The Deluded Film Industry Today
Thursday 28 July 2016 12.30 IST
Box Office India Trade Network
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The week gone by saw the release of Kabali featuring a superstar Rajnikant while at the same time the biggest actor of the NFDC led film movement of 70's Naseeruddin Shah was making some derogatory comments about the early 70's superstar Rajesh Khanna. The comments made news but this sort of thinking is there in the industry towards people who have gained superstardom, just most of the time it stays behind closed doors but unfortunately or fortunately this time came out. Normally this is there as one feels its the sort of success you wanted to achieve and could not or feel the other guy did not deserve the success he got. Also there is a huge misconception about what is acting, basically it is about likeabilty and making the audience believe and the ones who do it best succeed the most.



The real shocking thing was when this guy commented about the films of the times and making the golden era of Hindi films into a mediocre era.. The fact is that from when colour fims started being made regularly in the early 60's and till video came in the early 80's it was the golden era which was not seen before and may not be seen again. Pages can be written about the box office records of the era but the easiest way to explain the growth is that India had 4380 screens in 1962 and the total was 12,840 screens in 1980. The total number of screens in 1980 is more than today. This sort of infrastructure growth can only happen for one reason and that is CONTENT. The audience is coming out to watch films which leads to a need of theatres and the audience is coming out not because of a superstar or two because how many films can they have to sustain such growth but because of general all round good content.


Its not just that actor who probably lives in a world of disillusionment but the case can be made for half the industry today, actually probably more than half. Its laughable but many in the industry call today the golden era as well though only god knows why. We live in an era that two big films can't release on the same day if they want the desired results but this is not the fault of these releases but what happens for the rest of the year. .When the content is bad barring 3 or 4 Friday's of the 52 then there wont be enough screens for two films to release together as how do exhibitors survive outside these 3-4 Friday's.


There are obstacles with putting up new properties be it rising land prices, high taxation and less than encouraging government policies in many areas but these issues would have been there is the 60's as well, maybe more as rules were less pro business then but it made no difference as demand was there. It would be same today if we had the content. In that period we had films which were going to take up 15-16 weeks released every week which resulted in more screens and today if we have films every week which can be run just 4-5 weeks in most cities then the screen count would go up fast.


There was that NFDC art film movement which lived in a deluded world and this resentment for the huge commercial success of Rajesh Khanna by Naseeruddin Shah could be because this movement mainly survived ten plus years as the actors were hardly paid as that was only way they could make films for 4-5 lakhs which gave a chance for recovery. 


Today its not much different, a Badlapur, Haider or NH 10 can survive because the main talents are hardly being paid or taking huge cuts in the remuneration. Then on top its said these films are appreciated but how can these films be appreciated if hardly anybody has seen them. None crossed 50 lakh footfalls in theatres and less said about television results the better. You can only have appreciation if you have an audience. The longevity in the golden era was measured through repeat runs and today that has been replaced by television.


Despite all this a large section of the industry calls this the golden era which shows the understanding of Hindi cinema is even worse than the content of their films.




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