Bollywood’s production houses and filmmakers are rushing to register movie titles that referenced the coronavirus in some way — all in the hopes that it would grab the audience’s interest enough to bring them flocking to the theatre when things are back to normal.
On March 15, the film industry’s five top bodies — Indian Motion Picture Producers’ Association (IMPPA) and four others made a joint announcement that all films and TV and web shows would stop production until Tuesday, March 31, and film units all around the world were to return home within three days. But still, before the shutdown Bollywood started chasing the coronavirus related titles.
An IMPPA source told The National on condition of anonymity that several had already been registered and they had received inquiries about at least a half-dozen more, and the number would likely go up once work resumes.
This is not the first time Bollywood has been accused. Just last year, after the abrogation of Article 370 stripped the state of Jammu and Kashmir of the autonomy to frame its own laws, film associations reported requests for registration of titles such as Article 370, Article 370 Abolished, Kashmir Mein Tiranga, Kashmir Hamara Hai. Earlier that year, the Pulwama terror attacks saw the same pattern, with producers clamoring to register names with Pulwama, Balakot, ‘attack’ and ‘surgical strike’ in them.
With the tremendous success of films like 2019’s Vicky Kaushal starring Uri: The Surgical Strike. It seems like Bollywood would still continue to capitalise on anything that emotionally affects the common man.