2018 has indeed been a remarkable year for the Hindi Film Industry. Like every year there have been very good movies, good movies, average movies to flop movies but if there’s one change which our Hindi Film Industry has witnessed in the year gone by, it is the ever changing and dynamic audience.
While the industry has always had a special place for ‘Actors’ who would be be ‘awarded’ and ‘rewarded’ with only critical acclaim and be left to just that, 2018 has been monumental and receptive to change in many ways.
Those actors who would earlier be branded as just ‘great actors’ but not great for the ‘commerce’, they have stood ahead of people who are known for influencing the commercial prospects of a film just by their sheer presence. If there is one thing that won in 2018, it would be no actor or film in particular but ‘content’ in general.
The film industry and audience always had the respect for critically acclaimed films with good actors but the laid back attitude to enjoy such movies and watching them only at home over a cup of coffee used to always prove detrimental to the interest of such films due to which even the producers would be afraid to take risks as they would fear about the ‘Return on Investment’ factor.
But ‘darr ke aage jeet hai’ has never proved to be so correct for the film industry before as the year gave birth to ‘actors’ who transformed into ‘stars’ by delivering amazing performances in content driven films.. The new-age audience too did not shy away from showing their love to such films and this factor alone made movies like ‘Padmavaat’, ‘Raazi’, ‘Stree’, ‘Andhadhun’, ‘Badhaai Ho’, ‘Gali Gulieyan’, ‘Sui Dhaaga’, ‘Sanju’, ‘Simmba’, work at the box-office. While some of them had the right mix of content and star power, there are some movies, e.g ‘Simmba’ which roared at the box-office due to the perfect blend of ‘stardom’, ‘content’ and ‘masala‘ which proves the fact that content has not erased the magic of ‘masala entertainment films’ and it still has a niche audience of it’s own. The change is not about the disappearance of ‘masala films’. The change now is the mandatory requirement of ‘content’ to be present to give the ‘masala‘ in the film that added ‘tadka’ and that’s where a Rohit Shetty made ‘Simmba’ won the hearts of the audience.
Planet Bollywood exclusively caught up with Sonu Sood aka ‘Dhurva’ of ‘Simmba’ who ruled the roost in the hearts of the audience with his turn as the ‘bad guy’, Sonu Sood to speak on this context and we quote him.
“Well what I can say is that 2018 has surely been an eye opener for a lot of people. For the film makers, for the actors and for everyone in the film industry which now makes us believe that you have to now make good films to pull the audience in theatres or otherwise they won’t irrespective of the star cast. What this has done though is that it has now kept the creative department on their toes to focus more on the script and subject than what it was being done before. I am sure post this change, 2019 will ring in a lot of good movies, good performances and most importantly content driven movies and performances.” – Sonu Sood
Now one might argue of the fact that some of these movies had some current generation stars in the form of Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone, Ranbir Kapoor, Varun Dhawan, Anushka Sharma et al but the common factor which binds all of these stars and their films was that their films weren’t just about the hero unabashedly bashing goons and villains all at once while the heroine would do her stereotypical ‘nakhras’ of the 1980’s and 90’s which alone would make the film work.
The definition of ‘perfect film’ has changed. If earlier it would be just about implanting a star to cash back on his stardom to earn the riches irrespective of the content and script, today even if the stardom factor remains the same, the content part becomes a mandatory addition to that unlike yesteryear Bollywood.
Today the audience has shown that no matter who it is, be it the magnanimous superstardom of Salman Khan in ‘Race 3’ or the first powerful collaboration of Aamir Khan and Amitabh Bachchan in ‘Thugs Of Hindostan’, if the content is weak, the audience has zero tolerance to it irrespective of the superstars present in it, a change which the country has witnessed only in 2018.
The three mighty Khans of Bollywood had a terrible year in 2018 where none of their films worked. However the only exception which can come in this regard is that of Shah Rukh Khan and ‘Zero’ which the audience rejected despite mixed reviews because they cannot tolerate the ever so lasting lover boy ‘Shah Rukh’ trapped in the skin of a snobbish and cocky ‘Bauaa Singh’ doing all kinds of impractical things possible in a movie. No wonder many critics joked about it saying the movie could be titled ‘From Earth to Mars’ with reference to the disconnecting sequence where he suddenly pops up in Mars out of nowhere with no logical explanation to it. However there is no doubt about the fact that if one had to pick one Khan among the three with regards to just acting performance, it would be Shah Rukh Khan as he surely did a great job as an actor but again the ‘content’ and the expectations from the film led to its downfall.
So when these actors failed to make a mark, young generation stars like Alia Bhatt, Rajkummar Rao, Ayushmann Khurrana, Vicky Kaushal stepped up to the occasion to prove that there is only one ‘king’ or ‘superstar’ or ‘perfectionist’ in the film industry above all and that is ‘content’.
So surely the Khans can learn a thing or two from these next generation stars on how to go about with things to keep up with audience’s changing tastes. They need to learn the fact that those days are history where a certain ‘Dilwale’ or a ‘Prem Ratan Dhan Payo’ would work just based on their own sheer presence. Today, a ‘Race 3’ or a ‘Zero’ with a similar line of thought will not work. So it’s about time our superstars see beyond their stardom and look to please the audience with the script of their movies more than just their sheer presence in the film.
After all, it is the presence of ‘content’ that creates a star in the making and not the presence of ‘star’ which creates content.