Why is Bollywood becoming garbage?
This is perhaps the most simultaneously overrated and underrated question we ask ourselves or friends or anyone while discussing Hindi movies. Actually, we want to ask such questions of Karan Johar, Rohit Shetty, and many top celebrities who have the magic formula to make 100 crore movie with the snap of their fingers. Of course, I can proudly say, that as a writer I believe I can come up with a better script than such billion-rupee-club movie makers. But, coming back to the point of discussion: Bollywood movies.
From Dadasaheb Phalke’s “Raja Harishchandra” in 1913 to Ardeshir Irani’s commercial success “Alam Ara” (the first sound film and also the first Bollywood movie with immense success) the Hindi film industry has come a long way. During the Golden era (from 1940 to 1960) Bollywood produced some of the finest movies in its history. For example, “Aurat”, which was the first Indian movie nominated for Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, losing by only a single vote. It is hard to believe that the same industry is now producing the nonsense it does.
If you think the Hindi film industry started deteriorating only a few years ago, it’s not true. Though we are fortunate to watch some good movies ahead of their respective times like “Black Friday”, “Gupt”, “Kaante”, “Khaki” and a few others but they are like the lotus in the mud. The entire industry has only one script. It’s the same revenge story, where parents are killed, sisters are raped, or some there’s some twist like brothers separated due to an antagonist conspiracy. The revenge drama continues in many films, sometimes with horrible dance steps until the entry of Hrithik Roshan!
I can think of only one movie, “Anniyan” that follows the script but does justice to it. It should be noted that this is a Tamil Movie, dubbed for Hindi audiences as “Aparichit”. Even though it is a mediocre movie from one angle I still find it far better than Bollywood’s ‘anti-corruption’ themed films.
The pre-2000s era was about biceps and chest, but the post-2000s is all about the six-pack, which became a trend just after the blockbuster “Ghajini”.
As the industry is growing, the quality is decreasing slowly, and now we reach a stage, where we can predict the movie is a waste of money even before watching it. Still, people are going to watch it! For whom? The protagonist? He has a chiseled figure with six-pack abs for sure and belongs to a family that has a close relationship or influence over Bollywood personalities, and does some stunts even Lord Hanuman would be amazed to see. Then there is a female actress who always dreams about the lead hero who doesn’t care about her in the least. Take any Salman Khan movie. If you ask me, the actor seems to forget about acting after “Tere Naam” and “London Dreams” and refuses to come out from his comfort zone even after the disastrous result of “Tubelight” and “Race 3”. I know about the massive box office collection of “Race 3”, but that is no indicator of success. Even his fans are unhappy! Probably, we Indians are the only ones in the entire world who prefer the hero over the content of the movie. All for the sake of our favorite celebrity who is no less than a God to us. And so, we go, we watch and we swear to make it a blockbuster. Cue producers and actors’ chest thumping.
Maybe after watching “Titanic”, Karan Johar decided to make a unique love story, and then we got a masterpiece like “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai”. As if “Raja Hindustani” and “Ishq” were not enough for us, we had one more reason to hate the industry. How beautifully Johar made a movie where an eight-year-old girl understands her father’s affection for his college time best friend. Something about this makes me uncomfortable. I’m no fan of love stories, but Titanic I still like. Couldn’t Bollywood make something like this?
Currently, it feels like Bollywood’s filmmakers are out of ideas and they have two options. First, copying some quality content from regional or foreign films. And second, biopics. The immense success of “Sanju” could inspire movies based on people who don’t have any contribution towards the society. Though every life has a story, I think biopics are meant for those people who have made the nation proud, yet somehow they have been forgotten and ignored. That’s why we have movies based on Sanjay Dutt, Arun Gawli, Haji Mastan, Abdul Latif and the list goes on.
One thing to remember though is that the makers of these movies are not the sole culprits. We audiences are responsible too because we prefer masala entertainment instead of quality content.