It is quite disappointing how Bollywood has given up its skill to make good and intelligent movies in order to garner box-office collections. Dumbed-down movies have overtaken the good, intelligent, and off-beat films just to appeal to the masses. And, that’s the reason why instead of the most of the recent cop dramas, with their logic-defying plot and stunts, stand nowhere close to the 90s cop drama – Sarfarosh. This movie is one of the best cop dramas Bollywood has ever offered us.
In the 90s we had Ajay Singh Rathore (Aamir Khan) and now we have Dabang’s Chulbul Pandey or Simbaa’s Sangram ‘Simmba’ Bhalerao. While Ajay Singh was driven by his duty to bring change, the recent cop flicks rely on officers stepping out of moving cars with ease or delivering over-the-top dialogues to overwhelm theatres with cheers.
The most famous is Rohit Shetty’s cop-universe, which includes Singham, Simmba, and the latest blockbuster Sooryavanshi. While we may criticize Bollywood for giving us dumb movies, the reality is that the audience loves these logic-defying over-the-top movies. And, that’s the reason why we don’t have movies like – Sarfarosh or Ardh Satya or Shool, or Khakee anymore.
In the last few years, Bollywood has acquired a taste of showing hulky cops fighting crime in the city. These hulky cops are far from the real cops and much more aligned to fictitious superheroes!
And, that’s what makes the Aamir Khan starrer Sarfarosh a real winner. With the ACP Ajay Singh Rathore as a protagonist, this movie depicts a cop as a human being and not a superhero. He doesn’t do physics-defying stunts or jump from flying cars or throw punches.
This 1999 release showcases how a bright student turns into a stern police officer. He never needed superfluous action, flying punches, or heavy speeches to win our hearts. He did it with his unparalleled devotion to the job and his serious demeanour.
Rather than today’s cops, neither this character is toxic or misogynist, nor hyper-masculine. A well-written character with Aamir’s captivating performance, this movie is an ideal example of impeccable film-making. Despite being a quintessential masala movie, it was far away from the dramas that are synonymous with today’s cop flicks.
This movie busted the cop’s heroic reputation and showed how they are as much human as we are. This movie rather than focusing on the cop as a hero remained focused on the story! With the perfect dose of action, drama, and tragedy, Sarfarosh balanced every aspect and gave us a winner in cop dramas. While the recent cop dramas are guilty of reducing female characters to nothing more than the ‘lover’ or eye candy, the writers succeeded in giving Sonali’s character a distinct identity.
With Naseeruddin Shah’s power-packed memorable performance, this movie stands out for brilliance, which many Bollywood films fail to do anymore.
It is quite amazing how Sarfarosh – a ‘90s cop drama – has everything – from well-drafted narrative to power-packed performances that the current-age cop-dramas miss. In today’s time, when there is no logic or storyline, we miss the time when we had intelligent movies. Hope Bollywood would soon get better and give us the meaningful movies that we deserve!