Kabir Singh was one of the most popular movies of 2019. Lively performances, great music and an intense storyline on display. But the story is a remake of Telugu movie Arjun Reddy.
Bollywood in the last decade has had an open affair with the South industry. Be it Singham, Rowdy Rathore, Drishyam, Wanted, the last decade’s some of the biggest hits were remakes. If not for movies of South, Bollywood has been criticized for copying Hollywood movies as well. Barfi in 2012 and Gully Boy in 2019, both have been Oscar entries but both didn’t go far since because of their resemblances with Hollywood movies. The worst has been Bollywood remaking their own films. Judwaa 2, Pati Patni or Woh, Agneepath, Zanjeer, Himmatwala have been a repetition of same storylines with a tweaked screenplay
So why is Bollywood killing originality?
Bollywood has been vocal about a dearth of quality scripts. Yet new writers don’t find it easy to break into the industry.
And it’s not just limited to stories, the music, the songs are remakes as well. Dheeme Dheeme, Coca-Cola, Ankhiyon Se Goli Mare, have all been remakes. Remixes of old songs in Chalti Hai Kya 9 Se 12, Tu Cheez Badi Hai Mast, all raise the same question. Are we reaching the creative shutdown?
Does this not invite time for fresh new creative talent in the industry? Should Bollywood not be looking for new ways to bring in talent instead of spending huge sums on marketing and promotions?
Scriptwriting competitions in Cinestaan, Star writers program have allowed for some new talents to break into the industry but how many of these writers go far. Isn’t the industry suffocating itself with the same industry people that it comforts itself with?
Audiences with the growth of Netflix, Hotstar and content shows have been selective. You‘ll not find Salman’s Eid releases or Sha Rukh’s Christmas releases doing blockbuster numbers like it used to. All this insinuates a positive signal for the content fraternity but a negative one for Masala movie makers spinning webs of spineless stories.
It is not just the scripts, Some actors aren’t even trying even to change the demeanor of characters they play. Salman Khan in his last 10 movies has played the same Phata poster Nikala hero stereotype, where he fights for people, and in the end, affects a huge number of lives. John Abraham, on similar lines, is playing the same nation’s forgotten hero trying to make things right. And the same is the case with likes of Kartik Aryan, as well. Rohit Shetty, a filmmaker who has followed the same storylines with 3 different actors now.
Its high time industry makes changes to its system. The audience isn’t staying if their creative demands aren’t met. As a filmmaker, actor, writer, musician, the industry deserves to be worth their checks which they haven’t been for quite some time.