The biggest irony that you sometimes tend to notice about Bollywood is that it is a business which is totally audiences centred and yet it continues to take its audiences’ intelligence for granted repeatedly. We need to understand this with the Manmohan Desai example.
A still from 'Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety'
He would make us cry with his lost and found scenes, he would make us laugh, he would give us goosebumps with the good guys vs bad guys scenes but never did he try to take the audience for granted he was deeply concerned about his image and the expectations that audiences had from him.
Bollywood of today is fast becoming a place where either we have directors who think their movie is the next Oscar Award-winning movie and in the process they throw the attitude of polishing their screenplay totally into dustbin, as a result, we get overpraised movies like ‘Mukkabaaz’ which struggled to cross 10 crore at box office or we get movies like ‘Welcome To New York’, which has big names like Karan Johar in it and A-lister stars like Boman Irani and Sonakshi Sinha and yet the movie is full of self-pretentious arrogance which is shown the box office dustbin by the ruthless audience.
The fact that a director chose to make a movie like this in 3D was indicator enough of how much respect the director had for his own craft and the audience's intelligence. Stars like Sonakshi Sinha should also blame themselves for being a part of this insult the audience brigade. After having worked in at least four 100 crore plus movies she should know the quality of a screenplay.
‘Welcome To New York’ was rejected with an energy which far outdid the aggressive heavy-duty promotion that came with it. The team of WTNY took audiences for granted while creating the concept, the audiences simply returned the favour by rejection.
The same week we had a movie called ‘Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety’.
The movie is the first surprise superhit of the season. The reason is simple Luv Ranjan the director, knew what he was doing. His actors knew what the director wanted and as a result, we got a movie which worked at the box office. The audiences have been coming back in droves to watch this one. There is another point that our directors need to note, for the audiences a movie is either good or not.
Only in the media studios, a movie is judged on parameters of ethics, fairness, etc. In this case, one heavy duty reviewer after other judged the movie on the parameters of feminism. Let me tell you I have seen an equal number of ladies enjoying this movie as men.
The point is audiences are not necessarily agreeing with the line of the thought of the characters or their acts, for example, audiences love Gabbar Singh but they do not wish to wipe out families and cut someone’s hands in real life, the audiences are simply connecting with sincere storytelling. To them ‘Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety’ came across as sincere storytelling. The audiences did not feel taken for granted.
The irony is not just half-hearted directors like Chakri Toleti of ‘Welcome To New York’ doing it but even heavy-duty directors like Anurag Kashyap and a few more like him have developed this tendency of taking audiences for granted. Saif Ali Khan is another example the man through movies like ‘Chef’ and ‘Kaalakaandi’ constantly proves that somewhere he does not know if the screenplay he read is getting executed ditto on screen or not.
Therefore while an Akshay Kumar is still not a blue-eyed boy of the Oscar purists society of India his movies are lapped up by the audiences because you can see his commitment to his craft of movie making. Akshay Kumar’s movies off late respect the intelligence of his audiences.
This is the good news for those who love Indian cinema the ultimate authority, the audiences will ensure that only worthy cinema hits the bull’s eye else directors can continue to make screenplay less 3D movies and pray for miracles at the box office while a simple small Sweety creates super sweet box office magic.