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What next? Bollywood filmmaker's dilemma

What next? Bollywood filmmaker
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Highlights

With the kind of films that unspool every week, one can conclude that there is a dearth of not only ideas but also direction!

With the kind of films that unspool every week, one can conclude that there is a dearth of not only ideas but also direction! A varied kind of films are being made. Each filmmaker trying to come out with something different.

This includes all - big as well as medium-range producers. The idea seems to be taking a shot in the dark. It is all about taking chances.

Some producers are falling back on period costume dramas, which work out very costly and not every director's cup of tea. This genre was avoided for a long time mainly because of these two reasons, capability and cost.

Yet, we have had period films like 'Bajirao Mastani' and 'Padmaavat,' 'Manikarnika' and 'Kesari.' There have been a few flops in this genre like 'Mohenjo Daro,' 'Rangoon' and 'Thugs Of Hindostan.'

The backers of such films would do it only on the basis of saleable stars, coupled with a capable director. Still it often proves risky.

Each week, a new kind of film is dropped in the market. For instance, last week we had 'Khandaani Shafakhana,' a film discussing sexual problems for those who can make sense of the title!

For one, sex and problems related to it are not generally discussed in India. Delhi and surrounding areas do have such clinics but that does not make the subject acceptable all over.

One may have thought if Vicky Donor could work, why not take it a step further? An odd subject like 'Vicky Donor' or 'Piku,' very personal to people, does work. But they need to be woven into a plausible story and dealt with a fair amount of humour.

Recent such films are 'Piku,' 'Padman,' 'Toilet: Ek Prem Katha.' This is called reaching out to personal matters of people. Humour is a must since it delivers the message without making the proceedings seem mundane.

Most writers who script stories like 'Piku' or 'Vicky Donor,' or directors who make films like 'Dangal,' 'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag' and 'Neerja,' have always had this problem: What next?

They usually have nothing that matches the earlier success. No maker seemed to have a worthy successor. So, they go back to usual claptrap and come a cropper.

In fact, Akshay Kumar has become a torchbearer of the films that convert real-life stories into reel-life sagas. He has been greatly successful in his endeavours.

His image of being a thoroughbred nationalist probably adds to the acceptability of his films. His instincts and beliefs seem to be paying up so far.

Then, there is John Abraham. He loves to play the incredible hulk tackling major cases like the Rajiv Gandhi assassination or Pokhran nuclear tests. He has been partly successful.

There is little choice left for filmmakers. The limited choice is between romance, action and comedy, with few writers and makers to justify the last named.

While ideas are borrowed from foreign films (which includes this year's National Award winner, 'Andhadhun,' and films from South languages are being sought once again for remakes by a few.

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