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Tic tac toe...which filmy trend shall I choose?
Deepa Gahlot | July 23, 2003 19:52 IST
The Hindi film industry entered the second half of the year feeling triumphant. Without any extra effort on their part (with the usual mediocre-to-terrible releases), they have managed to get the audiences back into the halls. The uncertainty and depression of the past few months has been lifted.
Unfortunately, a lot of big-money corporates who are getting into film production are only looking at huge projects with stars. So it is left to a few like Pritish Nandy Communications, iDream Productions, Crossover Films and Metalight Productions Private Limited, plus some enterprising individuals, to fund smaller films, apart from the old trouper National Film Development Corporation (NFDC). Though the offbeat film is no longer the NFDC's prerogative, one of the talked-about films -- and deservedly so -- in recent months is Manish Jha's Matrubhoomi: A Nation Without Women, produced by star secretary Punkej Kharbanda.
It is unfortunate, again, that a lot of small budget offbeat films turn out to be unwatchable. There is still a crisis of content, which, in this current self-congratulatory phase, the industry is not addressing.
Rakesh Roshan has attempted the first major sci-fi film in Hindi commercial cinema Koi Mil Gaya, which is generating a lot of curiosity. (Incidentally, Bengali sci-fi film Patalghar was a hit, so Hindi audiences are not the only ones instrumental in setting trends!)
One hears of a little blip of change here and there. Subhash Ghai has set up a script workshop and is looking at new ideas; iDream already has a script bank; UTV is getting scripts developed; NFDC is planning something on the lines of a script bank too. Everyone complains of the shortage of good writers but no one seems to do anything about it.
Besides, the herd mentality is still in place. Over the next few months, there will be half a dozen sex-oriented films coming out, then half a dozen cop movies, followed by an equal number of war films.
Now that action films have got another lease of life, more of those -- which are easily plagiarized from Hollywood -- will be made. And if a romance or family drama hits the box-office bull's eye, matters will get really confusing for the followers of trends!
The moral of this current 'high' phase is that it is not the genre of film that matters but some novelty value of the film itself, though nobody can come up with an explanation for the success of a film as bad as Andaaz. So let a thousand genres bloom! The next few months will be worth looking forward to.