Take the pledge to vote

For a better tommorow#AajSawaroApnaKal
  • I agree to receive emails from News18

  • I promise to vote in this year's elections no matter what the odds are.
  • Please check above checkbox.


Thank you for
taking the pledge

Vote responsibly as each vote counts
and makes a diffrence


Issued in public interest by HDFC Life. HDFC Life Insurance Company Limited (Formerly HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company Limited) (“HDFC Life”). CIN: L65110MH2000PLC128245, IRDAI Reg. No. 101 . The name/letters "HDFC" in the name/logo of the company belongs to Housing Development Finance Corporation Limited ("HDFC Limited") and is used by HDFC Life under an agreement entered into with HDFC Limited. ARN EU/04/19/13618
LIVE TV DownloadNews18 App
News18 English
News18 » Movies
3-min read

Bollywood Desperately Needs Revival. Experimental, Offbeat Films Are the Only Way Out

One thing is now clear—old stars are fading and content is the new hero.

Sneha Bengani | News18.com@sneha_bengani

Updated:November 14, 2018, 7:51 AM IST
Bollywood Desperately Needs Revival. Experimental, Offbeat Films Are the Only Way Out
Starring Ayushmann Khurrana and Radhika Apte in lead roles, AndhaDhun released on October 5, 2018. (Image: Instagram/AndhaDhun)

At the ongoing 24th Kolkata International Film Festival, celebrated Iranian filmmaker Majid Majidi finally said out loud what industry experts, trade pundits and cinephiles have known for a long time.

Majidi said, “If Bollywood supports offbeat films, independent cinema would flourish.”

Considering that Indian moviegoers have unabashedly dismissed some of the biggest films in the last two years—Jab Harry Met Sejal, Jagga Jasoos, Tubelight, and most recently, Thugs of Hindostan—and have lapped up small-budget films—Newton, Hindi Medium, Raazi, Stree, AndhaDhun, Badhaai Ho—one thing is clear. Old stars are fading and content is the new hero.

2017 was popularly billed as Rajkummar Rao’s year. He had four major releases last year, including Newton and Bareilly Ki Barfi. This year too, he has had four releases again, including Stree, which has emerged as one of the highest-grossing films of 2018.

However, giving him some solid competition this year are Radhika Apte and Ayushmann Khurrana. Both of them have had a terrific year. Radhika has starred in six major projects across mediums. Three films—PadMan, AndhaDhun, Bazaar—and three Netflix originals—Lust Stories, Sacred Games, Ghoul—later, it is impossible to not take notice of her anymore.

Meanwhile, Ayushmann, with films like AndhaDhun and Badhaai Ho, has made the boy next door bankable like never before.

As the Shah Rukh Khans and the Aamir Khans go bigger on promotions and marketing gimmicks, each more novel, glitzier than the next, it is these off-beat outsiders who are getting it right, one project after the other.

In a slight modification to what Majidi said, Bollywood, in its present state of utter despair, needs to support offbeat films to flourish, for the lines demarcating independent cinema from the mainstream are blurring faster than ever.

Ronnie Screwvala, known for producing big-budget mammoths like Rang De Basanti (2006), Jodhaa Akbar (2008), Fashion (2008), Rowdy Rathore (2012) and Chennai Express (2013), is now backing new actors and small, experimental films like Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota, Karwaan, Pihu, Uri: The Surgical Strike and Sonchiriya, under his new banner RSVP Movies.

Talking about it, he told News18 at Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival, “Stories are changing and the way we consume them is changing too. So it’s time we also change the storytelling techniques.”

“I am still working with big stars but it’s been a conscious effort to provide platform to new talents across mediums so as to bring freshness in the way we look at and make films,” he added.

Read|AndhaDhun Proves Again that Tabu is Indeed the Reigning Queen of Grey

Read|Manto: Rasika Dugal’s Safia will Help You See the Man Behind the Writer

With Hollywood, global online streaming platforms, regional cinema and film festivals foraying into the space that was once almost exclusively Bollywood’s own, the Indian film industry hasn’t suffered an identity crisis more severe.

But since Bollywood cannot match Hollywood’s production standards, online streaming platforms’ reach, regional cinema’s relatability and film festivals’ exhaustive experience, it’s time it created its own niche and found its own ground before it’s too late. As of now, small, offbeat films are its only big hope.

Follow @News18Movies for more.

Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox - subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what's happening in the world around you – in real time.

Read full article
Next Story
Next Story

Also Watch


Live TV

Countdown To Elections Results
To Assembly Elections 2018 Results