The Khan films tanked and two thirds of the big-budget, “commercially viable” films that were churned out did too and justifiably so! The films were poorly executed, sorry excuses of tadka popcorn fare that deserved the hand they were dealt.
On the flipside, indie Bollywood films were not only making headway in Kala Ghoda and other artsy quarters the way they’ve always had, but also in multiplexes! The envelope-pushing Lipstick Under My Burkha generated 26 crores over a measly 6 crore budget, Hindi Medium and Fukrey Returns entered the coveted 100 crore club and the Oscar shoe-in, Newton, starring Naseeruddin Shah’s heir apparent, Rajkummar Rao, also proved to be one of the biggest financial successes of the year.
Bollywood bigwigs have seen this coming for a while now but have done very little to remedy it.
TV mogul Ekta Kapoor, who also dabbles in film, recently revealed that the writers who write the screenplays for blockbusters that make millions of dollars worldwide are given only a few shekels for their efforts- a very sad state of affairs. This has been the status quo since forever but it’s only recently that Bollywood is being punished for this injustice.
Some production houses are shutting their doors indefinitely because of the heavy losses they’ve faced while others are reportedly shitting bricks, not knowing which of their upcoming films is going to crash and burn.
They’re all fully aware of what needs to be done, they just needed a rude awakening and 2017 was it!
Here’s hoping 2018 is the year that heralds a new era for Bollywood, an era in which indie films are continuing to strike a chord with the masses and where commercial blockbusters are starting to make money again not because they’re commercially minded but because they’re good!
It’s high time you pulled yourself up by your bootstraps, Bollywood.
ARTWORK BY RACHNA RAVI