Bollywood has an Enduring Romance with Drugs



Bollywood has an enduring romance with drugs. TALK lists a few well-known Hindi films in which narcotics play a central role. A look!

HARE RAMA HARE KRISHNA: The hippie trail through the picturesque hills of Nepal, starring Zeenat Aman and Dev Anand, has attained a cult status in Bollywood over time. The 1971 film was produced and directed by Anand, and focuses on the drug menace in Kathmandu in the ’70s through a brother’s search for his sister through the haze of flower power.

CHARAS: Tigmanshu Dhulia’s 2004 film, starring Irrfan and Jimmy Shergill, is set in Kasol, a popular hill station near Kullu, and the illegal drug trade. A thriller, Charas narrates the nexus existing between the police, locals and foreign nationals.

FASHION: The 2008 Madhur Bhandarkar film, set in the world of fashion, showed a segment on drug abuse by a model, played by Kangana Ranaut. In the film, her career and personal life suffer due to substance abuse and she finally checks in a rehab centre. The other lead of the film, played by Priyanka Chopra, too finds herself at the peak of her career and indulging in drugs.
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DEV D: The 2009 adaption of Devdas, directed by Anurag Kashyap, shows its protagonist Dev finding refuge in drugs after losing Paro, the love of his life. Starring Abhay Deol, Mahi Gill and Kalki Koechlin, the film has several references to substance abuse and the chaos it causes in Dev’s head.

SHAITAN: A bunch of rich kids, easy access to drugs, an accident and following cover ups — Bejoy Nambiar’s 2011 film was every bit the thriller it aimed at being. Starring a slew of newbies, Shaitan was all about chemicals, and the ruckus they are capable of creating in the minds of their consumers. “Shaitan didn’t face this kind of trouble with the CBFC. We just had to add a message in the beginning of the movie by producer of the film, Anurag Kashyap, about how we do not encourage or support smoking and drugs. If I had made this movie now, there would be trouble. We are going back in time, it seems,”says Nambiar.

DUM MAARO DUM: Set in Goa, this 2011 Rohan Sippy film is about the much-discussed drug mafia that exists there. A drug lord, a cop, a college student looking for a quick buck and a DJ are at the centre of the story. “The CBFC gave it an ‘A’ certificate, and passed the film without any cuts. One activist had a problem with the film in that it showed Goa in a bad light. A precedent had been set with Dum Maaro Dum by the CBFC, how can they change that and suddenly have a problem with a film that highlights the drug menace in a state?” says Sippy.

GO GOA GONE: A zombie comedy, this 2013 film shows three friends at a rave in Goa, where the Russian mafia is selling a new drug called D2RF. Starring Saif Ali Khan, Kunal Khemu and Vir Das, Go Goa Gone’s theme remains tackling zombies, with a small segment on the new drug.
M CREAM: Set to release on July 22, this Agneya Singh film revolves around two friends on a road trip, looking for a celebrated form of hash called M Cream in the Himalayas. It stars Imaad Shah, Ira Dubey, Barry John and Tom Alter.

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