Gujarat has caught the fancy of Bollywood as a bevy of upcoming Hindi films are either based in Gujarat or have Gujarati characters in them. The first in the line is filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Ram-Leela, starring Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh. While Deepika plays an aggressive Gujarati chokri, Ranveer would also be seen mouthing Gujarati abuses in the film, which is set against the backdrop of Gujarat.
“Ram-Leela is a timeless love story. Apart from the film being traditional in nature, it has a very contemporary treatment paying tribute to the great state in all its glory. The costumes, language and accessories that have been used in the film are very authentic and intrinsic of the Gujarati community,” says the film’s spokesperson.
Next up is actor Shah Rukh Khan, who too, will be seen playing a don based in Gujarat, in a film produced by filmmakers Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani. Moving on, actor Paresh Rawal will be playing BJP Prime Ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, in his second production venture, a biopic on Modi. “I’m the obvious choice to play Modi’s role,” Rawal was quoted as saying.
Then, there’s actor Imran Khan, who will reportedly be playing a Gujarati guy, who is blessed with superhero powers, in filmmaker Vikramaditya Motwane’s next. The film is believed to be a quirky take on a common man’s angst against the system and is based on a Gujarati novel. “It is an interesting and different role,” Imran was quoted as saying, Trade analyst Atul Mohan feels that the trend has come up because the audience wants variety. “People want to see actors playing different characters from different regions. There was time when Punjabi characters dominated Hindi films and now it’s time for Gujarati ones.”
Trade analyst Vikas Mohan, on the other hand, believes that it’s a coincidence. “I don’t see it as anything more than just a coincidence. I’m sure Gujarat as a backdrop suits these stories, that’s it! Probably, the filmmakers want to encash on the vibrant culture of Gujarat,” he says.