Issue-based films still a no-no for Bollywood | entertainment | Hindustan Times
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Issue-based films still a no-no for Bollywood

entertainment Updated: Mar 28, 2008 19:16 IST
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Despite the success of issue-based films like Taare Zameen Par, producers in Bollywood feel popcorn romances, slapstick comedies and multi-starrer thrillers continue to hold an edge at the box-office.

For decades, the world's largest movie industry by volumes has rolled out stereotypical scripts on boy-meets-girl romances, dramas and comedies. But in recent years, there has been a noticeable move towards bolder, more mature themes aimed at audiences interested in a good story, not just glitzy song-and-dance routines.

Taare Zameen Par - about a boy suffering from the learning disability dyslexia - achieved both commercial and critical success last year.

But Bollywood producers are not giving up on regular films just yet.

"The changing taste is limited to urban India as these audiences have the choice of watching different films due to multiplexes," Ronnie Screwvala, head of United Television (UTV) told Reuters at an event in Mumbai.

"The mass appeal will always be with commercial cinema."

Producer Ravi Chopra said only a few issue-based films are made each year and it would be impossible for them to replace family dramas peppered with song-and-dance sequences and picturesque foreign locales.

"Not many people are making different cinema and whoever is making, except for Aamir (Khan), do not have stars in them to pull people to cinemas," Chopra said during an event in Mumbai.

Others feel that funding a multi-starrer commercial film is less risky than supporting issue-based films which have no guarantee at the box-office.

"For producers, serious cinema is a big gamble as it may impress critics and receive accolades at film festivals but commercially it may be a disaster," producer Manmohan Shetty told Reuters. "The community feels safe to fund films in which returns are guaranteed."

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