While the star power of Salman, SRK and Aamir rule over content at times, script has emerged as the ultimate hero in the recent times. Paresh Rawal starrer OMG! Oh My God that had very little buzz at the time of its release gained momentum at the BO as soon as the positive word of mouth made its impact.
Made on a budget of about Rs 20 crore, the film's collections stand at more than Rs 50 crore at the end of week 2.
Sridevi's English Vinglish is on the same track. First day was a dismal show despite positive reviews. The movie started with the occupacy of just about 20%. The next few days were almost magical. The film made Rs 2.5 cr on its first day. It made Rs 4.35 cr on Saturday. By Sunday, the film had already made Rs 5.75 cr. The total weekend collection stands at Rs 12.6 cr.
Here're some recent films that surprised with their success at the BO:
ENGLISH VINGLISH: Gauri Shinde, wife of national award winning filmmaker Balki made her directorial debut with English Vinglish. Sridevi returned to screen after 15 years with the movie. There was no item song to sell the film and of course there was no cameo appearance by a big star. Even the music of the film was average. Wonder what worked for the film?
Trade expert Taran Adarsh probably has the answer. He wrote in his review: "Sure, masala movies are great fun, but a film like English Vinglish breaks the monotony, shatters the unwritten rules of the game and scores brownie points. Cinema is rapidly changing and one can connect with viewers across the globe even without making the usual mainstream Hindi movie. English Vinglish proves it!"
Sridevi's strong performance is another reason why film is on a success track.
"She's vulnerable and sad, yet selfless and strong, in the way we all know our mothers to be. She imbues Shashi's quest for respect with genuine emotion. It's hard to imagine that this is an actor who hasn't worked in fifteen years," writes Anupama Chopra, Hindustan Times.
OMG! OH MY GOD: Amidst a lot of protests and debates, the Paresh Rawal and Akshay Kumar starrer OMG! Oh My God released with not much expectation and buzz. Yes, it did have a Sonakshi Sinha item song. The film was not even an Akshay Kumar film. It revolved around Kanji Lalji Mehta, played by Paresh Rawal, an avowed atheist who runs an antiques shop. The film was based on Gujarati play Kanji Virrudh Kanji. What is it that worked for the film?
"OMG – Oh My God! carries a social message, a significant one, but the best part is, it does so without losing the wit and humor. Most importantly, it doesn’t get preachy, nor does it deviate into the sermonizing mode." says Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama.
VICKY DONOR: It was actor John Abraham's maiden production . The film that starred Ayushmann Khurana in lead made news only for its unique concept. Only few expected it to hit bull'e eye. But it did and how! Not only critics, but masses also embraced the film.
Writes movie critic Anupama Chopra: Vicky Donor is one of those rare Hindi films that work purely on the strength of writing and performances. There are no crutches here of stars, sets, styling or foreign locations."
Hats off to John Abraham for smelling the right script and giving Bollywood a hit!
KAHAANI: Timing was right for director Sujoy Ghosh of Aladin fame, who got to release his film right after the success of Vidya Balan's The Dirty Picture. But the film's canvas was not that vast. Nor was there any male lead in the film. But the film certainly had a hero - its script. Though Vidya Balan carried the film well on her shoulders, the power of its story cannot be undermined.
Director Sujoy Ghosh told hindustantimes.com in an interview that he never expected Kahaani to be a hit. "My intention was to make a film and play with the script beautifully, I never thought about the commercial aspect," said Ghosh.
"It's ultimately the film's script and the word of mouth that will ensure success for the movie," he added.
PAAN SINGH TOMAR:
Made on a shoestring budget of Rs 8 crore, the film did a round of festival circuit before hitting the theatres. Everybody expected it to be a critcally acclaimed arthouse film, but few could imagine that the film will make around Rs 40 crore at the box-office. The film earned Rs 4.25 crore in its opening weekend, but soon picked up thanks to its strong content.
"Director Dhulia sprinkles just the right amount of winning moments and even the slower sequences have something to bite on. Some of the memorable ones include Paan’s cue for love-making: luring his kids out of the house with some lemon juice to allow him enough privacy to get intimate with his wife (Mahie Gill). Then, Paan’s irrepressible gluttony that manifests itself intermittently makes for charming scenes like the one where he completes a race and instantly walks off track to attack a bunch of bananas," writes Kunal Guha, Yahoo.
Very few filmmakers attempt to make a children's film. Such films are not made with commercial angle in mind. This particular film had the backing of Salman Khan, who was the co-producer of the film and a gang of promising child actors. Director Nitesh Tiwari and Vikas Bahl had a strong story to tell.
The film not only made over Rs 32 crore but won three national awards. It bagged the best children's film, best original screenplay and best children awards.