As a country that boasts of diversity, far too many celebrations dot the Indian calendar. Several of these festivals have made their way to Bollywood films, and it’s perhaps not an exaggeration to say that Ganeshotsav remains the filmmakers’ favourite.
During an elaborate Ganeshotsav song sequence in Agneepath, Hrithik Roshan ended up scalding his hands on the set
From highlighting the celebratory mood of a neighbourhood mandal to pinpointing the turf war between local gang members, this particular festival continues to contribue to the canvas of filmmaking. Arguably one of India’s biggest fetes, it is celebrated with much fanfare throughout the country but aamchi Mumbai — the home of Bollywood — takes the cake for its zeal towards the elephant god. To celebrate the occasion, hitlist takes a look at films that have effectively captured the electrifying atmosphere that prevails during Ganeshotsav...
'Shor In The City' (2011)
Director: Krishna D.K., Raj Nidimoru
Lowdown: Like Ankush, this crime drama begins with a Ganesh festival. Interestingly, it also ends with the same festival. In the climax, the protagonist fatally brutally shoots his enemies but to his good fortune, the sound of gunfire is conveniently drowned out by the noise of the celebrations. And he walks out like just another face in the festive crowd.
Director: Karan Malhotra
Lowdown: In the island village of Mandwa, Hrithik Roshan’s character is shown performing an aarti to a humongous Ganesha statue. While he initially lip-syncs to the beautifully rendered song, Deva Shree Ganesha by Ajay Gogavale, he leaves the function midway to be part of a violent showdown with his ultimate antagonist.
Director: Prabhu Dheva
Lowdown: True to Salman Khan’s onscreen personality, his character in this action thriller dances boisterously with the crowd in front of Ganesha. What’s worth noting here is that the lyrics and the dance routine — punctuated by flags and random colours — have hardly anything to do with the festival in question.
'Don: The Chase Begins Again' (2006)
Director: Farhan Akhtar
Lowdown: While the cops are trying to solve a case, the ‘don’ is busy having fun. To mark the occasion of Ganesh Visarjan, Shah Rukh Khan gargles before belting out a festive song. Set against the backdrop of a culturally vibrant and diverse basti, this Maurya Re number is difficult to not dance to.
'AAN: Men At Work' (2004)
Director: Madhur Bhandarkar
Lowdown: In this film, Suniel Shetty is an encounter specialist who offers his prayers before walking into a trap set up by a corrupt colleague. Inside the building, he gives a tough fight to the bad guys before succumbing to bullet wounds. Outside the building, Ganeshotsav is on in full swing with the aartis taking place and drums playing in the background.
Director: Ram Gopal Varma
Lowdown: Blood flows into the very seawater that Lord Ganesha is supposed to be submerged in during the pre-climax of this crime thriller. Here, the mafia don (played by Govind Namdev) is offering his prayers to Ganesha at Chowpatty beach, when Satya (played by JD Chakravarthy) decides to end their war by stabbing him.
'Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge?' (2010)
Director: Ashwani Dheer
Lowdown: Set in a house where an uninvited guest (played by Paresh Rawal) is creating havoc with his constant interference, the twist in the film takes place when he goes missing during the Ganesh Visarjan ceremony. At that point, family members are shown haplessly searching for him in the crowd.
Co-produced by Anurag Kashyap and directed by Punarvasu Naik, an upcoming Marathi film titled Vakratunda Mahakaya is all set to release after Ganesh Chaturthi this year. It revolves around a little boy who has befriended a Lord Ganesha doll and the adventure it takes him on.