Bollywood in the last few decades has undergone a massive change. As films have taken up a more experimental pathway, the content has become less soulful, less touching. It has been quite a journey towards celebration of a masaledar Dhoom 3 from a more heartening Rang De Basanti. A Koimoi Reader, Suneil Barkat traces the rugged pathway that has reconstructed Bollywood today.


There was a time when Bollywood movies used to be three hours long, filled with at least 10 songs and used to have a story line that made no sense but still touched our hearts. But, one thing that made us care less about the aforementioned points and leave the theatres with a smile was – The Happys The Endings.

Come 2014 and as more inspiration is drawn from Hollywood, somewhere down the line I believe Bollywood has lost its touch and has lost its way.

Now, before you jump to the comment section and start blasting this article, allow me to present you my perspective and what I actually mean. Take a look at Dhoom 3 or Krrish 3. While the two movies have been the highest grossers and have set new records, look deeper down, inside your heart and tell me if this is what Bollywood means to you?

I admit, that the whole idea of Bollywood movies is to make you escape the reality and enjoy it! But…really!? Krrish 3 and Dhoom 3 are awesome movies backed by a stellar cast and their performances. But take a look at movies like The Lunchbox or my personal favourite movie A Wednesday.

Krrish 3, Dhoom 3, The Lunchbox and D Day Movie Poster
Krrish 3, Dhoom 3, The Lunchbox and D Day Movie Poster

For me A Wednesday was a movie that not only managed to convey a strong and important message but it also had some amazing performances by Anupam Kher, Naseeruddin Shah, Aamir Bashir and Jimmy Shergill and moreover with a modest budget. In fact, I feel that it was a movie that the recent film Jai Ho! wanted to be but sadly it failed. It was a film that may not win any awards for originality but in a market saturated with masala films, it seemed fresh. Same can be said for movies like Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, Taare Zameen Par, Rang De Basanti that touched the masses. But do you know what the real difference between A Wednesday and Rang De Basanti was? Unfortunately, running after stars is what Bollywood has changed into.

As moviegoers we have been reduced to nothing more than puppets who rush to the cinema halls, only when our favourite actors feature in that film. Chennai Express is a classic example of modern times. Seen in the industry as a game changer and a movie that set new records at that time (now broken by Dhoom 3), CE was heavily promoted by Shah Rukh to the extent that you could not see any reality show/series/advertisement on the Television without SRK.

Honestly, I cannot blame the guy for doing that, he is only marketing the product he put his heart and soul in. But seriously, Chennai Express’ true success, according to me, lay in its heavy marketing. Nothing else.

Same thing goes for Salman Khan movies, but at least the actor has fun while playing the role and fans enjoy him more than his movies. However, we can’t change the fact that before Jai Ho! and ever since Wanted, his movies have been the same. Why? Fans love it and lap it up.

Another thing which annoys me more is the use of special effects in the fight scene. This is why D Day and Madras Café, even Commando are the most respected ones because the action sequences are believable. But then movies like Son Of Sardaar shows a man flying when hit by Ajay Devgn. I know we are supposed to escape reality and all but when you are not showing Ajay as a superhero, is the special effects really needed?

My point is that yes, there will always be a market for movies like Dhoom 3, Chennai Express and Krrish 3 since they are loved by the masses. But movies like D Day, A Wednesday and The Lunchbox, don’t earn as much because they are not backed by heavy marketing, big stars and special effects.

Bollywood has changed and we are to be blamed for it completely. Let’s admit it! We have been asking, for all these years, that Bollywood movies should change! They should be as sleek and stylish as Hollywood! We should one day meet its standard! And here we are.

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