The ’90s saw the emergence of the 3 Khans’ Viz. Aamir Khan, Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan. The trio ruled the 90’s and was limited to romance and masala entertainment. Yet few filmmakers dared to make film with out of the box ideas. One among them was a new film director Ram Gopal Varma, whose film Shiva (1990) depicted the politics of the college scene and how innocent college youth are driven into dreaded gangster!! Varma repeated the idea in Satya (1998), he showed how innocent youth who come to Mumbai with dreams in their eyes to become celebrities are forced by circumstance to become gangsters. Both films were super hit and made Ram Gopal Varma a name of repute!!
Shekhar Kapur, who won stardom with Mr. India, made a stunning comeback with Bandit Queen (1994), a realistic film that gave a new definition to his career. Bandit Queen depicted the bitter tale of dreaded lady dacoit Phoolan Devi, who later surrendered and turned politician. The movie won international acclaim.
After the Babri Masjid demolition in 1992, the nation was gripped in communal violence hence filmmakers made some good films to depict the dirty politics of political leaders how they sowed seeds of hatred in fellow citizens and destroyed communal harmony of the nation. Filmmaker Mehul Kumar made Krantiveer (1994) starring Nana Patekar and Dimple Kapadia. The scene that won maximum applause was the emotional scene where Patekar brings home the truth that almighty has made all of us equal by mixing the Hindu and the Muslim blood. The film was not just super hit but won National Award!
After, Mehul Kumar, Eminent film wizard Mani Ratnam with his film Bombay (1995) exposed the true face of the political leaders. The film enlightened the audience on how the political leaders divide society through communal riots. The film was made after the demolition of Babri Masjid and was a love story between a Muslim girl and a Hindu boy.
Later, Gulzar once again came up with a thought-provoking political thriller Maachis (1996) portraying the hard realities of life. The film took up the sensitive issue of Sikh uprising in Punjab in the 1980s. It showed how extreme atrocities forced even the ordinary youth of Punjab to take up weapons and turn terrorists. After the success of Maachis, Gulzar made another film Hu Tu Tu in 1999, on politics exposing how the cunning politician convince ‘honest people’ into politics and later extract all the juices for the opportunity given by them. The movie depicts a similar plot where a politician (Mohan Agashe) ‘Uses’ a poor school teacher (Suhasini Mulay) for his evil interest. The movie has a parallel character of Nana Patekar who keeps poking at the nation’s degrading politics and politician’s mad rush for power pulling each other’s legs as one does in the game of kabaddi (also called Hu Tu Tu in North India). The movie was well made but could not generate money the way Aandhi did.
The decade ended with a mind-blowing film Vaastav (1999) staring Sanjay Dutt in a career-best performance! The film depicted the harsh reality of Marathi unemployed youth of Mumbai, who forced by poverty and unemployment took to the gun and became puppets of politicians!!!