Curated by Navsar
Try explaining Bollywood to someone and the first few images that comes to the mind are lots of songs, people running around trees, two flowers hiding the faces of a romantic couple and a hero that can dodge bullets, swords, get shot a million times but still lives!
But is that really true for Bollywood today?
In the last ten years, Indian cinema has changed and shown that apart from all the jhatkas and matkas, directors can come with extremely thoughtful screenplays and direction. Not only have we seen the essential ‘item number’ but also good comic and romantic scripts (Munnabhai MBBS & Jab we Met respectively). Nationalist identity has its own pride, which is seen in Lagaan & Chak de India! My Name is Khan not only won the Filmfare Award for the Best Director and Best Actor; it also won a million hearts worldwide. Movies on friendship (Dil Chaata Hai and Dostana) have become important icons decades after Amitabh and Dharmendra enacted on ‘Yeh Dosti Hum Nahin Chodege!’
Legends have continued to inspire as in Amitabh Bachhan in Sarkar, Paa and Black. Talking about Black, director Sanjay Leela Bhansali has continued to do path breaking set design and direction as seen in Guzaarish. So what if the movies haven’t done well, they were never meant for the masses anyways.
What do the masses want anyways? In this ever-changing society, how does one decide what they want? Item numbers and sexy actresses have done well for a few movies. Katrina’s ‘Sheila ki Jawani’, Bipasha’s ‘Bidi Jalai De’ and Malaika Arora Khan’s ‘Munni Badnaam Hui’ have been more popular that the movies. Though Mallika Sherawat’s lip-locking movies failed to attract people, but then Hollywood signed her on opposite Jackie Chan! Women are not playing second to the hero anymore but come out as leading ladies in Rajneeti and Fashion.
We must have been doing something right, I guess? The big daddy, Hollywood, has turned towards India and in the last few years, we have seen movies not only shot in India (Eat, Pray and Love) but also featuring Indian artists (Aishwarya Rai Bachhan in The Pink Panther and Anil Kapoor in Slumdog Millionaire). Not only are we making them dance to our tunes; we are winning Oscars (A.R Rahman). Actors also want to act in Indian cinema and the last decade saw Barabara Mori and Kylie Minogue feature in Kites and Blue.
Bollywood is grand and its only becoming bigger. Not only we are aware of our potential, the last decade saw some of the biggest hits and great scripts. Are we geared for the future and ready to move ahead? While Rajnikant (Robot) may agree, Priyanka Chopra may not (2050)!
Suggested Movie Viewings:
Tees Maar Khan
Tare Zameen Par
Chandani Chowk to China
Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gam
Rang De Basanti
I Hate Luv Stories
Once Upon a Time in Movie
And all movies mentioned in the note