Bollywood has become less 'hindustani' now: Jackie Shroff

Bollywood has become less 'hindustani' now: Jackie Shroff

Jackie Shroff

The actor, who won a Filmfare award for his role in the 1989 film 'Parinda', said that films based on Indian values which touch the emotions of people are missing from the canvas of Bollywood.

"Films based on family bonding, on emotional attachments have become less in number, the 'hindustani' flavour is gone from Bollywood films," Shroff, who was in the capital to promote his film 'Kisaan', said.

The actor, who has just completed 26 years in the industry with about 150 films to his credit, said that things have changed quite a lot now.

"Some of my films have run successfully for more than 25 weeks in a row, nowadays films are declared hits if they can make it big in the first three days.

"The passion is lacking in films. Film making is more of a business these days. Life has become so fast, no one has time to stop and think. You have to move with the times, you can't help it. Whether we are progressing or degrading, God knows," Shroff said.

The 49-year-old actor is of the opinion that Bollywood has become a money-churning industry, with less focus on quality and more emphasis on business.

"People still like the songs from old films, but the song that are made nowadays don't leave an impact on our memories. We are losing the quality of poetry and lyrics, the touch and the care," said Shroff.

The actor's forthcoming film 'Kisaan' has a close-to-the-soil theme, based on the contemporary problems faced by farmers, like urbanisation and industrialisation.

"Farmers are the life of India. 80 per cent of our population comprises farmers. But their problems hardly find an expression in films these days. Such films were made earlier only by Manoj Kumarji," said the actor.

"'Kisaan' portrays real-life problems like farmer suicides, drought situations which force the farmers to take loans, how illiterate farmers are ignorant of the law and face problems because of that. The film delivers strong messages of bonding, unity, the dignity of being close to your motherland, being a 'Kisaan' and being proud of being a 'Kisaan'," said the actor.

Shroff, who achieved heartthrob status with super hit film 'Hero' in 1983, says that he wants to continue playing roles which form the foundation of a movie.

"My character should be the base of the film, even if it is of 10 scenes only. Like Hilal in 'Mission Kashmir', without whom, there would have been no mission," said Shroff.

The actor confesses that he has had the image of a strong and macho man in Bollywood, owing to the number of action films he has done. But he believes he can carry out roles of a different tempo as well.

"I experiment a lot. I can play a strong dominant character like the one in Mission
Kashmir, or a hedonist in Devdas, as well as a soft one like the father in 'Yaadein', or a vile man like the one in 'Eklavya'. It depends on what the director can take out of me," he said.

Shroff's step into the world of Hindi movies was an accidental one. He was working as a travel agent with no plans of coming into Bollywood at all.

"I was working as a travel agent before I became an actor. One day I met a fellow at the bus stop, who suggested I could try my hand at modelling since I had a good body.

"I got noticed while I was modelling and was offered 'Swami Dada'. That's how I landed up into Bollywood," he said.

He regrets the fact that younger section of the audience are largely neglected when it comes to mainstream Bollywood films.

"Children's films are the biggest grossers in the market, but Bollywood doesn't understand that. I did 'King Uncle' which is close to my heart as it is about girl child adoption," he said.

"I have adopted 32 kids and have appointed a Kathak trainer for them and bought computers for their education. We are also trying to request the government to increase the compulsory education standard for fourth to seventh," he added.

The actor also tries to do his bit towards social welfare and is associated with organisations like UNICEF, CRY, Blind Association and Smile Foundation.

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