There is a growing lack of conviction of script writers in their basic product. There is no other reason why stories are relying on franchise names to tell their tales. In recent times, the biggest example of the same is Dedh Ishqiya. I think a more apt title to it would have been Lihaaf. Sticking to the name that was the source of all the beauty in the film could have been a real ode to Chugtai. But Chaubey would obviously find it easier to sell his work to audiences if he fell back on the comfort cushion of his amazingly intelligent and hailed film Ishqiya.

Dedh Ishqiya and Shaadi Ke Side Effects Movie Poster
Dedh Ishqiya and Shaadi Ke Side Effects Movie Poster

The same goes for Shaadi Ke Side Effects which is a sequel of the delightful rom com Pyaar Ke Side Effects that was pleasing and frothy in equal measures. If they were making a film on similar lines, I don’t understand why it necessarily has to be a sequel? Coming from PNC, I don’t think it’s a lack of creativity but perhaps it is easier to sell films like I have already said rather than marketing new product.

But this array of sequels and second editions is creating laziness. Directors, production houses are refusing to risk it so boldly by taking the easy way out, be it in content of films that are getting more and more formulaic or even in genres that are more or less similar as they are focusing more on maintaining franchise boundaries.

Still from Bhoothnath Returns, Singham 2 and Welcome Back
Still from Bhoothnath Returns, Singham 2 and Welcome Back

2014 will mark the return of Amitabh Bachchan’s much loved character Bhootnath too in March and also Welcome is back with much vigor and fervor. But my question is why? In the end it is the same vein of films giving lesser scope to both makers and the audiences to explore. Franchise films are a norm that if a film does phenomenally well, keep cashing in on its success till its sucked dry and it stops from being a crowd puller. But unfortunately repetitive films bore audiences to death to the extent that they even forget why they had loved the film in the first place.

Now the above are the problems with creative people essentially but such problems arise primarily because producers are ready to support projects that assuredly will get better returns. Business mind often falls heavy on creativity and going by the terrain of Bollywood recently, this is quite admittedly true. Hence a superlatively talented Dibaker Banerjee invests himself in working on Byomkesh Bakshi.

still from on the sets of 2 States and Detective Byomkesh Bakshy
still from on the sets of 2 States and Detective Byomkesh Bakshy

Similarly there is Chetan Bhagat’s 2 States getting made as well. We have all read the book and mostly loved it, then why is a movie needed on it? It’s no classic surely that must be restored in multiple forms. I have loved reading the author’s works immensely but for me I will lose the beauty of it all if I see the characters Ananya and Krish in Arjun Kapoor and Alia Bhatt. God forbid if they are not up to the charm of the book then half my love will erode off with that. Some texts can just let it be as they are beautiful the way they are.

Another trending schema in Bollywood is biopics. When there is a documentary existing on ‘Gulabi Gang; which is every bit moving then why is a commercial film with Madhuri Dixit’s dance pieces relevant. I think it would have been better to publicize well the documentary. Jain’s documentary in my opinion had all the potential to reach out widely and educate audiences instead of giving it a glossy commercial fell. Why do it? Well that sells sire!

Gulaab Gang and Mary Kom Movie Poster
Gulaab Gang and Mary Kom Movie Poster

Sanjay Leela Bhansali is all set to add pomp to Mary Kom‘s life with his biopic on the woman, taking Priyanka Chopra in the titular role. And though it is very flattering I don’t see why Bhansali needs to continously adapt books or people. Be it Devdas or Ramleela, has the prolific filmmaker forgotten his own mettle? Go original, write your own story.

Films have great power of remaining in our visual memory. But no one remembers what fails the realm of unusual. Usual might get audiences, pull crowds but will be forgotten just as easily. The choice is for the industry to make because films without originality are on the downhill eventually and will die out in our memories even before the decade turns to next.

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