Stree, Sanju, Padmaavat, Gold: This year’s 100-crore films have broken genre barriers
Last year it seemed that Bollywood’s obsession with period films had reached its zenith, but this year, filmmakers showcased an even greater mix of genres. The nine films that have crossed the ₹100 crore mark thus far belong to different genres. The latest one is the horror-comedy Stree, which continues to set the cash registers ringing.
Producer Bhushan Kumar, who backed romantic comedy Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety and crime action thriller Raid, which was based on a true incident, calls this a clear sign of the fact that “we have matured as storytellers.” He explains, “We’re willing to tackle different kind of subjects. With exposure to international cinema and themes, [I feel] the audience has also evolved.”
He adds, “We have always believed in backing content-driven subjects, and our upcoming films also promise a variety, which, in the current times, is truly the spice of life for the cinema-loving audience. If this year’s success is anything to go by, it looks like the filmmaking community and the audience are in for a great ride ahead.”
As for a genre like horror comedy getting acceptance, Dinesh Vijan, who co-produced Stree, says, “We’ve always tried to break the mould and do something different. With Stree, it wasn’t just the story but a completely new genre. It’s heartwarming and extremely gratifying that the audiences validate our vision and give us the confidence to back differential cinema.”
He adds that though there hasn’t ever been a set formula in the film industry, one must evolve to keep up with the times. “Content is so easily accessible to the viewers nowadays that one must strive to make it engaging and interesting. And this year has been phenomenal, at the core of it. If the story is compelling, people will go and watch it,” he elaborates.
Clearly, it’s no longer the case where if one type of a film or a subject works, everyone follows the trend and starts making similar kind of movies. SKTKS director Luv Ranjan says that it’s the structures of smaller films and newer concepts that have led to the audience becoming more receptive. “Audiences have become clear that they want good content. As long as they like the film, and it offers something new, they’ll watch it and that reflects in the business of the films. The jump [in business] from Friday to Saturday on some films is humongous. So, that word of mouth helps films take the big leap. It’s the audiences’ faith in different kinds of films, and we supply according to their taste. If they’re saying we are ready to see various kinds of cinema and actors and we don’t want to be necessarily stuck in big-ticket films… that translates into hit films.”+ +
Film critic and expert Omar Qureshi puts it in perspective. “Making movies is like falling and learning how to walk. Filmmakers have learnt that you have to make different movies. Hence, the great mix. Films such as Stree, Manmarziyaan, the upcoming Sui Dhaaga give audiences choices and will always work,” he says.
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