Children’s films, not in Bollywood

Children’s films, not in Bollywood

So we have another summer holiday season looming on the horizon. For Indian kids it will as usual be the Captain Americas and his tribe entertaining...

Bollywood may be reaching global level but they are ignoring kids by not making movies for them, unlike Hollywood that brings the superheroes alive on big screen

So we have another summer holiday season looming on the horizon. For Indian kids it will as usual be the Captain Americas and his tribe entertaining them. Frankly, I don’t have a problem with them. I just love the way Hollywood brings the superheroes alive on big screen. I do have one gigantic bone to pick up with Bollywood on a genre they have clearly ignored - Movies for our youngsters. If in a cash rich booming industry our last kid movie of note was “Chillar Party”, we seriously need to wake up.

I am not just asking our makers to become socially conscious that’s like – Oh! we need to do something for the kids. This kid-appeal genre is one of the safest bet to make a product, which appeals to a universal audience. In fact a kid-content movie is the best strategy to build and present a movie, which appeals to all sections in a diverse country like India, and you can laugh all the way to the box office.

If you do not trust me on this - look at the BO numbers of “Baahubali” that is Amar Chitra Katha live on screen. The biggest evergreen classic from the 1980s is “Mr.India”. It only underlined the phenomenal brilliance of Salim-Javed as writers and the strength of this genre. The writer duo created Mogambo keeping kids in mind and we got our biggest iconic villain next only to Gabbar Singh.

“Mogambo Khush Hua” was probably written to make the kids happy and it connected with the adult-kids too. Look at the example of Krrish. Hrithik Roshan owes his superstar status largely to Jaadu and the kids. Rakesh Roshan has been counting the cash since 2004 on this genre alone.

But as irony would have it, Bollywood remains obsessed with the Khans and 6000 screen release strategies. The reason a kid genre movie will always work is simple. However hard humans try, the kid in them never really dies. The hope for a better world where right is right and wrong is wrong remains intact. Most movies that are aimed at appealing to this emotion of our’s hit the bulls eye repeatedly at the box office.

If a maker delivers something that appeals to the kids, rest assured it will be enjoyed by the adults too, and it will then have evergreen written all over it, and obviously the resulting moolah. If anyone ever did a research on it, I will be ready to bet Mogambo’s left arm on the fact that “lakdi ki kaathi” has been heard and played more by adults than kids. Yeah the same left hand, which he used to make those sounds on that white ball on his singhasan in the entry scene of “Mr India’.

And yet, Bollywood does not want to look beyond themes, which are for grown-ups. It was probably this myopia, which made Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan reject a “Mr.India”, because they could not afford to be invisible on the screen. The “fans” would not like it is what they thought.

Therefore, all the more ironic that our most phenomenal effort on movies for kids, in recent times, came from the much ridiculed Salman Khan when he decided to produce a movie called “Chillar Party”. A movie, which drives the message of peaceful coexistence with such phenomenal brilliance.

In fact from the 1980s till date when Bollywood actually started going global we have probably made 12 children movies, which have had any kind of respectable recall. It all also boils down to the fact, Bollywood’s basic disrespect for better content creators – the writers. Therefore a Sooraj Barjatya refuses to come out of his shaadi ka pandaal , the Johars and Chopras remain largely entrenched in Switzerland , Bhansali cannot make anything but a love triangle. So, any other genre is largely attempted and created by the fringe makers of Bollywood. The outsiders!

If only Bollywood had given a sharp look at the kids. I just hope Bollywood makers wake up. Else, I shall wipe my tears and go for Batman v/s Superman this May 6th.

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