Bollywood and culture in an emerging India
A year at the movies
At the beginning of the last week of every year I head to my neighbourhood DVD store to follow a long-standing tradition of mine. I review my favourite films of the year and then buy DVD’s of those films.
This year my shopping list had only two names – Zoya Akhtar’s “Luck by Chance” and Vishal Bhardwaj’s “Kaminey”.
That, to me, is a sign of the “draught” that Bollywood faced this year.
Good films were few and far between, hardly any movies hit the box-office bulls-eye.
To make matters worse, there were three months of no movies at all due to a stand-off between producers and multiplex owners on revenue sharing.
But to me, the biggest blip in Bollywood’s chart this year was the sheer number of “bad” films. Whether it was “Chandni Chowk to China” or “Blue” or “Main Aur Mrs Khanna”, there were too many films which were mediocre.
There were just too many film-makers who concentrated on peripherals like the lead actors’ wardrobe or a flashy item song and forgot to insert some heart into their films. We forgot that movies are all about the heart.
There were many films that spent money on fancy locations and fight sequences but completely missed the point when it came to the story.
Except for a handful of film-makers, no one tried crossing barriers or tried telling a new story.
It makes me wonder if all this talk of Bollywood going experimental and trying out “different” films is hogwash. Think about it.
Three of the biggest films of the year, “Love Aaj Kal”, “Wanted” and “3 Idiots” were movies that repeated past themes. Two of the most expensive films of the year, “Kambakkth Ishq” and “Blue” disappointed.
As a film-lover I know 2010 will bring with it some good films and also some really bad ones. I just hope even the bad ones have some heart.