After years of hoping to see magic on screen, 2018 turned the dream into a reality!
The tried and tested formula of Bollywood was revamped, and paved way towards a new theory. The Khan and the Kapoor were replaced by Khurana and Kaushal. The sleazy item numbers were replaced by strong female protagonists, the senseless romantic and action flicks were replaced by thought-provoking and beautiful story-lines. The time had come when our eyes were sick of the same old actors romancing actresses 20 years younger to them, we did not want to see remade versions of iconic art or adaptations (read, ruining) of great novels. We craved for something deeper and meaningful. Cinema is the most powerful form of art; which is why it should be positive. Of course we had some off the edge movies but out of 250-350 movies produced in Bollywood in a year, how many could leave the impact that we craved for? Masaan, A Death in the Gunj, Lakshya, Rang De Basanti were all overshadowed by story-less, objectifying and problematic movies. And this is exactly what differentiated 2018 from the previous years.
The screen was dominated by fresh, out of the box stories and actors. Bold female leads, non-stereotypical gay characters, non-toxic relationships and blissful acting sums up this year. New age directors showcased what Bollywood was truly capable of, heartfelt emotions and surreal biopics left the audience with hope for a brighter industry in the future.
It would be wrong to say that the old formula wasn’t tested again, but it flopped – became a huge box office flop. The item songs, big names, dumb plots and pedophilia romance was not acceptable to the audience; this was an enlightenment not only for the industry but for the viewers who decided that enough was enough!
Online platforms and the quality of media has increased to an unfathomable level. ‘Sacred Games’ and ‘Mirzapur’ have carved a niche for themselves in world cinema, compared to the likes of Narcos and Gangs of Wasseypur, these touched the soul of the Indian youth. Light hearted shows like ‘Lust Stories’ ignited the flame of women representation and provided a large and open platform of accepting women sexual desires. ‘Ghoul’ established itself as coming of the age horror movie.
Millennials have demanded and duly received the cinema they deserve. Acting has taken the supreme seat in the hierarchy of judgement of a movie, followed by a good story. I remember waiting in anticipation to see Pankaj Tripathi and Rajkummar Rao in Mirzapur and Stree. My friends anxiously waited for Nawazuddin Siddiqui in and as Manto. Karwaan, Parmanu, Raazi, Tumbbad, Andhadhun, Badhai Ho and the likes go on and we wish that these continue to reach more screens and a greater audience.
It’s time that Bollywood unveils its true capability and we, the people devour it in its true form!