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The long and short of it?

The shorter the better, that's B'wood's latest mantra to woo viewers.

india Updated: Apr 15, 2006 17:16 IST

In Bollywood, bigger is no longer better. Look at some of this year's releases: Malamaal Weekly (130 minutes), Being Cyrus (90 minutes), Zinda (114 minutes), Taxi 9 2 11 (120 minutes). Given that these films made money, the trend is here to stay.

It's a far cry from the days when it was a must for Hindi films to have a runtime of over 2 hours and 45 minutes. The trend actually gained momentum last year, when short films like Parineeta, Black, Page 3 and Iqbal made money.

Says trade analyst Komal Nahta: "Directors these days are in a mood to experiment. The length of a film is one of the factors they are breaking norms with." The audience is loving it too. Which explains why Homi Adajania's English flick Being Cyrus has been acclaimed all over.

Says Homi: "I knew all along that my story can be told in 90 minutes. That's what I did."

Pankaj Parashar, whose recent release Banaras is just over two hours, points out: "It's all about going with the story. There are all types of films, and not all films need to be padded up with unnecessary naach gaana. The story has to be told exactly the way it should be."

Agrees Zinda  director Sanjay Gupta: "I don't know if there's a trend here, I just kept Zinda short because the script demanded it. I think that's the right filmmaking approach."

Perhaps producer Subhash Ghai realised as much when he asked director Satish Kaushik to cut some flab from their new film, Shaadi Se Pehle. "Audiences these days don't have the patience to watch unnecessary footage," says Ghai, who has also produced shorter offbeat hits like Iqbal and Jogger's Park.

In Bollywood, where every hit trend spawns clones, be sure many will follow the fad.