Bollywood: Repetitive and Stagnant?


The growth of Indian Cinema has been phenomenal over the past few decades which is evident from the current statistics. With 3-4 films releasing per week, Bollywood has certainly made its way into the life of every individual and has become the most popular form of entertainment, offering three hours of pure fun (at least it claims so!!). Apart from establishing its roots in Indian society, it has been successful in crossing barriers and reaching out to the international audience too. After having travelled so far, it appears that there has been a saturation of original ideas, which is reflected from the trend of remakes that have started dominating the Indian Box-Office. With Krrish being inspired from the success of Koi Mil Gaya or the famous ‘Dhoom2’ continuing from the success of the much-appreciated ‘Dhoom’, while the making of ‘Dhoom3’ is already in the pipeline.

Another fact that merges from all this is the lack of substantial script which is now being covered by flooding the movies with well-established actors (or must say ‘superstars’) and indulging in massive publicity. The distributors, at the same time, feel more comfortable betting on a big banner film rather than any ordinary one. An example is a much-hyped remake of Sholay (the blockbuster of the 1970’s), that is ‘Aag’ that came and went away without making any impact felt at the box-office due to the weak story-line. On the other hand, Om Shanti Om climbed the charts thanks to its famous title track showcasing a medley of 31 ‘superstars’ to become one of the biggest blockbuster of 2007. Also, many of the movies made in Bollywood are blatantly copied or partially plagiarized from other movies. Some of them just take some inspiration, some are simply a remake and some even go to the extent of copying the original movie scene-by-scene. There is a long list of movies aped from the west, for instance the popular ‘Partner’ that was a copy of the Will Smith starrer ‘Hitch’ while ‘The Killer’ released in 2006 starring Irrfan Khan was an exact copy of the Hollywood hit ‘Collateral’. At the same time, an upcoming and easy way of publicity invented by the film industry is by making the presence of the lead stars felt in the booming reality shows. While the reality shows register a rise in their audience pool through this act, the superstars win themselves a platform to showcase, promote and generate curiosity among the masses for their most recent lined-up movie release. From all this, it appears as if the most active film industry, yes our very own Bollywood, that churns out over 800 flicks a year is lacking desperately in original, creative and innovative ideas that are required to enrich the movie-viewing experience. It will require a series of efforts to pull the Indian cinema back on track and improve the quality of our movies so that they can flourish, make headlines and achieve fame, but for all the right reasons! Ishant Arora