|Bollywood needs to change if it wants to survive
The glamour of Bollywood has experienced some serious deterioration
in the past decade, leading us to wonder whether the end is nigh. Fortunately
(for some at least!) we’re not there yet and there’s still hope. For all the
Bollywood aficionados out there, this genre has inspired many other forms of
entertainment beyond television. To give one example, online casinos, such as
Spin Station casino, offer over 1000 high-quality games; you’re bound to find a
few titles based on this Hindi cinema genre. And if the games’ range isn’t
convincing enough, perhaps the $3,000 match
bonus might be!
Happening to Bollywood?
This question has been a hot topic for conversation, with Southern
Indian films seemingly taking over in the meantime. Bollywood has been
witnessing a dry spell for a while now, with several big releases flopping and
failing to draw the crowds back to theatres. However, many would agree that
Bollywood is indeed not dead, in fact it’s very much alive but drastic action
is surely required.
These glints of hope can be witnessed thanks to the great success of
movies such as Pushpa,
RRR, and KGF 2 have had on the international scene, proving that language makes
very little difference in today’s day and age. As Southern Indian films
continue to push their way through, the Hindi film industry has received some
fatal blows, with large budget films like Samrat Prithviraj, Dhaakad, and
others not selling enough tickets to even break even.
But what we seem to be forgetting here, is that the push from the
south started to be felt once Shah Rukh Khan’s movies began to gain
momentum overseas. By doing so, the core of Bollywood filmography shifted
geographically to South Bombay and seems to have forgotten where it’s come from
in the process. The average film viewer in India is interested in the drama,
the highs and lows, and the hero that comes from nothing to make his way all
the way to the top. They have very little interest in purchasing a cinema
ticket to watch a movie that expresses values and morals over the span of three
hours – this is a nation that wants laugh, cry, and experience intense emotions
when watching a film, not being lectured about morality.
Apart from that, many Bollywood films lately seem to be suffering
from copy-cat syndrome, where remaking a number of films considered to be ‘on
trend’ over and over again. We saw this in the 90s which gave birth to several
action heroes and heroines, the 2000s saw a wave of romance wash over the
industry, while the 2010s brought back the single action hero.
Today, we appear to be in the middle of a decade dedicated to
nationalism, and even though we can probably agree that most Indians are
patriotic, expecting them to pay expensive ticket fees to feel that way isn’t
really going to cut it. There’s also been an issue with Hindi cinema struggling
to keep up with OTT streaming platforms, that brought about a host of quirky
and off-beat movies which might have not been first preference at the theatre,
but are now readily available, completely
changing viewer habits around the globe.
This means that the only way for the film industry to survive is to
deliver an experience that can’t be provided by Netflix or HBO – and that’s the
magic of Bollywood. Comparing this to the Southern Indian films is like
comparing apples and oranges – or pineapples and mangos if you prefer. By
slashing their budgets, Southern Indian films are able to remain sustainable
and competitive in today’s cutthroat market, which leads us to believe that
Bollywood’s classic formula just isn’t working anymore.
So, What Does
The Future Hold?
This period of uncertainty calls on the Bollywood industry to really
look within for answers if they ever stand a chance. This could include taking
themes and stories that have really resonated with the public such as Bhool
Bhulaiyaa 2 or Jugjugg Jeeyo to name a few, following the path of change in
order to remain relevant in today’s world. If you really think about it, all
the best movies are deemed so because they’ve got some killer plots. At this
point we cannot help but wonder when the next great Bollywood story will be
released, but until then we’ll sip on our tea and wait patiently.