Recently Shah Rukh Khan launched the new movie trailer for his upcoming film Raees. The trailer is a spectacular presentation of the thriller that the film is aspiring to be; the trailer is full of Drama and Shah Rukh Khan delivering dialogues in his quintessential baritone.
But as the trailer crosses over ten million views on YouTube, a question arises in my mind that is why do we love outlaws or appreciate the characters which have a sinister scheme. Take Raees for example, It is reportedly based on the Gujarat Don Abdul Latif Shiekh, who controlled the illegal liquor business in the eighties. And somehow, the trailer glorifies him as a hero and a courageous businessman whose methods were justified by his single minded obsession for profit and his daring in challenging the law of the land while breaking it.
If you think that it is a Bollywood problem; it is not. Hollywood is a predecessor for glorifying movies like these. The God father series is an exemplary to it and in the modern world; most of the stories that are told in the cinema these days depicts the plight of the villain or a more romantic term “The Anti-hero”
Gone are the days when there was clear divide between the Hero and the villain; now the central character of the story is the Anti Hero. Take for example, the case of Breaking Bad, The hit show revolved around Walter White, a high school teacher who sells meth and created an Empire out of it. The TV show was loved by the critics and the viewers alike. Similarly Netflix recently released its new TV series which is currently a rage among the popular viewership. The show ‘Escobar’ chronicles the life of the infamous Mexican drug cartel leader Pablo Escobar.
These type of characters, the outlaws are not created by the directors to satisfy their artistic persistence but to fulfill the ever increasing public demand. The industry offers only such products which sell. We as an audience demand and appreciate the bad or villainous in people.
We may forget Thakur saab, Jai, Veeru and Basanti but we can never forget Gabbar whose menacing dialogues are etched into our brains. Or let’s take recent example of The Avengers which was supposed to be a movie based on the heroics of a bunch of superheroes who stand for qualities such as Courage, integrity, honesty, pride, nationalism etc. But the Audience remember the movie because of one singular character; Loki. The villain of the movie whose crooked smile and malign taunts left audience awestruck with the brilliance of his evil.
So I again repeat my question that why are we attracted to the crime, evil and their lives why we get intimidated by their power and why we are always curious to know about the crimes rather than the
good things happening in the society.
The reason may be because the criminals represent a life which is not bound by the laws of the country or the norms of the society which often strangulates our desires.
How many times we wanted to kill our spouses in our dreams or wanted to ram our cars into the vehicle in front of us who would not give us a side but consoled ourselves by hurling abuses at him. This is because our desires are constrained by laws, society and most importantly our own inhibited conscience which doesn’t allow us to move as we would truly wish without the fear of consequences.
A story is not interesting because the benevolent son cares a lot about his parents, has perfect wife and good job to support his family. The story gets interesting when the benevolent son is actually not that benevolent. He has all the vices a man should not have.
He is an alcoholic and actually sells drugs to teenagers. But the story will be more interesting if there is no false public image of the son. He is rather a known criminal and has knack for consistently involved in the tussle with the police.
In such stories the stringent laws can be sighted as the real villains, which ostracize the individual free will to that of societal norms. To that effect he represent an array of discerning hopes, His acts might be wrong and ethically disheartening and as Breaking Bad shows us, his action doesn’t need to be justified as achieving some greater good for society, but might act on a selfish notion.
Our society tries to avoid bad traits of personalities by not acknowledging their presence in individuals, everyone is selfish, everyone has some pride in him, everyone fears something and it is human nature to like and dislike people.
Thus we can say that as long as people find themselves construed in the moral and social veil of society, family and nation. The individuals will never stop appreciating those who are free from the these shackles even though most of them would end up behind prison but the prisoner will always be more free from the ones who hide behind the veil.