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The Second Quarter of 2017

Friday, June 30, 2017
By Deepa Gahlot

There is a joke going around the net and Whatsapp forwards: “Aamir Khan is going to make a film called 'Electrician', so that he can repair the 'Fan' and the 'Tubelight'.

This is a dart at the Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan films, that did not do as well as expected at the box-office. The new yardstick to measure success is 'Baahubali 2', and if a major Bollywood star cannot beat that film’s record of crores, then his shine is a bit tarnished.

Still, 'Tubelight' added to the haul of decent films in the second quarter of the year, that include the well-promoted sleeper hit, 'Hindi Medium', and the bound-to-succeed romantic fluff 'Half Girlfriend'. That does not mean that just promotion is the thing, no film was as aggressively marketed as 'Raabta', and that one bombed badly, seriously affecting Sushant Singh Rajput’s career. 'Begum Jaan', starring Vidya Balan also failed, so her choice of films needs to get better too. 'Sarkar 3' was the other big disappointment, which did not work in spite of the star cast.

At a time, when films with women at the centre are being made and appreciated, the flopping of films like 'Maatr', 'Noor' and 'Meri Pyaari Bindu' are not a good sign.

The small indie films that were beautifully made and deeply moving were 'Mukti Bhawanand A Death In The Gunj'; unfortunately films like these do not get the support they need to hang on in the cinemas and attract more audiences through positive reviews and word out mouth. The other highly-praised film, 'G Kutta Se' was not promoted at all and sank without a trace, though the dark and disturbing film about violence against women, deserved to be widely seen.

Films like 'Sachin A Billion Dreams', 'Behen Hogi Teri' and 'Dear Maya' could be clubbed under films made with good intentions, but had something lacking, so could not connect to the mass audience.

There are always the oddities like 'Laali Ki Shaadi Mein Laddoo Deewana', 'Mirza Juliet', 'Hanuman Da Damdaar', 'Dobaara See Your Evil' and 'Bank Chor', 'Bachche Kachhe Sachche', 'Phullu', 'Jattu Engineer', 'Sargoshiyan' and 'Sweetie Weds NRI', which had no chance at making a mark at the box-office.

So in the end, it was the weight of 'Baahubali 2: The Conclusion', that crushed everything that came its way, and made the unassuming Prabhas a national star. The film with its huge budget and polished CGI, showed that hard work combined with dazzling spectacle always works.

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