Content is king, says 2018. And Bollywood agrees.
Urvi Parikh reports.
Hindi cinema witnesses a host of films, some masala, some content driven, every year.
Earlier, the fate of a film often depended on the star cast, or the director or the music, but now, the content is distinctly much more important.
Movies like Race 3 and Thugs of Hindostan, starring superstars like Salman Khan and Aamir Khan, bombed at the box office while smaller films like Andhadhun, Stree and Badhaai Ho did exceptionally well.
And the film folk agree.
"The script should be written devoid of big stars. The trouble is that when you start thinking 'I'm doing this story for this guy.' You start making compromises. That's a disaster because it is not the script, it becomes a vehicle for the star," says Vidhu Vinod Chopra. "And when that happens, it ceases to be a script.
"My answer is write the story, then look at the actors. All the so-called stars must realise that the script comes first."
Chopra then shares an anecdote to prove his point: "At the Dangal success party, someone had asked me, 'Sir, Aamir is Number 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and I was what? It's because of the script that the film did well. Even if Hrithik (Roshan) was in the film, it would have worked. But if it was made horribly, it would not work at all."
"Aamir called me later and he was like, 'Yaar, tu meri party mein meri bajaa raha hai'."
"Now see what happened? Ask him (Aamir) only. What I said was true, right?" Chopra asks, referring to Aamir's disaster at the box office, Thugs Of Hindustan.
Echoing Chopra's sentiments, Anil Kapoor says, "When you start your career, a script chooses you, and you become a big star. There comes a time in an actor or star's life when you have to mould yourself as per the script. The script cannot be moulded as per a star's requirements."
Rajkummar Rao, who has had a wonderful 2018, puts in, "I am happy where cinema is going. People are enjoying watching films and they are spending their hard earned money to watch it."
"Content is above everything. The story has to be an important aspect of film-making. Actors are playing characters, and working hard."
He puts in a good word for the superstars: "There's a reason why they are superstars. Nobody can touch them. They are ruling for 30 years. Just because one or two films do not work, I still love and respect them."