While I was growing up, a Hindi film was considered successful, if it ran for weeks at a stretch in a cinema hall near you. 25 weeks run was called silver jubilee! 50 weeks run a golden one! And a 23 years run (...and still counting) in Maratha Mandir (a cinema hall in Mumbai) is called Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (The Big-Hearted Will Take Away the Bride).
The mention of DDLJ is also to make one of my readers (PB) happy who missed it in yesterday's post. Also here is my experience of watching DDLJ in Maratha Mandir when it was running for 12 years already.
Also when I was growing up we didn't use to read reviews (in fact there weren't many in public domain) before watching films. Word of mouth was enough!
Things changed at the turn of the millennium! Number of screens increased with multiplexes and more films started getting made. This made it extremely difficult for films to have continuous long run at cinema halls, as each new film squeezed the previous one out pretty soon. Satellite television made it lucrative for film-makers to quickly show their films on small screens cutting short the jubilee dreams. Another thing that changed at the same time was easy availability of internet and advent of social media. Critics of all hues mushroomed. And writing movie reviews on internet became an industry. With these changes emerged two new cliches and they both are pretty sad ones!
- The parameter of a movie's success now is the number of Zeros in its box office collections! The movies get categorized into clubs like Rs 100 crores club, Rs. 200 crores club and so on! Sometimes rank bad movies get a huge opening because of their promotions and star cast that before even people realize that its shit, the movie has already made 100 crores. Even viewers now discuss films based on these zeros. The discourse on internet is all about this. Trade Analysts are tweeting these figures daily. Art be damned! It is heartbreaking when an excellent movie like Sonchiriya (the golden bird) is not watched by many because of its poor opening day collections.
- Movie ratings or Stars which critics give to films are based on their subjective opinions and their inherent biases. But some critics today, carry so much clout that they can make or mar a film even before its release. Their individual opinions get amplified on social media and many get impacted by it. Also most critics in India in their reviews give out spoilers and plots of the films. This also makes the viewer biased and can set expectations which may spoil the movie watching experience.
Anupama Chopra gave the movie Kalank (Stigma) 3 Stars and she gave Avengers : Endgame only 4 stars. Who will avenge this gross injustice? Is there even a comparison here? The self appointed expert on movies, Raja Sen, declined to review a movie (The Tashkent Files) recently because it didn't align with his political ideology. Such arrogance!
I feel movies should fulfill three purposes:
Happy Level - Entertainment (like Singham)
Happier Level - Entertainment + Engagement (like 3 Idiots)
Happiest Level - Entertainment + Engagement + Education (like Taare Zameen Par)
If in a movie I get Entertainment I am happy with it! Anything over it delights me! Sheer ecstasy!
I love movies. I love watching them in cinema halls. I don't care what each movie earns or how many Zeros are there in its revenues. I don't care how many Stars critics give to a movie. What matters is the sheer joy of watching a film in a dark hall. I will not let Zeros and Stars take that experience away from me.
Do you think I have missed out on a cliche in this month long challenge? Like blasting cars in Rohit Shetty films! Then tell me in comments space. I will write a post on it. But for that you have to read all 26 posts in this challenge, if you haven't already done that.
My theme for this year's #AtoZchallenge is Hindi Film Industry / Bollywood cliches. You can read the theme reveal post here.
2017 Challenge Post from Letter Z: Zebra / Jebra - A post about linguistic jokes. Click here to read.
2018 Challenge Post from Letter Z: Zoom in - The post reflects on memories, photographs and the zoom-in feature. Click here to read.