Manash Carrnad looks around for clues to see why Bollywood is making so many detective movies off late.
Bollywood has had spy films recently in the form of Saif Ali Khan’s ‘Agent Vinod’, Salman Khan’s ‘Ek Tha Tiger’ and John Abraham’s ‘Madras Café’. Akshay Kumar became a funny detective in ‘Thank You’ close on the lines of Anil Kapoor who played a private eye in ‘Race’ followed by ‘Race 2’ recently, had played a tacky spy in ‘Mr Bond’ 22 years ago.
When Raj Kapoor became ‘Gopichand Jasoos’ in 1982, and earlier had become Karamchand Jasoos along with Rajendra Kumar who became Dharamchand Jasoos in ‘Do Jasoos’ (1975), he did not know that many years later, his grandson Ranbir Kapoor would become ‘Jagga Jasoos’ 40 years later in 2014.
Ranbir Kapaoor plays a 17-year old kid who is in his second year of college and has a nose for sniffing out crime and criminals. Accompanying Ranbir in his efforts and assisting him will be Katrina Kaif who gets her shot at a different role than what she has been essaying. That is if you consider her ISI agent role in ‘Ek Tha Tiger’ more as a spy role than that of a detective.
The film is directed by Anurag Basu and produced by Basu and Ranbir under the banner of Picture Shuru Productions and will also have Govinda playing Ranbir’s step father and Alia Bhatt playing an important role.
Dia Mirza wasn’t too successful when she produced ‘Love Breakups Zindagi’, but now she seems to be heading for a big box office success as she heads for the turnstiles armed with one of the best bets to carry a woman oriented film – Vidya Balan.
Balan becomes India’s first lady detective in the film directed by Samar Shaikh with Fukrey lad Ali Fazal as her hero.
Balan will be seen snooping around in ‘Bobby Jasoos’ and she picked up the role once she heard the subject of the film and the title called ‘Bobby Jasoos’ inspired the actress to agree to the film from her ‘Lage Raho Munnabhai’ co star Dia Mirza..
Following Balan’s footsteps will be actress Anushka Sharma who had become a detective but only after becoming a producer in the film NH10 which she is producing. Anushka replaced Frieda Pinto in the Phantom Productions produced film which is being directed by Navdeep Singh and decided to become a producer too with her company Clean Slate.
‘NH10’’ is a story of a road trip that goes very wrong. Rajkumar Yadav was to play the lead and was replaced by Neil Bhoopalam at the insistence of Anushka.
Being shot this winter across the northern plains around Delhi, NH 10 will be released on September 12, 2014.
Sushant Singh Rajput has become ‘Byomkesh Bakshi’, the legendary detective who was slated to be in Bengal in the 40s and the film is set partially in the pre independence area when the lead character is in college and starts detection at that time.
Directed by Dibakar Banerji the film has been adapted from Saradindu Bandopadhyay's Bengali literary creation. Banerji and Yash Raj Films are producing the film which talks about a smart yet simple person who with his detection and skills manages to solve multiple cases.
Samrat and Co.
Samrat and Co has Rajeev Khandelwal playing a sleuth while Rajneesh Duggal plays a negative role in the movie produced by Kavita Barjatya for Rajshri Films who have asked the Ek Vivaah Aisa Bhi director Kaushik Ghatak to direct the film for them. The makers are trying to make a very serious detective film because films of that nature are not being made in India and we only have fumbling and bumbling men as detectives who solve cases by accident than by planning.
And yes, also coming up are films like ‘Bombay Detective’ by Sriram Raghavan and another detective movie from Abbas and Mustan. A small note of caution however will be that another detective film called Joe B Carvalho starring Arshad Warsi in the title role fell flat at the box office when the film hit the marquee on January 3, this year.