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Deténte, Bollywood-Style
Jamais Cascio, 30 Mar 04

In recent years, a relatively-popular sub-genre of Bollywood movies emerged focusing on the tensions between India and Pakistan. Whether based on history or fantasy, the films depict heroic Indians and perfidous Pakistanis locked in mortal combat -- and it's very clear who you are supposed to be rooting for. But according to an article in Sunday's Indian Express, the changing relationship between India and Pakistan is now starting to affect how Bollywood filmmakers portray their country's western neighbor.

Anil Gadar Sharma is also trying to play it safe this time round. Known for his shrill jingoism and Pak-bashing cinema, Sharma is toning down his ambitious war saga Ab Tumhare Hawaale Watan Saathiyon which stars Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar and Bobby Deol. Sources in Sharma’s crew said the maker is rewriting dialogues that came down too heavy on Pakistan.

Interestingly, the motivation to do so was provided by actor Akshay Kumar who refused to spout any anti-Pakistan dialogues. Says Kumar, ‘‘I made it very clear to the director that I will not badmouth any country or a religion. My director got the point and now the dialogues are okay.’’

It's a small move, but a hopeful one.

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