From music and background score to location and props, things that offered us a chance to read between the lines while watching content, in turn, became characters of 2023!
Characters in a film often tend to be living breathing human beings that can walk, talk, belong, and exist in a world but content is an art form and if looked at from that lens then anything can become a character! From a prop-like mirror and background score to a natural disaster, almost everything and anything that becomes a part of the world, even the world it's set up in, like the location can become a character. All it needs to do is become an essential guiding force in the story.
Here are some characters of 2023 who ended up leaving an impact on us because of the roles that they played in these stories!
Background score is a vital part of a film because it can uplift a hero to become a god that everybody follows or any scene to have its depth. This year, no matter where you are on the spectrum of like and dislike for Animal, you cannot ignore its BGM, especially Ranbir Kapoor and Bobby Deol's respective introductions and that office BGM where he kills his brother-in-law. The entire film derives high notes of pleasure because of the background score! Similarly, in SRK's Jawan or Pathaan, the BGM plays a significant role is establishing him as a hero or John Abraham and Vijay Sethupathi as the villain. Even PS 2 and Rocky aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani's BGM were as much a character in themselves as they were defining a character!
Music is the essence of a film, it's that soul of a film that one can only feel hence it's a very essential part of a film that we connect ourselves to. Often a music album of a film can work wonders for the film as people watch the film because of it. This year, Bollywood dominated the charts and Animal, Jawan, Pathaan, Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani, Satyaprem ki Katha, and Gulmohar, had some of the best music albums of the year, of course we're not forgetting PS 2! Even series like Jubilee and Scoop's title songs had us in their capture. All of these songs gave us something for our Reels and playlists, and let us finish the year on a high note!
Location in content is a place where an entire story unfolds! Most often it's a fictional world like Barbie or liberty taken by films to depict real locations in a way that befits like Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani or Animal. But even though it's rare, you see a location becoming a character feeding into the storytelling. Case in point - Delhi built geographically in such a way that divides people into classes works well for a series like Class that wants to depict this indifference. Similarly an island, a geographically secluded place in Kaala Paani works to bring all the people together in one place in isolation where a biohazard spreads. Or how Konkan with its spiritual essence in Three of US becomes a source of remembering a lost childhood and innocence. Ode to the various shades of Mumbai were offered in many movies and shows this year, where in Mast Mein Rehne Ka, it's liberating yet painful, urban yet poor in Kho Gaye Hum Kahan and it's shown as strength in unity in a crisis in Mumbai Diaries season 2.
Props in films are usually a part of the production design or costume of the character that help build the aura of the film or the protagonist. But sometimes they end up becoming so important, almost a defining feature, that they themselves become a character. Like cigarettes could be the winning prop of the year given their usage in 2023 but in Vikram Rathore in Jawan, they become a style statement whereas with Ranvijay in Animal, they're shown as an addiction that he can't let go of! Similarly, a mirror in Lust Stories 2 becomes a metaphor for reflecting the truth, or kathal in Kathal becomes a satire for missing Dalit girls. A house in Gulmohar or newspapers in Scoop became a binding source for everyone who goes on a journey to figure out its relevance!
This year we saw the Bhopal Gas Tragedy in The Railway Men, or floods in Mumbai Diaries 2, and how these natural disasters impacted as well as brought people's strength and truth to the front. Kohrra in Kohrra or weddings in Made In Heaven 2 become symbolic for reading between the lines and a commentary on our society. Whereas time becomes essential in Jubilee, Guns and Gulaabs, and Bambai Meri Jaan and brings forth not just history or nostalgia but also explores cinema, the 90s mysticism and charm, and crime and gangsters. Playing with stereotypes, whether in RARKPK with Rocky's Punajabiness and Rani's Bengaliness or the lower caste Hindi medium bit in 12th Fail, Dahaad, or Kathal shows how we still typecast people.
Do you think we missed out on someone? Let us know in the comments below!
This article is a part of our #LetsKetchup series that sums up the year from our perspective! Hope you enjoy reading this series this time of the year!
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