|Directed by||S. Shankar|
|Produced by||A. M. Rathnam|
|Written by||S. Shankar|
|Music by||A. R. Rahman|
|Cinematography||K. V. Anand|
Sri Surya Movies
|Box office||₹205.6 million|
Nayak: The Real Hero (transl. Hero) is a 2001 Indian Hindi-language political action film directed by S. Shankar and produced by A. M. Rathnam under the Sri Surya Movies banner. The film stars Anil Kapoor, with Rani Mukerji, Amrish Puri, Paresh Rawal and Johnny Lever playing supporting roles. A remake of Shankar's 1999 Tamil-language film Mudhalvan, it focuses on Shivaji Rao Gaekwad (Kapoor), a television cameraman and, later, television presenter, who accidentally hears and records the conversation between a police with the Chief Minister of Maharashtra Balraj Chauhan (Puri) to take an indifferent stand during riots triggered by a fight between college students and a bus driver. While interviewing Chauhan about the issues, Shivaji is challenged to take over his job for a day.
Nayak was announced in June 2000 and marked the first Hindi-language directorial venture of Shankar. The soundtrack was composed by A. R. Rahman, with lyrics that were written by Anand Bakshi. Filming was done by K. V. Anand, taking place in more than 100 location across India. The film was released on 7 September 2001. A commercial failure, it grossed ₹205.6 million (US$2.9 million) at the box office against the total production and marketing cost of ₹210 million (US$2.9 million). It was opened to mixed reviews from critics, some of whom applauding the performances of the cast but criticising its lengthy duration and special effects. Kapoor and Mukerji got nominations for Most Sensational Actor and Most Sensational Actress, respectively, at the Bollywood Movie Awards.
Shivaji Rao Gaekwad is an ambitious television cameraman, working for QTV along with his friend Topi. While on the occupation, Rao is assigned to record riots triggered by a fight between college students and a bus driver and accidentally records a conversation in which the Chief Minister of Maharashtra Balraj Chauhan takes an indifferent stand, so as not to lose his voter base. In the riots, Shivaji saves the life of one of the college students there, and it is recorded by Topi. Because of his action, Shivaji is promoted as the senior television presenter.
Meanwhile, due to police inaction, there is loss of life and damage to property. Explaining his actions, Chauhan later agrees to do a live interview with Shivaji, during which Rao raises these issues and broadcasts the conversation he has recorded. In response to Shivaji's allegations about the mismanagement by his government, Balraj redirects the question talking about how difficult his job. He challenges Shivaji to be the Chief Minister for a day and experience those problems himself. Shivaji reluctantly accepts the challenge.
Assited by Bansal, Shivaji handles issues that affect the populace every day. He manages appropriate housing and employment for the needy, and he suspends inefficient and corrupt government officials. As the last act of the day, Rao has Chauhan arrested, as the latter is the root cause of all the corruption. Later, Chauhan posts bail and leaves jail, then passes an ordinance to nullify all orders passed by Shivaji. Insulted by Shivaji's success as well, Chauhan sends assassins after him although they only destroy his house.
Shivaji falls in love with Manjari, a naïve, carefree villager whom he met when working as a cameraman. When he asks her father to marry her, he refuses on grounds that Shivaji is not employed by the government. As a result, Shivaji begins preparing for the Civil Services Examination. However, Bansal arrives and informs Rao that Shivaji's popularity has skyrocketed and that people want him to become the next Chief Minister. He is reluctant at first, but when Chauhan's henchmen vandalise QTV premises to intimidate him, and the people show their support by thronging to his place in huge numbers, he agrees.
In the ensuing state elections, he wins by a vast majority. Chauhan's political allies desert him, causing his defeat. Manjari's father, angered by Shivaji's decision because he believes that it will makes Chauhan do not care about Manjari, refuses to let his daughter marry him. On becoming the Chief Minister, Shivaji effects many improvements and quickly becomes an idol in the people's eyes. However, his growing popularity is threatened continuously by Chauhan who uses his henchmen to try to kill him or tarnish his image as a public hero. After a failed attempt on Shivaji's life by hiring an assassin, a bomb is detonated at his home, killing his parents.
In the final attempt, Chauhan orders Pandurang to cause bomb explosions in various parts of the city. Accidentally, a priest hears that a few men was planning to detonate bombs and notifies Shivaji's office via the "complaint box", which was created by Shivaji to collect letters from the public about their complaints. Pandurang is arrested and, under tactical inquiry by Shivaji and his secretary, discloses the location of the four bombs. A squad is able to defuse three bombs, but the fourth explodes—without injuring anyone—before they could reach it.
