How our cinematic storytelling has changed since Mohabbatein

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By Murtaza Ali Khan

I have very rarely seen an actor completely overshadowing Amitabh Bachchan in a movie ever since Anand which was in many ways a one man show with Rajesh Khanna stealing all the limelight from Big B. Now, this scene from Mohabbatein is another example when Amitabh Bachchan got completely overshadowed in a scene. Shah Rukh Khan owns this scene in every sense of the word (just think of the dialog delivery, emotional quotient and overall impact of the scene). But things have changed greatly over the last two decades in Hindi cinema owing to the exploits of certain filmmakers who have also succeeded in making the viewers more aware. 

The change has allowed a new generation writers to come forward in turn paving way for actors like Irrfan Khan, Manoj Bajpayee, Sanjay Mishra, Kay Kay Menon, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, and others. Also, the advent of the web as an alternative entertainment platform has further opened up new horizons for the creative people. Today, we can have a major series with someone like Jaideep Ahalawat in the lead. One that ends up creating the same kind of buzz we would expect from a movie with a superstar. Yes, the lockdown would have helped but there is no denying that the times have changed. 
Amitabh Bachchan in Main Azaad Hoon
Going back to this scene from Mohabbatein, as good as it is, I don't think that something like this would create the same impact today. It may not not even work with the young audiences. Interestingly, today what Big B did in Main Azaad Hoon or what Shah Rukh Khan did in Swades would have most definitely work better than what it did back in the time. That's how much our cinematic storytelling is changing. Only the actors who have tried hard to adapt have endured (including Salman Khan as evident from his work in films like Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Sultan). No wonder the likes of Sunny Deol, Fardeen Khan, Bobby Deol, Zayed Khan, Govinda, Sunil Shetty, and others have little relevance today. 

Link to the scene from Mohabbatein:

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