Blame it on Bollywood’s increased proximity with the media or credit it to the roles played by actors like Konkona Sen Sharma, Riteish Deshmukh, Rani Mukerji or Preity Zinta hitting home with audience, but B-Towners seem to have developed a fascination for the journo brigade, inspiring many filmmakers to make them their central characters.
Kareena Kapoor is known to be intensely preparing for her role as a journalist in Prakash Jha’s upcoming film. Amrita Rao is attending workshops to prepare to play a scribe in Anil Sharma's next. Emraan Hashmi had played a TV reporter in Rush, as did Minissha Lamba in Joker. Jackie Shroff plays a reporter in Coverstory, while Kangana Ranaut played one in Knock Out. And, it’s not just on-screen that the journos have the limelight on them, Aamir Khan shares, “I am going to be touring major cities in India and interacting with investigative journalists and policemen, because I am curious to know about the way they function.”
Trade analysts feel that the media has many avenues to explore on-screen and that lends itself to become an interesting subject. Page 3 director Madhur Bhandarkar feels that the premise brings certain gravitas and weight to the film. “The mix of glamour, power, morality, is an interesting mix and the possibilities are endless on screen,” says the director known for making films on hard hitting subjects.
Emraan says that it was interesting for him to essay the role of a reporter. “To get into the shoes of someone whose ‘working’ you understand on a surface level is a very different experience,” says Emraan.
Talking about the filmmakers shifting focus on the segment of news makers, trade analysts point out that media is a powerful and integral part of everyone’s daily lives, and considering Bollywood’s keenness on realism, it is hardly surprising to see media in reel life. “Also, journalists are no longer considered to be the jhola brigade, as they were once portrayed in parallel cinema. Today, it balances realism with entertainment well,” they add.