Chauhan uses this success against Shivaji by blaming the him for the bomb. Seeing no way out, Shivaji summons Chauhan to the secretariat and creates a situation such that it would seem as if Chauhan was there to shoot Shivaji but failed. Shivaji takes up a gun, but pointing it to his arm, shoots himself, and then hands over the gun to Chauhan. The enraged Chauhan attempts to shoot Shivaji, but his shot misses. The security guards shoot down Chauhan and kill him. Apart from that, Manjari's father also comes to realise that Shivaji is a great man who sees duty before everything else and allows Manjari to marry him. The film ends with the state develops under the governance of Shivaji.
- Anil Kapoor as Shivaji Rao Gaekwad
- Rani Mukerji as Manjari
- Pooja Batra as Laila
- Amrish Puri as Balraj Chauhan
- Paresh Rawal as Bansal
- Johnny Lever as Topi
- Saurabh Shukla as Pandurang
- Shivaji Satam as Manjari's father
- Neena Kulkarni as Mrs. Gaekwad
—Shankar on why he cast Kapoor
Nayak: The Real Hero serves as a remake of the S. Shankar's 1999 Tamil-language film Mudhalvan, and was the director's first venture in Bollywood. The debut, announced in June 2000, was produced by A. M. Rathnam under the banner of Sri Surya Movies (his second Hindi film after Tejasvini, released in 1994), and addressed the issue of corruption in India. According to Shankar, he was motivated to remake Mudhalvan in Hindi because of its subject, and did several changes to the original story. In an interview to Filmfare in August 2001, he believed that the topic is well-known among Indian people. Anurag Kashyap wrote the dialogue.
The role of Shivaji was originally to be played by Aamir Khan, but he did not cast him after finding that the actor had different views of Mudhalvan and did not match to his. Next actor that was suggested was Shah Rukh Khan, however, he did not want to play the same type of role after he portray a television presenter in his home production, Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani (2000). Shankar's final choice was Anil Kapoor, although he initially reluctant to choose him for the part but changed his mind after finding him more suitable than the previous actors. When asked by the Deccan Herald about his character as well as his experience during the production of the film, Kapoor said that it was one of his career's finest roles and called it an honour to work with Shankar. To prepare for the role, Kapoor underwent physical trainings for six or seven months, and watched many talk shows hosted by Larry King, Prannoy Roy, Rajat Sharma, and Karan Thapar—later adopting their way of speaking.
Shankar chose Rani Mukerji to fulfill the part as Manjari, a village girl who becomes the love interest of Kapoor's character. He cast Mukerji over Manisha Koirala, who played the role in the original version, as he thought that Mukerji has the bubbly image he needed for the character. Playing the type of role for the first time, the actress admitted that she saw resemblances between Manjari and herself, noting their vibrant along with uninhibited character, and described her collaboration with Kapoor as a "growing-up experience". Talking to a journalist from Rediff.com, Mukerji revealed that she immediately agreed to star in the film after hearing the story from Kapoor, which she felt was "mindblowing". Shankar wanted her to portray the role in her own way and not copying Koirala had done before. Ahmed Khan and Sushmita Sen made special appearances in the film.
The principal photography of Nayak was handled by K. V. Anand and took place in more than 100 locations in the states Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Rajasthan, and Himachal Pradesh. Thota Tharani served as the art director, while H. Sridhar was the sound designer. A 22-day schedule in Mumbai, Pune, and the cities of Tamil Nadu was started on 18 November 2000. To shoot the song "Shakalaka Baby", Anand travelled to the United States to meet the filmmaker Spike Lee and asked for his help. It was simultaneously shot with 34 cameras bought from the German manufacturer Arri with a speed of 100 FPS, instead of 24, and made the film over-budgeted; consequently, Anand spoke of his regret to do the idea. After the filming ended, Nayak was edited by B. Lenin and V. T. Vijayan.
|Nayak: The Real Hero|
|Soundtrack album by|
|Released||4 July 2001|
|Genre||Feature film soundtrack|
|Producer||A. R. Rahman|
|A. R. Rahman chronology|
The soundtrack for the film was composed by A. R. Rahman with lyrics from Anand Bakshi. The vocals were performed by Udit Narayan, Kavita Krishnamurthy, Vasundhara Das, Shiraz Uppal, Pravin Mani, Shankar Mahadevan, Alka Yagnik, Sunidhi Chauhan, Hans Raj Hans, Abhijeet Bhattacharya, Sanjeevani, and Hariharan. The soundtrack album was release at a special ceremony at the Hotel Regent in Mumbai under the label of T-Series, who bought the rights for ₹60 million (US$840,000). The album did not perform well commercially and, according to the film-trade website Box Office India, only 1.4 million units were sold.
