So far in 2008, 97 percent of Bollywood films have flopped. Only three movies: Race, Jodhaa Akbar and Jaane Tu Ya Jaane have been hits. Mumbai Meri Jaan is also gaining ground and is steadily increasing collections due to word of mouth publicity. That said, we can find out all of the four films are unique by themselves and there is nothing remotely similar among all these four movies.
This purely means, that there is no standard formula that can work for Bollywood now apart from having a good script or engrossing and fresh content. The 50s and the 60s dealt with the wickedness of money and how the poor man is always crumpled by the rich. The 70s dealt with loss and found saga and how the poor man is no more poor, but an angry young man who is out to take on the system. The 80s had the “As you so, so shall you reap” theme underlining it. The 90s were about romance and family ties. Remember Hum Aapke Hain Kaun, Dil Toh Paagal Hai, DDLL, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai.
However this decade from the year 2000 to 2008 has been the most challenging. There has not been a set Bollywood trend that can be lapped up. Audiences are impatient, finicky and want something that can entertain and not tax the brain a lot. The concept of one man changing the system does not work nowadays which is why a movie like Halla Bol didnot do well in 2008.
A movie which runs for a couple of weeks and recovers investment spent on producing and marketing is termed as a hit, forget the silver jubilee run.There is no set standard now: How can you explain Dhoom 2 released in 2006, being one of the biggest grossers in Bollywood , when nothing was logical in the movie? If a slapstick “leave your brains at home” movie like Dhaamal can work, so can a thought-provoking subject like Chak De. If the seductive Jism can work, so can a childrenâEUR(TM)s movie like Taare Zameen Par. It is a good sign of times that Bollywood is getting experimental and taking on fresh subjects like we saw in Iqbal, Dor, Bheja Fry, Page 3, Taare Zameen Par and Mumbai Meri Jaan. Wish we could have seen a lot of such things more often.
by Arunraj V.S.