2017 is turning out to be the year of small films. With films like Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, Bareilly Ki Barfi, Shubh Mangal Saavdhan and Newton doing wonders at the box-office, it is quite evident that audiences are ready to accept stories that are refreshing and real. And this has resulted in the birth of a new breed of filmmakers who are ditching typical masala outings and opting for more sensible and creative content.
There is no denying the fact that we Indians are absolutely obsessed with Bollywood, to say the least. However, we've all grown up on the 'family entertainers' of the 80s and the 90s which were nothing but just an amalgamation of a little bit of everything—made solely to cater to the maximum number of people possible. With changing times, not only the craft of film-making has seen a drastic change but we, as an audience have also had a shift. The recent failures of innumerable no-brainers starring the biggest of names gives out the message loud and clear— the hackneyed, formulaic approach towards filmmaking will not do anymore.
Fresh ideas, interesting methods of story-telling, new locations and relatable characters are the need of the hour which has film-makers going back to their roots and exploring the deepest corners of India.
Locations are the new characters
When it comes to leaving an impact, our small towns and villages seem to be outdoing the shimmering lights of overseas hands down. These locations might not be as fancy as their counterparts but the raw flavour is unmissable which in turn gives birth to memorable characters such as Banaras' Kundan (Raanjhanaa), Kanpur's Tanu (Tanu Weds Manu) and Wasseypur's Faisal (Gangs of Wasseypur). The locations played such an important role in the characters' life in these films that they themselves became essential characters in the stories.
Language adds a whole new flavour
"Mhaari chhoriyan chhoron se kam hain ke" (Dangal), "Are mangal kya babu ji, Ab toh bhaiya dangal karego" (Toilet: Ek Prem Katha), "Kya lijiyega, kon puchega kya lijiyega" (Bareilly Ki Barfi)—I'm pretty sure you remember these dialogues. Apart from some brilliant writing, it is the distinct rural flavour in the punchlines that makes them so memorable that they stay with you for a long, long time. Being the world's most diverse country when it comes to the number of languages spoken, getting the dialect spot on becomes a challenge but if done right, also works as a tool that takes the authenticity of the several a notch higher.
Reality check is a must!
The religious and communal divide portrayed in films like Masaan, Raanjhana, Raam-Leela, and Sairat gives the us a much-needed reality check. Similarly, while Toilet: Ek Prem Katha showed us the mindset of people who still practice open defecation, Badrinath Ki Dulhania gave us a sneak peek into the much prevalent dowry system and Shubh Mangal Saavdhan focused on an issue, which will for sure never be discussed in middle class Indian families. These small, intelligent films are serving as a very important means of giving a much-needed reality check to bring to light problems being faced by fellow countrymen.
Change is the indeed the name of the game but what do you think is the future of Hindi cinema? Share your views by writing in to us in the comments section below and stay tuned to Bollyy for more news, views and reviews from the world of entertainment.