Features of Nayaka
A Nayaka or the hero of a play is often portrayed as rebellious who will stand for the right thing against any circumstances. He fights against the antagonist to establish the righteousness and morality to prove that at the end of the story honesty will get justice defeating the negative circumstances. Hero is most of the time shown in a play with her beloved, who is considered to be the heroine of the play. Their love story proceeds simultaneously along with the main plot of the play. Often the heroine becomes associated with the main plot; so the hero has to fight all the odd situations to get her beloved. Nayaka is portrayed as a young, handsome, refined, broadminded, brave, amiable, skillful, decent, honest and wellborn person. He, at any cost, cannot hurt anyone for his own fortune. The Nayaka is also given good sense of humor by the author of the play to deliver decent comic relief at proper time in the play.
Nayaka in Retro Indian Movies
In retro Indian movies, the nayaka would bear the entire movie and the whole story would revolve around him. He was the one who used to fight against the antagonist to bring justice or often to save the heroine or his beloved. Examples of such movies are ‘Heer Ranjha’, ‘Saudagar’, ‘Howrah Bridge’, ‘Shahid’, ‘Newton’, ‘Trapped’, ‘Citylights’ etc. Often there are two heroes or nayaka in a film who are shown as brothers or best friends. They both represent the qualities of nayaka and the entire story is built with both of them - example of such movie is ‘Sholay’.
Nayaka as Female
Most of the time, a hero or Nayaka is supposed to be a man. But often a female actor becomes the hero of a play and she bears the entire movie being called the female hero. The entire story revolves around her with antagonist and supporting actors. When a female becomes the actor then her lover is considered to be the supporting character of the play, who is given less significance. Examples of movies with female hero are ‘Pakeezah’, ‘Mother India’, ‘Queen’ etc.