art house.  “I think there is a now group of filmmakers like Anurag Kashyap, Dibakar Banerjee and Rajkumar, who like to tell real stories. It is something which is not absolutely mainstream but at the same time it not art house cinema. It is new-age Bollywood or Indian cinema,” says Onir.
India has been a victim of terror for a long time and the issue has not escaped Bollywood filmmakers, who have been voicing their concern through movies. Terrorism formed the theme for many Bollywood films including Mani Ratnam’s Roza, Dil Se to Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s Mission Kashmir.
America’s 9/11 terror attack has also inspired Bollywood filmmakers. Naseeruddin Shah raised the issue in his directorial debut Yun Hota To Kya Hota while Tanuja Chandra’s film Hope And A Little Sugar was a love story set against the back of the incident.
It was also the theme of Kabir Khan’s New York, Shoaib Mansoor Khuda Ke Liye, Jagmohan Mundhra’s Shoot At Sight, Kurbaan and Shah Rukh Khan starrer My Name Is Khan.
Other movies that have been made on real-life terror incidents include Neeraj Pandey’s A Wednesday, about a common man’s take on terrorism, Kashyap’s Black Friday, Apoorva Lakhia’s Shootout At Lokhandwala (2007) on a 1991 underworld encounter, and Nishikant Kamat’s Mumbai Meri Jaan (2008) on the serial train blasts of July 7, 2006.
Ashok Chakra, a film set against the back of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack will hit the theaters on May 28.
Rajan Verma, a newcomer, dons the role of Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving terrorist, who was sentenced to death by a court recently.
“Months before the (Mumbai) trial ended, we had decided that Kasab will be hanged to death in the film, it was the only just thing to do. The film shows Kasab accepting his guilt before his death,” Verma said.
Earlier titled Total Ten, the movie has been directed by S.P. Munishwar and produced by Hari Om Sharma under the banner of Sapna Films Production.
The Rs 2.5-crore film based on media reports of the carnage and accounts of police officials and survivors pieces together the 60-hour ordeal the city went through.
Other actors in the movie include Homi Wadia (Hemant Karkare), Ashok Kulkarni (Ashok Kamte) and Ashish Vidyarthi (Tukaram Ombale).
Bhojpuri star Kamal Rashid Khan’s upcoming sequel to Deshdrohi also centers on the “sacrifices made by ATS officers” during the terror attacks.

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