A string of Bollywood releases this year show the Indian film industry’s continuing fascination with Mumbai’s underworld.
The spy thriller D-Day, which opened in UAE cinemas on Thursday, is one of three new Hindi films that appear to draw inspiration from the lives of Mumbai’s notorious gangsters.
Directed by Nikhil Advani, D-Day tells the story of Indian intelligence agents trying to capture “India’s most wanted man” from Pakistan, known in the film as “Iqbal” or “Goldman.
The character, played by the veteran star Rishi Kapoor, bears a striking resemblance to the former Mumbai mafia don Dawood Ibrahim, one of India’s real-life most-wanted men.
“We have used real-life events as triggers to create a public enemy and tell a story with fictionalised situations, without going into the main character’s backstory,” said Advani.
When asked about the likenesses to
Ibrahim, he said “a hint is enough for the
Any connection to real-life gangsters is rarely openly stated by filmmakers to avoid legal or personal backlash.
The forthcoming thriller Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai Dobara looks at a love triangle involving a gangster called Shoaib Khan, who is also widely thought to be inspired by Ibrahim.
“The characters are based on research and references. But unlike real-world dons, our cinematic dons sing on rooftops and are flamboyant. Ours is a work of fiction,” said the film’s director Milan Luthria.
The 2010 prequel Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai told the story of Sultan, rumoured to be based on the late gangster Haji Mastan, but the filmmakers released a statement denying this after Mastan’s family took the matter to court.
It is a scenario Sanjay Gupta was keen to avoid in his film Shootout at Wadala, released in May, about the rise of a gangster called Manya Surve who was killed in 1982 by the Mumbai police.
While Surve’s name stays the same in
the film, those of several other principal characters were changed just before the
release. Gupta said there were grey areas in the law and that it was difficult to know exactly who would be angered by any perceived likenesses. – AFP
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