Mumbai, May 19 (IANS) Coming to your box office this Friday are names that don't ring a bell. Yet they are the protagonists of a new trend in Bollywood - youth stories told with a fresh perspective.
Bollywood has for long been dominated by 40-plus talent, be it in acting or direction. But now some of these very established names are teaming up with new actors and filmmakers to tell new tales like 'Pyaar Ka Punchnama', 'Shaitan' and 'Bhindi Bazaar Inc'.
Newly released Yash Raj Films' production 'Luv Ka The End' had young actors like Shraddha Kapoor and Taaha Shah in the lead. Releasing Friday, '404' also features new actor Rajvvir Aroraa.
'There are a lot of new filmmakers today like Anurag Kashyap, Dibaker Banerji, Vishal Bharadwaj etc, who recognize talent. They want talented people and make good cinema. Definitely the attitude of the industry is changing,' Gulshan Deviah, one of the actors in 'Shaitan', told IANS.
'Also new people are given a chance because the audience is changing. They don't want the same old stuff. They want human stories,' he added.
'Shaitan', helmed by debutant director Bejoy Nambiar, is coming on June 10 and stars young actors like Gulshan Deviah, Shiv Pandit, Neil Bhoopalam, Kirti Kulhari and the fairly new Kalki Koechlin. It is co-produced by Anurag Kashyap and Viacom 18.
First-time director Luv Ranjan's 'Pyaar Ka Punchnama' is made with six fresh faces - Kartikeya Tiwari, Rayo Bhakhirta, Divyendu Sharma, Sonalli Sehgal, Nushrat Bharucha and Ishita Sharma.
Even superstar Shah Rukh Khan has shown faith in newcomers in his home production 'Always Kabhi Kabhi', the directorial debut of Roshan Abbas who has set his film in a school and roped in four young actors - Ali Fazal, Zoa Morani, Satyajeet Dubey and the one-film- old Giselle Monteiro to tell the story.
'I've sincerely seen all of them perform and each one of them has something unique, which they will give to the industry. Yes, there are lots of faces that are being launched and there are tonnes of people that you will see. There are some faces that will bring that something extra to the table and I spent a good six-eight months looking for them,' said Abbas.
'Will they succeed or not? That is their destiny. But the freshness they are bringing is great. Each has a place in the industry. They have something in them,' he added.
What has also generated interest in fresh faces is budget constraints and the dearth of young actors. It is not possible to cast a big name with limited finances; therefore filmmakers are falling back on first-timers or relatively new names.
Abhishek Pathak, producer of 'Pyaar Ka Punchnama', didn't approach any big actor because his story demanded young actors and there are only two established names that falls in that bracket - Ranbir Kapoor and Imran Khan.
'It's a film about guys and girls in the age bracket of 21-23 and we only have Ranbir and Imran who could fit the roles. But they are of a different level. For me, to convince them to be in the film to be made by a new director at a small budget would have been very difficult,' said Pathak.
'Luv (Ranjan) wanted to spend six-seven months with the actors to do workshops. So too much time of the actors was required. A star would not have been able to give so much time,' he said.
Filmmaker Karan Johar, known for working with only big names, has also teamed up with new faces Siddharth Malhotra, Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt for his next directorial venture 'Student Of The Year'.
'Bhindi Bazaar Inc' and 'Love Express' will introduce Ankush Bhatt and Sunny Bhambhani as directors respectively.
As many of them are being made under well-known banners, finding a distributor is not difficult.
'We needed Shah Rukh's backing for the film, not for acting but for releasing it. For acting, we didn't need him because the film is about school kids, but his support will help the film reach out to many,' said Abbas.
(Ruchika Kher can be contacted at email@example.com)