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Last Updated : Mar 27, 2018 02:18 PM IST | Source:

Is Bollywood rising above dreamy locations and star power? A look at how quality content is driving success at box office

More and more film makers are concentrating on cohesive story-telling, which is taking precedence over mindless cinema

Maryam Farooqui @farooqui_maryam

For a long time, Bollywood’s success formula relied on factors like item songs, foreign locations and star power. However, it was in 2017 when the industry saw success of films that neither had star power or was shot overseas. What made these films a hit amid the audiences was their real content and it looks like Bollywood is walking the same path this year as well.

The first quarter of 2018 has seen films like Rani Mukherjee-starrer Hichki, Ajay Devgn’s Raid, Akshay Kumar-starrer Padman that not only entertained the audiences but also focused on powerful story lines. The strong box office collections of these films is a proof that content is king amid moviegoers.

While Padman grossed Rs 78 crore, Raid and Hichki are still minting money at the box office. Hichki that released on March 23 has amassed around Rs 15 crore in three days of its opening and Raid has grossed Rs 75 crore in 10 days of its release.

A similar trend was seen last year. In fact, 2017 proved that it was the story, above everything else, that made a successful film. From Lipstick under my burkha to Newton, issue-based cinema triumphed over mediocre films.

It seems that more and more film makers are concentrating on cohesive story-telling which is taking precedence over mindless cinema. The focus is shifting from dreamy locations abroad to the hinterland to contextualise stories in tier 2 and tier 3 towns such as Varanasi, Lucknow, Bareilly which have added depth and familiarity to the script and characters.

Films set in small towns have become flavor of the season as it reflects the lives of majority of middle class audiences who unarguably enjoyed but could never really connect to the glitz and glamour of big cities.

However, Bollywood has not always been at its best in terms of content. There have been times when unwanted dance numbers or over the top action sequences were on the offer. But now even the industry is taking the quality of content in films seriously. With the emergence of OTT (over the top) platforms, people have more choices and are rooting for sensible cinema.

Although star power is still relevant, it is not the only criteria for a successful film. The upcoming films might set a trend for times to come with cinema not solely driven by stars or big budgets or foreign locations, but as much by relatable and real content.
First Published on Mar 26, 2018 05:20 pm
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