New Delhi, April 26 -- Last year, Vikramaditya Motwane transported Ranveer Singh and Sonakshi Sinha to the early 50s for his critically acclaimed film, Lootera. And he isn't the only filmmaker to take a trip to the past.
Several films set in the bygone eras or using older references in modern-day cinema are set to hit the theatres in the coming months. To start with, Hrithik Roshan will star in Ashutosh Gowariker's period epic, Mohenjo-Daro, while Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone will play lovers in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Bajirao Mastani. Similarly, Anurag Kashyap's Bombay Velvet starring Ranbir Kapoor is set against the backdrop of Mumbai in the 50s and 60s.
"If a filmmaker's story is set in a particular era, then there is no choice. As for the connect, viewers might love the setting, clothes and styling of a particular time period for the first 10 minutes, but after that the story has to take over," says filmmaker Sanjay Gupta, whose next crime-thriller, Mumbai Saga, is set in the 80s. "But it's great fun to create a world that no longer exists," he adds.
There's more. Actor Ayushmann Khurrana will play scientist Shivkar Bapuji Talpade, believed to have constructed India's first unmanned airplane in 1895. Sushant Singh Rajput will play detective Byomkesh Bakshi in Dibakar Banerjee's film set in the Kolkata of 1940s. And, Shah Rukh Khan's upcoming period crime drama, Raees, will also be set in the same era. Abhishek Kapoor, too, is set to direct a live-action version of the Mahabharata.
Actors are also preparing well to fit into the past. Sushant spent a month in Kolkata to get into the skin of Byomkesh. Ayushmann, while shooting in Gondal in Gujarat, would take bucket baths just to get into the skin of Talpade. "Setting your film in the past doesn't make any sense unless it is relevant to the story. Plus, it has to be made very well. Today's audience want to see feel-good and light-hearted films. You can't bore them just because you want to make a historical film," says trade analyst Vinod Mirani.