Cinema is losing its old-world charm. Gone are the days when the audience were star-struck. Today, stars are no longer an enigma or mystery. Page 3 of every newspaper bears the stars and all. For those who are spared by the media, there’s social media. Stars today tweet, connect on Facebook and come on the radio and television. They open up to their audiences. Their fans know and accept that stars too are human beings, just like them. They have faults too, they have a life too.
With the mystery of cinema solved and the stars losing their larger than life persona, the content has become the king. Unless a film has a track that’s compelling enough to hold the attention of the audiences, banner and big names can’t make a difference. The Corporates entered the cine field in the year 2006 and messed it up because they bumped in ridiculous money without checking on the business viability of the projects. However, we are in a corrective space now. So, in the year 2011, we will have fewer films. Today, it is increasingly becoming difficult to shoot in any part of India. You have to bribe the police and extract individual permissions to shoot a single sequence. In foreign locations, you are given blanket permissions. That is why a lot of foreign filmmakers shoot India in Thailand.
Bollywood has discovered the art of marketing and reaching out to as many people in the audience as possible. Obscene amounts of money are spent to ensure that viable film makes a lot of noise before it comes. Hindi Cinema is now doing experiments. Casting a 14 year-old-child as AURO would have diluted the impact the character made when Amitabh Bachchan played it. When you see your favourite star doing something extraordinary, the experience of watching the film gets even better. In a film like Taare Zameen Par, you needed a 12-year-old boy to play the lead character. At the Box Office, Love, Sex, and Dhoka made Rs 9 crore and it was produced for Rs 1.5 crore. Both My Name is Khan and Raavan failed at the Box Office with too much publicity and star value. However, the terrible big films that may have lost on the critics appraise have grossed a lot more. It just proves that people want big stars. A Film with big stars boomerang at the Box Office and at the same time a film with little known stars do well at the Box Office. Thus, the audience need change and the appearance of the same stars is not liked by many. Small films have been lost in the world of mainstream films, 80 per cent of which are terrible. However, at the same time, not all small films are great. It is always advisable to get good work and reach it to as many as possible to assure greater success at the Box Office. The film should reach C grade cities also like Gaddar and Lagaan did and made big money. There lies the real success of Hindi Cinema World.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)