Movie Over Matter
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Movie Over Matter

Ayushmann — The unconventional Bollywood Hero

Ayushmann Khurana is an unlikely success. And his movies are unlike anything we’ve seen before.

But the most fascinating aspect of his success is that he is not portrayed as a typical Bollywood hero in any of his films. He is not the one who saves the day, he is the one saved by the end of the movie!

Vicky Donor: A loser who finds a way to earn by selling his sperms. When the truth comes out, he is, sort of, banished from his community. His doctor friend has to come to his rescue. A loser all the way! But because he is a nice genuine guy, he wins in the end.

Dum Lagaake Haisha: 10th standard fail. Unemployed. But feels his wife, who is not only educated but also employed, is beneath him. His wife eventually comes to his rescue. A loser all the way! But his previous hard work, and because he’s a nice genuine guy, he wins in the end.

Bareilly ki Barfi: Selfish guy. Makes his friend suffer to impress a girl. Eventually learns his lesson and is rescued by that particular friend.

Shubh Mangal Saavdhan: Average guy. Suffers from male problem (erectile dysfunction). Most girls would reject him. But once again, his girlfriend (would-be wife) comes to his rescue. Gives him confidence that despite his temporary shortcoming (literally), he is no less of a man. A loser all the way! But because of his and his wife’s effort, he wins in the end.

Andhadhun: Average musician trying to make it big in life. Unfortunately ends up becoming blind. Once again, somebody comes to rescue him, first the lottery ticket seller, then the doctor. He barely survives by making an unethical but wise choice at the end.

Badhaai Ho: He is not the main focus of the movie. Moreover, here also his girlfriend tries to rescue him but soon gives up. Eventually, a bad remark on his family pushes him to pick himself up and make things right with everyone in his life — brother, mother, father, girlfriend’s mother, and girlfriend.

Article 15: Once again, he’s an average person, this time an IPS officer. He’s confused, and tries to do the right thing. This is perhaps the only film where he acts like a typical bollywood hero, by seizing control and making some hard choices to get things done. But he doesn’t give the impression of being the one with all the answers and solutions and someone who can fight with the system. He is shown to be helpless against the system, both the law and the rules of local people. Yet, he doesn’t give up. He follows the law to the letter and encourages people to give up their rules for the sake of humanity.

Dream Girl: Yet again, Ayushmann doesn’t shy away from being the loser protagonist stuck in a unique situation. This time he is helped by his best friend and eventually by his fiance, but eventually he is the one who fights back and survives.

Ayushmann’s character is never a hero. He is a protagonist. He is not born to win or rescue others. He begins as a loser. He gets defeated. He suffers. And he has to be rescued or aided by others. But he learns his lesson. And in the end he wins.

This is the reason why we relate to him in any role he does and feel invested in his journey in the story. Even his movie, Meri Pyaari Bindu which didn’t do well critically or commercially, followed the same template. That is why even though I got bored in the movie, I could invest my time and emotions in Ayushmann’s character in the movie and watch the movie till the end.

While eagerly waiting for his upcoming movie, Bala, which seems to be based on a similar template as all his previous successful movies, I wonder, what next? What unique male situation is still left unexplored?



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Abhishek Sainani

An aspiring writer who often juggles between his inner world, his dream world, and the real world. Writes poetry, humorous observations and opinion pieces.