Era of villains is over, says Ashutosh Rana

New Delhi: Ashutosh Rana, one of the last bad boys of Indian cinema, who terrorised audiences with his turn as a psychopath in films like `Dushman` and `Sangharsh` , says that the era of devilish villains who ruled the big screen is over.

Rana, last in the list of anti-heroes like Ajeet, Pran and Prem Chopra, said that the audience no longer considers things in black and white.

"Cinema is a reflection of society, and as society changes so does our creativity. Earlier there would be a good guy and a bad guy. Our villain would be a dacoit, a lender, and our hero would be a police officer, a teacher.

"Then things changed, rich people and smugglers became villains and police and other people became heroes," Rana told reporters.

Larger-than-life images of yesteryears` villains who went on rampaging the life of a hero, raping his sister and molesting his girlfriend were a regular feature of almost all the films.

But times have changed and the 45-year-old actor says that the bad guy in movies these days has shades of grey and even the hero has ceased to be all-good.

"Now a common man is a hero, he is half good and half bad. And the villain now is also not an out-and-out bad guy. He is a hero for his friends and villain for his enemy; the portrayal is very subjective," he said.

Rana further said that over the years the concept of a hero has also changed, who is no longer simply an honest good man.

"The concept of hero has changed. If you ask me where is that villain, I ask you where is that hero," he said. Even as Rana argues that the bad guys are not all that bad in films, he is all set to play a evil villain on the small screen this time.

The actor, who started his career with `Swabhimaan`, will be playing Keshav Thakral, a powerful businessman who makes the life of an upcoming badminton player hellish in newly launched show `Kali - Ek Agnipariksha` on Star Plus.

"Power of money, knowledge, family and muscle power is all that a man can have, and if a person has all of them he stops competing with others and thinks his competition is with the God. This the character of (Keshav) Thakral. This character is the king of evil," said Rana.

The actor will also be seen brandishing a moustache in the serial. The show apparently draws inspiration from the Ruchika Malhotra case, which the producers of the serial,
however, denied.

PTI

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