Content driven films getting glory in Bollywood

A year full of strong and unique stories


September 6, 2018

/ By / New Delhi

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Despite some masala hits like Judwaa 2 (2017) and Golmaal Again (2017), Bollywood is experiencing a shift to content-driven films such as October (2018) and Raazi (2018), garnering critical acclaim and winning over viewers’ hearts.

Many Bollywood films garner a glorious response on the big screen even though they lack meaningful content. Audiences like to see their beloved heroes and heroines dance to an item number rather than portray a serious character.

This scenario seems to be changing now. Films such as Newton (2017), Raazi (2018) and October (2018) gained critical acclaim and were equally loved by the masses upon their release. These films are far away from atypical Bollywood masala films, which mostly revolve around romance, family drama or slapstick comedy that take pride their expected happy endings, uninvited item numbers or over-the-top action scenes.

Content-driven films are gaining momentum – whether it is comedy, romance, dark humour or life stories, filmmakers are letting content take the forefront in all these genres. Interestingly, most of these films are low budget, and are hence breaking down the notion that only big budget films can taste success. For example – Parmanu (2018), a film based on India’s first nuclear test, was a hit with a net earning of INR 650 million. As for Raazi (story of an Indian spy who marries a Pakistani man during the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971), the film defied all odds by doing almost triple the business at INR 1.23 billion.

Not just films featuring well-known stars but movies like Ankhon Dekhi (2013), Masaan (2015), Aligarh (2015) and Shahid (2012) are also finding favour with both audiences and critics. A few writers and writer-director duos like Juhi Chaturvedi – Shoojit Sircar are also making impact with their signature voices. Their names bring promise to a film, beyond stars and size of the production. This is because they have managed to make films closer to life rather than feed fantastical existences on repeat mode.

Many upcoming films like Manto, Kalank and Bharat also tell powerful stories of courageous stands against the society during the colonial rule in India to explore the lives of people who made a difference.

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