Bollywood celebrated 100 years of Cinema this year and over this century, the transitions in storytelling are noticeable. Among many transitions, one that is prominent is that of the villains, the ‘bad man’. Although the dishoom-dishoom, as a crowd-pulling factor, is retained yet our villains have undergone phenomenal changes.
Here’s a look at what has changed so far with our villains:
The walk of Gabbar Singh (Sholay), the laugh of Bad Man (Mohra), the roar of Mogambo (Mr. India), all seem to be missing in the new-age villains, unfortunately. New-age villains have become more sophisticated in their criminal approach, laughing out loud, trotting on rocks is no fun for them. Also what’s missing is not just their signature style but the signature dialogue. There are no more “Mogambo Khush Hua” and “Kitne Aadmi The” type of dialogues. But we have make do with the once in a while uttered “Aata Mazhi Satakli”.
“Pachas-Pachas kos door gaon mein jab bachha raat ko rota hai toh maa kehti hai beta soja, soja nahi toh Gabbar Singh aajayega”… the dialogue still gives us a spine-chilling experience, such was the dread of the evil villains of the past. Their eyes cold, heart thirsting for blood and a mind that always ran on a monstrous track. But the new-age villains have not inherited this from their ancestors which is disheartening.
The look of the villains was designed in such a way that it gave weight to the dialogues and scared the audience out of their wits. The look of the new-age villains, however is more glossy and it makes their personality all the more attractive. They don’t wear the same costume throughout the films like the oldies did but have designer clothes made to exalt their character.
The villains like Shakal, Gabbar, the usual Munimji, Ranjeet were complete negative characters but their successors are grey characters, they do have a scope and hope to transform. Also, the old villains have become legend while the new are still catching up!
Comedy, Action and Dialogues
Earlier villains had more swanky dialogues and very less action to do. Also to add a comedy element, villains usually had a supporting character like a secretary or a brother-in-law around. This has changed with time. A point worth-mentioning when it comes to comedy is the laughter of the villains. A shrilling, raucous, cacophonous laughter was a crown for Mogambo, Gabbar and the team. And alas! We miss it!
Remember, the hero asking a chamcha of the villain, “Kahan milna hai?” and the chamcha replying “Bhai ke addey par…” This is not seen in new films. The addas have not precisely diminished but transformed. From the narrow mountains of Chambal, the villains have shifted base to 5 star restaurants and scenic locales.
Inspite of these transmutations, what remains common even after decades is that a villain is still a villain without whom a hero can’t be called hero!