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Gadar 2: Time for redemption of Hindi cinema through commons through the tools of commonality

GADAR 2 has given a strong message to the film fraternity not to cover up the lack of content with razzmatazz, but to reconstruct itself

When was the last time when a film was announced as a grand success, but on that occasion of grandeur, laurels were equally shared between single screen theatres and the multiplexes? Not in the recent memory after the advent of the multiplexes as the staple source of entertainment! One would have to go beyond a decade as well, and it would be difficult to find a film whose success would have been an outcome from footfalls both at the single screen and the multiplexes.

Success of GADAR 2 is a redemption of the belief that the common man had in the wonders unspooled on the screen and which was thronged repeatedly to soak in the ambience. The content being offered through the platform of supposed creativity was kind of microwaved product that immediately would lose its essence for the Hindi film audience and it was majorly cut of from the ground realities and no wonder the average moviegoer turned their backs from multiplexes. After all, who can afford movies as a staple diet on a regular basis if the cost of a popcorn is more than a movie ticket?

GADAR 2 with its content tuned to the ground realities brought the commons back to the cinema halls of single screen theatre as they could sing, dance and enjoy the movies, which they could not do so in a sanitized kind of an atmosphere which a multiplex offers!

Common man goes to cinema to live in a surreal world of a larger than a life image. GADAR 2 provided that escapade after a really long time to the average movie goer and they thronged the cinema halls repeatedly in revenge against a multiplex driven entertainment social construct.

GADAR 2 has opened up the possibilities of a new wave of cinema for the masses which should be lapped upon but the characters have to be larger than life and having some tool or the other in their armour that adds an element of aura to the overall star construct.

After all, be it a CAPTAIN AMERICA or a THOR for each of the AVENGERS, their character was defined by the weapons that they carried with themselves. Same kind of raw energy and passion was built around the character of Tara Singh in GADAR (2001). Hand pump became the tool to define Sunny Deol’s character and it continued to be associated with him even after 22 years till he replaced it this time around with a hammer, and it would be his leitmotif for quite a long time to come. Would somebody with a different tool be able to replace it? A tough ask.

After all, we as a nation worship our gods for the specific tools that they adorn, be it the Sudarshan Chakra of Lord Krishna, the Trishul of Lord Shiva, or anybody else. Sunny Deol’s character portrayal has been developed keeping this aspect in mind and no other character in the world of cinema in all probability was given such a tool as a part of character building process, as Sunny Deol was fortunate enough to get. And this was the reason and is the reason why Sunny Deol continues to make the audience eat out his hands through his GADAR saga.

Wielding of a weapon is an ultimate expression of the power and the authority the concerned individual commands on the screen. It is aspirational symbolism and therefore the average moviegoer just worships him. Remember the HUNTERWALI, the content of series of HANTARWALI may be trash, but when HANTARWALI wielded the hunter, she made the audience swoon through each swish of the hunter.

Mannerisms, tools and characters define the persona of a character and this how GADAR-2 has been packed. It does not have a high gloss set and kitsch potpourri to create an element of surreal world, but it contextualizes the realities and weaves the narrative from a common man perspective. R K Laxman’s common man has been redeemed.

Humungous success of GADAR 2 has given a strong message to the film fraternity not to cover up the lack of content with razzmatazz, but to reconstruct itself and see the audience set the cash registers clinking both in the multiplexes as also the single screen theatres.

Would GADAR 2 bring a lull to dismantling of single screen theatres and would rather provide a gentle nudge to go in for refurbish as it happened in the case of Minerva cinema in Mumbai? Whatever the case may be, GADAR 2 has the potential to herald the moribund political career of Sunny Deol if he so decides and wielding the hammer he can just disintegrate the opponents by pummeling them to the ground.

Nalin Rai
Nalin Rai
Nalin Rai is a Tagore Commemorative Honouree Author for 2023 for his literary Contributions and Beyond & Emily Dickinson Award Winner for his poetry writing.
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