Bollywood’s new sense & sensibility


Discussing all things filmi including the changing face of Bollywood in 21st century, evolution of cinema, its history, role of women in B’town and more, a recently held event, Cine Bahastalab organised by Mohalla Live, brought together some of the leading directors and actors under one roof for an open interaction with city’s Bollywood fans.
Actress Swara Bhaskar expressed her views on the role of women in Indian cinema. She said, “Bollywood has produced some of the legends right from the beginning — be it veteran actress Sulochana Devi or actress and stunt woman Fearless Nadia, who proved her mettle by playing one of the first female leads in Hunterwali (1935).” She further consolidated her point by adding, “Women-centric films, female directors, producers, costume designers and technicians have always been an integral part of Bollywood.”
Swara feels if anything has changed at all for actresses, it’s that male actors too are putting in equal effort to sustain their positions in the industry. “If actresses like Kareena Kapoor and Deepika Padukone are trying hard to maintain those perfect figures, then actors like John Abraham, Aamir Khan and others are also struggling to get the eight-pack abs to suit their roles,” she cited.
Producer-director Anubhav Sinha believes with changing times Indian audience has become more aware and exposed. “Content-driven films are making a comeback and gaining wider acceptance among masses. Earlier there were directors like Ketan Mehta, Govind Nihalani and Shyam Benegal among others who made successful films. But now there is a whole new crop of directors doing well and presenting sensible films,” he said.
Talking about the much-hyped phenomena of Bollywood’s `100-crore club films, Sinha puts forth, “Bollywood is being run by a handful of A-grade actors and big production houses. Indians have always believed in hero-worshipping. Even when it comes to Bollywood, there are five or six stars who are almost like brands. You will never find a director putting out an advertisement that his film has collected so much at the box office,” said Sinha, who is set to try his hands at production with his upcoming 3D film Warning.
Director Anand L. Rai, who tasted back-to-back-success with films like Tanu Weds Manu and Raanjhanaa, expressed that once a filmmaker finds a way to satisfy the audience, the collection will automatically be taken care of. “As a director you need to draw a connection with the audience, for which the film should ensure that apart from its entertainment value, the audience finds it relatable as well,” said Rai.
Discussing the hurdles that come in the way of political films in India, director Raj Kumar Gupta, who is known for his films — No One Killed Jessica and Aamir said, “I would personally avoid a film based on political issues as it often sparks a controversy. If a film does not release after it has been worked on for years, not only does it bring financial losses to those associated with the project but also creates hurdles in the career of the filmmaker.”
However, the director of Phas Gaye Re Obama and Jolly LLB, Subhash Kapoor concluded, “Despite the difficulties, Bollywood has often taken up socio-political issues. There have been some successful filmd like Garam Hawa and Lage Raho Munna Bhai among others.”

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