Here we will understand why Bollywood flops to impress audience and losing relevance and how the Indian audience evolved.
As soon as the theatre reopened after a long lockdown, cinephiles rushed to cinema halls to watch their favourite stars on the big screen. However, this time Audience, was not looking for a celebrated face but the excellent script, originality, great acting, and message were also on the list of the viewers.
This time the Audience who had hit the cinema halls had a massive exposure to OTT platforms where they had access to classic foreign cinema-like Money Heist and Squid Games. Even web series like Family Man, Kota Factory, Panchayat, Delhi Crime, and many more were not driven by any mainstream Bollywood face. Still, they earned popularity based on direction, plot, storyline, acting, and original scripts. Yes, Indian Audience evolved.
But Bollywood didn’t!
The Audience tends to have higher expectations from Bollywood, which is not ready to evolve yet. Moreover, they expect viewers to consume films like Heropanti 2, Banchan Pandey, Gehraiyaan, Attack, etc. Indeed, their fans puked it out, and movies faced massive losses at the box office, although they were good-budgeted films.
However, it is not the case that Bollywood has not served any good movies. The Audience got treated with films like Gangubai Kathiawadi, The Kashmir files, and full-on entertainment with RRR, KGF: Chapter 2, etc. These were appreciated by consumers and got positive responses for the critiques.
Star-power won’t make a difference
Recently, films like Jayeshbhai Jodaar, and Dhakkad, which were expected to make a blockbuster release and even cast talented actors like Ranveer Singh and Kangana Ranaut, respectively, did not perform well, even though these films were made on a budget of 100 crore or approx. But were unable to earn even half of the amount. Movies guaranteed Hollywood-style screenplay but still failed to impress the critics.
Similarly, films like Runway 34 and Jersey received a cold response from the masses. Although they have an intact social message.
Why did this happen? Why has the preference of Indian cinema viewers changed? What does the Audience want?
Here we will understand why Bollywood needs to evolve with time & Audience ASAP.
Audience ko mangta Hai, Entertainment, Entertainment, Entertainment
Girish Johar, producer and film business analyst, explained the concept. He said, “Multiplexes wanted to earn after the lockdown. Therefore, they hiked the ticket prices from Rs. 250-300 to Rs. 450-500. Earlier, if I had spent Rs. 200 on a ticket and I got entertainment worth Rs. 150, I would not mind. Now, I am paying Rs. 400 for content worth Rs. 100 or Rs. 120, there we feel cheated. This is a big reason audiences did not go to cinemas for many films.”
Bollywood became a copycat
Trade analyst Atul Mohan had some views on this topic. “Today, audiences want paisa-vasool fare. Only then will they come to the cinemas. Certain films are said to be of Rs. 200 crores. However, it doesn’t look like one. Audiences are left wondering ‘is film Mein Rs. 200 crores kharcha karne jaisa Kya tha’. They do not know that out of the Rs. 200 crores of the budget, Rs. 125 crores have been usurped by the actor. On the contrary, the South’s big-budget movies do seem justified. They are improving their storytelling, and we are just remaking their old film”.
Bollywood lost its connection with people
Trade veteran Taran Adarsh emphasized, “We need to give the Audience the content they could connect with. But our filmmakers alienate a chunk of the Audience and presume that hum jo banayenge, woh audience dekhenge. It is the Audience that will dictate the terms. You will face rejection if you make films for the Bandra to Versova audience. You are not even catering to a pan-Mumbai audience. Forget pan-India.”
Grooving songs and Dance no. are not a game anymore
Do you remember Sheila ki Jawani from Tees Maar Khan. People walked out from the halls as soon as the item song was over. Even Aashiqui 2 was a huge hit just because of its soothing songs. However, now songs are no more a game. Remix of old classics, reuse of Punjabi hits had ruined the audience’s fun.
The pointers mentioned above are just a few. There are several other reasons why the Bollywood industry is losing its relevance among the Audience. Where Bhool Bhulaiya 2, which was least expected to be even worth watching, unexpectedly gave a joy ride to the masses. Films like The Kashmir files left a revolutionary impact on people.
Bollywood has the potential to make a comeback, but it has to shift its focus from the cliched, plagiaristic, nonsense cinema. Now, Audience wants quality, whether it is backed by star power or not.