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When Bollywood fought DRUGS

By JOGINDER TUTEJA
May 13, 2021 13:17 IST
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Bollywood has taken on drugs quite a few times in the movies.

From Dev Anand's Hare Rama Hare Krishna to Ramanand Sagar's Charas, quite a few films in the 1970s and 1980s explored this theme.

On this side of the millennium, one hasn't seen many movies on the drug culture prevalent in society.

Salman Khan's new film Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai returns to this plot.

Randeep Hooda is shown as a drug kingpin in this Prabhudeva film and the man of the moment, Salman Khan, tries to fight evil.

Joginder Tuteja looks at recent films exploring the drug culture.

 

Sanju
Box office collections: Rs 342.53 crore

In Rajkumar Hirani's biopic on Sanjay Dutt, Sanju, the actor's younger years were shown too, when he was deep into drugs.

His introduction to drugs, his fall and then how he rose above it was shown in some detail.

 

Kabir Singh
Box office collections: Rs 278.24 crore

After his relationship with his true love (Kiara Advani), Shahid Kapoor's Kabir Singh took to the path of destruction.

Director Sandeep Reddy Vanga showed quite a few sequences featuring alcohol addiction and substance abuse, when Kabir found himself rock bottom in life before finally, coming out of it.

 

Udta Punjab
Box office collections: Rs 60 crore

A film that took on the drug menace in Punjab, Udta Punjab tried to show the real picture.

No wonder, Abhishek Chaubey's directorial saw a lot of protests before and during its released.

Even after censorship, the film made a deep impact.

 

Dum Maaro Dum
Box office collections: Rs 32 crore

Dum Maaro Dum deals around Abhishek Bachchan's character having quite a job in hand to clean Goa of its drug culture.

Rohan Sippy's film did have its moments, with its heart in the right place.

But somehow, the film could not cover the distance.

 

Fashion
Box office collections: Rs 30 crore

Madhur Bhandarkar's cinema has always been dark, gritty and realistic.

in Fashion, he chose to expose the fashion world, and a major portion of the narrative showcased the challenges Priyanka Chopra, Kangana Ranaut and Mugdha Godse faced.

One of them was, of course, drugs.

 

Go Goa Gone
Box office collections: Rs 25.16 crore

Go Goa Gone is the only comedy that revolved around drugs to an extent.

A unique mix of zombie terror and drug abuse, Raj & DK's film starring Kunal Kemmu, Vir Das and Anand Tiwari as well as Saif Ali Khan, the film recently completed eight years of release.

 

Dev D
Box office collections: Rs 5.30 crore

If Shah Rukh Khan drowned himself in alcohol in Devdas, Abhay Deol tried substance abuse in Anurag Kashyap's version of the classic.

Kashyap showed how drugs can totally ruin an individual, as his life spirals out of control.

 

Mohra
Box office collections: Rs 12 crore

Mohra came at the time when films on drug-related crimes were in vogue.

Director Rajiv Rai made a commercial blockbuster and brought in other elements too.

No wonder this Akshay Kumar, Suniel Shetty, Naseeruddin Shah and Raveena Tandon starrer was a massive success.

 

Shaitan
Box office collections: Rs 8.26 crore

Yet another film that came from Anurag Kashyap, Shaitan had Bejoy Nambiar calling the shots.

The film was about a group of youngsters finding themselves in the midst of crime with drugs playing a major role as well.

With a psychedelic feel to it, Shaitan impressed critics as well as urban audiences.

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JOGINDER TUTEJA