Let us tell you that the film The Kerala Story repeated the pattern of ‘The Kashmir Files’ which came in the year 2022. Made in a budget of Rs 15 crore, the film earned Rs 340 crore at the box office. Anupam Kher played the lead role in ‘The Kashmir Files’.
Looking at the film’s earnings, The Kerala Story’s producer director Sudipto Sen and producer Vipul Shah have announced their next project ‘Bastar’. According to the makers, Bastar is a film based on a ‘true incident’. The film will be released on 5 April 2024. But the other truth is that many big budget and big starrer films have proved to be big flops this year.
According to the news published in Times of India, Krishna Bhatt, who directed ‘1920: Horror of the Heart’, says that this period is difficult for filmmakers. Within hours of its release on Friday, the audience reaction may make the film lifeless.
The latest example of a film not meeting the audience’s choice is Om Raut’s film Adipurush. It faced criticism from the critics as well as from the right wing organization. There was a lot of controversy regarding the dialogue of the film, later it had to be changed. The star power of Prabhas could only propel it a little further and the film became a huge hit within days.
Big budget Akshay Kumar’s ‘Selfie’, Ajay Devgn’s ‘Bhola’ and Kartik Aaryan’s ‘Shehzada’ have also not performed well at the box office. The question is whether Hindi cinema is going through its worst phase, why films are not able to show amazing despite having big stars.
An era of weak or non-existent stories
According to the news published in Aljazeera, this time for the Bollywood industry is going through the worst time as compared to the last decade. Barely male-led melodramas with weak or non-existent storylines have brought the Hindi film industry to a crossroads where it is difficult to maintain identity.
Big budget films of many of India’s most loved megastars like Akshay Kumar, Aamir Khan and Ranbir Kapoor are sinking unnoticed. These flops include Akshay Kumar’s Bachchan Pandey, Ranbir Kapoor’s Shamshera and Aamir Khan’s Laal Singh Chaddha from last year.
If we are talking about flop films of big stars, then the mention of Ranbir Kapoor’s film Brahmastra, which came in 2022, is also a must. This film was one of Da Vinci Code and Marvel Universe. The film opened so badly that the shares of India’s leading theater companies, INOX and PVR, plummeted. Producers and theater owners had to cut ticket prices to bring audiences to the halls.
Why is this happening in the Hindi film industry
It is not that people are not watching movies after the pandemic. South films are achieving great success. RRR and action drama Pushpa: The Rise is one of the top performing films of 2022 in India. RRR broke records to become the third highest-grossing Indian film of all time with a worldwide gross of nearly $160 million.
2022 Famous director Mani Ratnam’s Ponniyan Selvan: I was a classic Tamil language story. The film became the fourth highest grossing film of all time in Tamil language. Along with this, the film also became the 16th highest grossing Indian film of all time. The Kannada action thriller Kantara became the third highest grossing Kannada film of all time. But now Hindi films are not able to show their charm. Many big budget films are becoming very famous.
The question is whether the demand for boycott of Indian films from time to time is the reason for this. Is the prime minister Narendra Modi are being liked more, or criticism of the government in the film is alienating the audience. But the answer is definitely ‘no’, because Akshay Kumar who is a big fan of the current government, even though his films have not faced boycott, his films have flopped.
The answer to what is holding Bollywood back is very simple, and that is the lack of stories in the film. India is a country where people have hunger for films and stories. The culture here is heavily dominated by films especially Bollywood. Bad stories were written in many big starrer films these days, which fell flat at the box office. Kartik Aaryan and Kriti Sanon starrer Shehzada, Luv Ranjan’s Tu Jhoothi Main Makkar had Ranbir Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor, Salman Khan starrer Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan is the best example.
The era of OTT has come and the era of cinema houses is over?
Prior to over-the-top (OTT), the bulk of Bollywood’s income went into producing films that were cliché and dependent on big and supposedly famous stars. It was considered ideal to go to cinemas to watch any film.
Now although there are all kinds of content on OTT platforms which are not being seen in commercial films. Indian viewers are able to watch many newly released films sitting at home. In the era of OTT, viewers are not liking to watch unimaginative films. Due to which big stars have fallen on the floor.
Remake becoming a loss deal?
Shahid Kapoor’s film ‘Jersey’, which came in 2022, is a Hindi remake of Telugu’s Nani starrer Jersey, which came four years ago. This film did not even earn three crore rupees in the opening and the entire earning was limited to less than 20 crores. The question is, who would want to see the remake of South.
According to a news published in BBC, Yusuf Sheikh, business head of Percept Pictures, says that the rights of the remake are now useless. After making a film in Hindi, the story is also losing its charm.
So weren’t remakes made in the South earlier?
Munna Bhai MBBS is one of the few evergreen comedies that is a fan favorite. This film marked the comeback of Sanjay Dutt. This movie (Telugu) Shankar Dada M.B.B.S. Vasol Raja was a remake of MBBS (Tamil). Love Aaj Kal was a remake of the Telugu film Teen Maar. Apart from these two films, there are many other examples of films which also earned handsomely with brilliant scripts.
The reason was clear that then social media was not that much dominant. The audience in the earlier Hindi belt didn’t know much about the South except for Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan. South films and the rest of the stars there were not very popular, so when the media publicity of the film was done, it was known that it is a remake of the South film.
In the earlier era of social media, the history of Hindi remakes of South films has been golden. The best example of this is ‘Ek Duje Ke Liye’ (Telugu’s ‘Maro Charitra’) which earned 10 crores by investing 1 crore. Ram Gopal Varma’s ‘Shiva’ and ‘Satya’ Anil Kapoor’s Virasat (Tamil ‘Thevar Magan’), Kamal Haasan’s Chachi 420 (Tamil ‘Avvai Shanmugi’), Saif Ali Khan’s ‘Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein’ (Tamil ‘Minnale’), Rani Mukherjee’s ‘Saathiya’ (Tamil ‘Alaipayute’) – are included in this list. There are many other films which have become successful despite being remakes.
Choice of subjects in films makes films flop
Critics have also started accusing Bollywood of making niche or elitist films. How can such films be successful in a country whose 70 percent population lives outside the cities. The people of the village are no longer able to connect themselves with the story of Hindi films.
Aamir Khan admitted during the media interview for ‘Laal Singh Chaddha’ ‘The topic that Hindi filmmakers find relevant is not that relevant to the mass audience, most people feel connected to the topic of the film. are not doing’.
Let us tell you that Tollywood films like Pushpa: The Rise and RRR, which came around Lal Singh Chadha, were hits. Such formulas have long been a mainstay of Bollywood, but film critics say southern rivals are starting to get better at it.
Mumbai’s veteran theater owner Manoj Desai told AFP, ‘Hindi film This is the worst phase for the industry so far. Screenings of some big films were canceled because the audience was not there’.