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Bollywood beats the heat

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Akshay Kumar
Scorching heat, goblins of sweat trickling down and then a heave of sigh. The heat is on and Bollywood is all geared to beat the heat. Wondering heat, when autumn is making way for chilling winter? But Bollywood is simmering and slowly smouldering as the heat wave has caught up with one and all in the industry. The urgency of the hour demands the call for remedy, a panacea for all ills.

Well the heat is on and inescapable as it is, the choice is to succumb or brave it whatever be the odds. Bollywood has rightly opted for the road less travelled. Indeed with the changing mediascape and audience interest, Bollywood will not be able to sit at rest. Revolution is the word most befitting these turbulent times. Earlier while the trend was the schism between the commercial and artistic cinema, the changing winds have heralded a new innovative crop of stories. At the turn of the century, not only was the country marching towards development, but also opening the citadels of culture to the wide world outside. If Dil Chahta Hai was branded as the forerunner, then those that followed were also players in their own right.

Hindi cinema is awakening to a new dawn, eschewing the age-old star power as the decisive factor to run the show. Now with movie after movie either bombarding at the box office or marching diligently towards success, the verdict is out, 'story is the king'. A quick glance through movies like Taare Zameen Par, Aamir, Wednesday, Rock On, Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na, Singh is Kinng and so forth have proven time and again that good story in any genre would sell. If Aamir was austere,then Singh is Kinng was laughter ringing loud and clear. So too if Wednesday was the thriller to the last nerve, Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na was a perfect romantic comedy and Taare Zameen Par and Rock On , wholesome movies with a subtle message. Its no longer the popular versus art cinema battle that wins, but the content. Neither is there any austerity exercised. With a relatively erudite audience demanding sensible movies and the mushrooming multiplexes, things have definitely changed for the better.

Going onto the ingredients that go into the making of these movies. Undoubtedly the story, the characters, the setting, pace of the movie, realistic touch, easy conversational style, the time frame and the choice of artists. With globalization and the evolving watching group, movies are made to cater to a niche audience. These need not be movies made on grandiloquent sets or with the most pricey stars. 'Middle cinema' which gained currency as the bracket term to encompass these changes has paved the way for 'good cinema' or 'sensible cinema'. Movies which carry the indelible imprint of the director, backed by a strong story capturing the zeitgeist with actors willing to free themselves from the fetters of star value to forge their identity as artists form the backbone of the brand named 'good movies'. When all boundaries are ripped apart in this postmodern world cinema cannot be confined to any water-tight compartments.

Sensibility and not seriousness is the order of the day, but. Having pondered upon these, its not complexity, but simplicity that steals the show. Singh is Kinng, Jab We Met and Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na are ideal illustrations.There again urban-rural divide hardly matters, as long as the bond of connectivity is well laid. So too actors like Akshay Kumar and even Imran Khan are out to prove their mettle with movies like Kidnap. So also while Lagaan was blockbuster, Welcome to Sajjanpur failed to communicate.

Hindi cinema is out in the arena to brave the heat and filmmakers are geared up for the cultural revolution. Time and tide waits for no man and the Bollywood goes by that dictum.

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