Bollywood and formulas have had a very long history. Starting with Manmohan Desai’s Amar Akbar Anthony, which brought to Bollywood the superhit theme of lost & found family that gets reunited, we have now evolved to the formula of big stars, minimal story, some gags and huge marketing budgets. It is of course admirable that Bollywood movies continue to entertain us month after month and are great business enterprises supporting people interested in art, but it’s time Bollywood tried something different. This is where we would like to help them! Presenting the 5 genres Bollywood needs to try out:
Genres based on true stories
Yes. Don’t just let the Tigmanshu Dhulia’s of the world make a Paan Singh Tomar, but find those stories with a human touch. We are a nation of a billion people, surely there are some stories worth telling? If Bollywood doesn’t have any ideas, we would be glad to chip in. Take the story of Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, a businesswoman at the helm of one of the biggest biotech companies in India, who gives the nation’s women something to aspire for. Or perhaps bring out the battle to get the RTI bill passed and give us the details of it. There are countless stories of brave kids and people who change the system for the better for Bollywood to still only focus on dreamy remakes of 80s movies.
It is surprising that for a country that is so crazy about cricket, there is barely any mention for the sport in Bollywood. Leaving aside Lagaan and Iqbal for cricket, Chak De India for hockey and Bhaag Milkha Bhaag for athletics, there is nothing to really show our fervour for sports. How about giving Dhyan Chand, India’s legendary hockey player a tribute on celluloid? Or showing the passion felt by football fans across the country?
If Bollywood is worried that they will not make money, then surely they only have to look at Hollywood’s pantheon of successful and heartwarming sports movies to get encouragement. From Tom Cruise to Brad Pitt, every Hollywood actor wants to do a sports movie because sport is the only arena where humanity can actually identify heroes. It is this retelling of a heroic moment that makes sports movies so special and so timeless.
The North East
The North East, the neglected corner of India. It exists only when we hear of some calamity but this does not mean this region is devoid of stories and talent. Bollywood has a moral responsibility to bring out stories from this region and present them before the rest of the country. We are a nation of so many differences that often the only thing that binds us is Bollywood. If Bollywood embraces the various subcultures that make up the North East and brings to the rest of the country warm stories from these hills, it will go a long way in promoting brotherhood and cultural sensitivity.
Movies with REAL villains
We miss Gabbar Singh and Mogambo. It goes to show how iconic these villains were that decades later, we still remember them. Villains these days are just plain boring. No menace, no punchlines and waiting to fall down with the hero’s first punch. Give us a villain who inspired mothers to tell their kids, “Soja beta, varna Gabbar aa jayega.” The closest we’ve come in a while is Rishi Kapoor’s human trafficking character, Rauf Lala in Agneepath. Everyone else, from the villainous robot in Ra.One to all the villains in the sundry Rs. 100 crore grossers acted by Salman Khan have been forgettable. It is time Bollywood decides to scare the pants off the audience with a creepy villain’s smile.
Krrish is back, but besides Hrithik Roshan’s turn in an eye mask, is there any other superhero movie on the horizon? Imagine a story where a superhero who can sing, dance, and fly, also saves us from an asteroid headed straight for Mumbai. Keep the story simple, Indianise it a bit and voila, you’ll have packed theaters for weeks! Ra.One, though a flop, was a step in the right direction. If only the focus had been on telling the superhero story rather than trying to offer as much entertainment as possible, this movie would have fared much better.
Animation for kids and adults
India has some of the best animation studios in the world who work for leading Hollywood movies, and yet we rarely see any Bollywood movies that use computer graphics. Animation gives film studios the ability to create stories that mainstream actors may not try for, but which will be loved by people across ages. Through animation, Munshi Premchand’s popular stories could be retold or Panchatantra tales can be brought to life along with a modern, entertaining twists that would give audiences the variety they have been craving for.
Neharika writes for Bollywood Celebden, a leading provider of Bollywood news and gossip. She can be found most weekends in a theater, with a tub of popcorn and eyes glued to Bollywood latest movie.