There was a time when patriotic films revolving around soldiers, cops, or everyday society worked like a charm with the audience. However, that’s no longer the case, with many of today’s youth, especially in the metros, feeling that patriotic films in Bollywood are nothing more than jingoistic, over-the-top fluff pieces. And their gripe isn’t just with such films today, but also with those considered classics back in the day by audiences elder to them. So what has changed?
In a recent interview with Jackie Shroff, who’ll soon be seen in Director J.P. Dutta’s Paltan, the veteran actor attempts to make sense of it all.
“When bombs explode on the border and bullets are being fired and you’re hearing all these loud sounds, then automatically your voice raises. A solider has no choice but to scream over it all. It may look like heroism and jingoism to today’s youth, and then may think things are being shown as over-the-top, but nothing could be further from the truth. It’s complete madness on the battlefield. A bullet can get you anytime or something else might happen to you. So, you have to build energy and spirit by shouting and being at the forefront of things. And if we don’t depict all this on the big screen, it’ll be completely wrong and unfair to the men who battle it out there and sacrifice their lives for us.
“That passion needs to be shown. Our adrenaline needs to pump. Pulses need to pound. Nerves need to throb. We need to look exhausted on screen. Till these things don’t happen, it won’t look believable. And it’s not fun even for actors. We leave no stone unturned in trying to do jusitce to the bravehearts we’re portraying on screen. Our energy is spent, at times even our bones break. I’ve seen how the lengths that the younger actors in the film have gone to to justify their roles. That’s what today’s youth need to understand, but until they don’t emerge from their make-believe worlds created on the internet, they won’t.”
We doubt that Jaggu Dada’s words will make any difference to today urban-bred, English-speaking youth, who think they know it all based on opinions formed from social-media articles.