As well as critically, the album was met with a poor reception from reviewers. Sukanya Verma of Rediff.com concluded that it was "a quite a letdown" and "fails miserably", saying that she had expected more from Rahman. In an article for The Hindu, Savitha Gautham found the album has the same composition to that from Mudhalvan, but the lyrics are different. She noted that the songs have strong South Indian flavours, especially in "Saiyyan". Gautham declared "Shakalaka Baby" as the best song of the album, believing that it would be popular among Indian youth. Planet Bollywood's Avinash Ramchandani presumed Rahman's composition made the film "comes out to be a winner" and increased the audience's enthusiasm to Kapoor's and Mukerji's chemistry.
|1.||"Chalo Chale Mitwa"||Udit Narayan, Kavita Krishnamurthy||6:41|
|2.||"Shakalaka Baby"||Vasundhara Das, Shiraz Uppal, Pravin Mani||5:27|
|3.||"Ruki Sukhi Roti"||Shankar Mahadevan, Alka Yagnik||5:39|
|4.||"Saiyyan"||Sunidhi Chauhan, Hans Raj Hans||6:14|
|5.||"Chidiya Tu Hoti To"||Abhijeet Bhattacharya, Sanjeevani||5:49|
|6.||"Tu Achcha Lagta Hai"||Kavita Krishnamurthy, Hariharan||5:37|
|7.||"Chalo Chale Purva"||Kavita Krishnamurthy, Udit Narayan||3:06|
After scheduled for release on 15 August 2002, Nayak premiered at theatres on 7 September and failed to attract an audience. Made on a production and marketing cost of ₹210 million (equivalent to ₹670 million or US$9.4 million in 2019), the film was opened in 280 screens across India and grossed ₹8.5 million (US$120,000) on its first day. It collected ₹48.1 million (US$670,000) after a week, and ₹180.6 million (US$2.5 million) following its theatrical run in India. Abroad, the film also performed not well and only had a total gross of $530,000. Summing the film's revenues from India and overseas, Box Office India estimated Nayak earned ₹205.6 million (equivalent to ₹660 million or US$9.2 million in 2019). The film was released on DVD in the PAL widescreen format. Since 6 September 2019, the film is available for streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
Critics gave mixed reviews to Nayak, praising the performances of Kapoor and Puri from the first-half but panning the special effects, which they attributed to the film's commercial failure. Rediff.com's Sarita Tanwar wrote, "A fairly interesting plot, a commendable performance from the leading artiste, lavish production values and terrific pieces of action, Nayak: The Real Hero has all the ingredients that make a commercially viable film." Taran Adarsh from the entertainment portal Bollywood Hungama gave the film one star, calling its second-half "weak". However, he took note of the "superb" dialogue of the film, mostly that are said by Paresh Rawal's character, while deemed Johnny Lever's comedic scenes were "flat". Moreover, Adarsh said that Mukerji was given with a role that did not give her screen time to talk and Pooja Batra's role was better than hers. Saibal Chatterjee of Hindustan Times, giving the same rating, described the film as "a patchwork that's neither pretty nor useful". Ziya Us Salam claimed that Kapoor portrayed his part with "easy professionalism".
The critic and trade analyst Komal Nahta opined that it did not "have enough entertainment value", suggesting that the film's lengthy duration could be cut for ten minutes. Kapoor's performance got appreciation from Nahta, who thought he was "splendid", otherwise Nahta hoped that Shankar's direction "could have been much better. His inept handling becomes conspicuous as unrealistic and unbelievable things happen in this serious issue-based drama." Writing for NDTV, Parul Batra saw that Mukerji was wasted in her brief role although applauding her costumes. He agreed with Nahta about the duration problem, saying that it left him "disappointed". Dinesh Raheja felt that the "spirited" performance of Anil Kapoor was the highlight of the film, and Devesh Sharma, in a review carried by Screen, observed of him, "Anil Kapoor once again proves his brilliance as an actor with this movie [...] he verily gets under the skin of his character and executes a faultless performance. His frustrations, his angst and his heart-rendering lamentations on seeing his parents blown away find answering echoes in the heart of every cinegoer."
|Bollywood Movie Awards||Most Sensational Actor||Anil Kapoor||Nominated|||
|Most Sensational Actress||Rani Mukerji||Nominated|
|Screen Awards||Best Special Effects||S. T. Venky||Nominated|||
|Best Action||Kanal Kannan||Nominated|
In September 2013, the media reported that Kapoor has signed to star in a sequel to Nayak, titled Nayak Returns, and Tabu will be his co-star. The project will have a different subject, but he has said that he will reprise his role. The sequel was officially announced later by Eros International in January 2017, with K. V. Vijayendra Prasad is chosen to write the screenplay and the principal photography starting the same year.
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