6 Popular Characters from an ensemble cast which should be made to a Standalone movie

Mr. Anurag Kashyap once said in one of his interviews that the quality of a movie depends not only on your protagonist and antagonist, but also on the support characters. The better a script writer develops the supporting characters; the better is the screenplay and much better is the overall result. For example, imagine a Gangs of Wasseypur with supporting cast half-baked, would it still manage to tickle your spine or for that matter a Lagaan or a Sholay. These movies have reached the scaling heights not only because of the duel between the protagonist and the antagonist but also because of their well-developed support cast. If one looks at the west, actors are more interested in donning a strong character role rather than the main protagonist, unlike our lead actors who are still interested in screen presence. Although some of our lead actors (Aamir Khan in Taare Zameen Pe) have now chosen to break the stereotypes, we have a long way to go in this aspect of storytelling.

Supporting casts are generally of two types: one with a background story, another with no background story. Today we would like to venture into this unknown territory of some of these supporting characters (who have already been a fundamental character in the movies) and would like to unravel the scenarios whether these characters can be made into a protagonist of a standalone movie. Before we proceed, we are giving an honorable mention to all Salim-Javed villains. We have purposely not included them in our list because of : 

                                   a) Our respect towards these characters 

                                   b) It’s a sin to touch Salim-Javed characters

So, without much ado, let’s have a look on these loving characters:

#6: Circuit from Munnabhai series: When Raju Hirani started Munna Bhai MBBS, the original choice for this role was Markand Deshpande. He could not do the movie as he was busy in other work and Raju Hirani had a tough time finalizing the cast. In the end moment, someone suggested Arshad Warsi and the rest is history. Earlier, the name of circuit in the movie was Khujli, but the makers changed it. Circuit has provided depth to both the movies in the series, and as a character it is loved by almost all cine-goers. As the fate of the next Munnabhai movie is undecided, we think that a sidequel of Munnabhai series will take the story forward as it will project the story from circuit’s point of view, as a protagonist, and it will be a great watch. 

#5: Kallu Mama from Satya: According to Ram Gopal Verma, Kallu Mama’s character was based on an ex-gangster he met in a bar and whose behavior made him feel uneasy, but that feeling was absent the next time he met this person; the guy was very friendly. It was then that RGV realized that the man had created a false persona the first time around and "[had been] trying to play up to an image which he thought RGV had of him because he knew that RGV knew who he was." Kallu Mama behaves in a similar manner in the film. He puts on a gangster act when a builder comes to see him temporarily hiding the fact that "he is a clown in the gang." A layered character and a psychological drama on this underworld character ably crafted with dark humor would make it a great watch on celluloid.

#4: Kaancha Cheena from Karan Johar’s version of Agneepath:  While the 1990’s Agneepath had this suit clad antagonist Kaancha Cheena, who controls his business in a village island near Mumbai and lives in an uber sophisticated place, it was Karan Johar’s Agneepath in 2012 that added depth to this immensely popular character. In the introductory scene from the movie, there have been flashes from his childhood, where he was supposed to be an ugly looking kid and his classmates were either scared of him or made fun of him. A movie with Kaanchaa Cheena as the protagonist will unravel the devil inside him and the probable reasons on why he became The Kaancha Cheena, an absolute cold blooded devil who would not think twice before brutally killing anyone. A subject like Childhood bullying has never been told on celluloid, and it will be refreshing for the viewers.


#3: Crime Master Gogo from Andaaz Apna Apna: We all have laughed to his antics and the one-liners, so it is futile to explain his immense popularity among hindi movie fans.  Although, his total screen presence in the movie is a little less than 15 minutes, still the character has achieved a cult status in all our hearts. Perhaps he is the only villain in the Hindi Movies, who has made us laugh so much over and over again. A movie with him as a protagonist, would surely answer the million dollar question; “why he plays goti by removing people’s eyeballs…!” and at the same time would be a nice experience to re-visit the popular character.

#2: Bob Biswaas from Kahaani: “There's no psychopathic laughter. No twitching. No punch dialogue. He is the friendly neighbourhood hired assassin. He is Bob Biswas,” says his Facebook page. The character who has at once terrified the nation and captivated it with the cold-blooded, yet callous manner in which he carries out his assignments. Biswas has a trademark line: “Nomoshkar…ek minute,” before whipping out his gun and finishing off his victim. The punchline set the social media afire. What was striking about the man was the duality of his nature – an ordinary face in the crowd by day and a menacing, ruthless hitman when darkness falls. In fact, during the day Biswas is often hassled by his boss and keeps telling him that he is getting calls from clients on his cellphone when in reality it is the sinister assignments that keep his phone busy. A movie if made on him would unravel the psyche behind the contract killer and at the same time would engage the audiences.

#1: Chunni Babu from Devdas Series: The epic Bengali Romance Novel was penned by Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyaya in the year 1917, and till now, there had been almost 16 different adaptations in different languages and cinema including Pakistan and Bangladesh. However, not even a single time someone tried to make the movie from the point of view of Chunni Babu, a close confidante of Devdas Mukherjee. I have seen two adaptations of the novel, Bimal Roy’s 1955 Yusuf saab’s portrayal and Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s larger-than-life Shahrukh Khan’s portrayal. I have not seen the other regional version of Devdas, but during my research on this character while writing this blog, I came to know that none of the versions, except one, had presented the character of Chunni Babu in a better light. It was only the 2002’s Devdas, where Jackie Shroff has beautifully portrayed the character by narrating the dialogues in an unusual shaayari which not only captivates the audience but also introduces a different persona of him. As Mr. Anurag Kashyap showed us in his adaptation of Devdas in Dev-D that if you carefully choose a narrative then the same story can be told in a totally unique way and it will be loved by the audience. Hope someone from the film fraternity takes a cue from this, and may be in the 17th adaptation, we might get to see Devdas’s story as told by Chunni Babu.

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