The Virtuous Villains

-Hitee Singh, 1st year MBA

“I am going to make him an offer he can’t refuse.”

This line from The Godfather is probably the most popular line from a crime movie. Movies were, are and will always be a medium of escaping reality in the world of fiction. But isn’t the fiction supposed to depict things as the way they are without glorifying or demeaning anyone? Sadly, the filmmakers haven’t registered that message. There are innumerable examples of movies where gangsters and murderers are put on a pedestal to be adored by the masses.

Once Upon a Time in Mumbai, loosely based on the life of Haji Mastan, justified smuggling of gold with the dialogue “Main taskhari sirf unhi cheezon ki karta hoon jiski ijazat zameer deti hai”. Quite an unreasonable logic to make an invalid point considering ‘zameer’ follows the principle of to each his own.

The hit American TV show Breaking Bad garnered a lot of critical acclaim and the protagonist a lot of sympathy. What for? For cooking meth so that he could provide for his family. Well, let me tell you something folks, nobody becomes a criminal just for the heck of it. There is obviously some personal motivation behind it which in no way and not even in an alternate universe makes it praise worthy.

There are a few outlaws to the gangster worshipping rule. Anyone who has seen Netflix original series Narcos will agree that it is raw. There is no glamorisation. The truth is plain and the message is clear. A law breaker doesn’t deserve to escape the noose just because his situations forced him to do so.


Closer home, Main aur Charles starring Randeep Hooda dispelled a lot of stereotypes. The director showed Charles Sobhraj the way he was – a psychopathic serial killer. He is paying for that now, isn’t he?

As one cannot clap with one hand, the filmmakers wouldn’t make such films if they knew they wouldn’t be devoured by the viewers. I agree there is something very fascinating about going rogue and doing things which one couldn’t and wouldn’t do in real life after all movies are an escape from reality. But then again social responsibility is also a responsibility. As a society if we find a guy making meth to help out for his family or a guy illegally manufacturing and smuggling alcohol acceptable, I am worried where we are headed.

Movie making is just portraying a story on celluloid.
Be objective. Just tell the story like it is and leave it to the audience to interpret it. A biased representation of characters shows either one doesn’t know how to make a film or that one doesn’t trust the audience to formulate their own viewpoint.

One is practically forcing the audience to look at the movie in a certain way by bringing forward just a part. There should be more movies where an unbiased, objective story is put forward which lets the people decide rather than seeing larger than life, ‘good’ criminals which quickly become a household name.


Author: shivamjha

Soy el fuego que arde tu piel. Soy el agua que mata tu sed.

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