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The Way Forward

Friday, April 10, 2015
By Deepa Gahlot

The first quarter of 2015 has ended, there is something to cheer. Last year, Vikas Bahl‘s Queen was the film of the quarter, this year it has to be Dum Laga Ke Haisha, Sharat Katariya’s charming and utterly original film, with an unconventional plus-sized heroine (Bhumi Pednekar), who makes no effort to get to a fashionable weight.

This was a very unusual film coming for the Yash Raj Films banner; another off beat film from that production house was Dibaker Banerjee’sDetective Byomkesh Bakshi. The film was appreciated for its production design, cinematography and performances, though the plot was convoluted and heavy going. Still, Detective Byomkesh Bakshi was a film buff’s film.

Varun Dhawan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui matched wits in Sriram Ragavan’s dark revenge drama, Badlapur, while Anushka Sharma played the city girl who is confronted with the ugly realities of rural India in Navdeep Singh’s NH 10—the success of both films won appreciation for their stars, and also proved that given the right content, Hindi film audiences do support offbeat films. Another example would be Rahasya which had a surprisingly long run in the cinema when better films give up—perhaps the curiosity about its story based on the sensational Arushi murder case had something to do with it. Unfortunately, many small offbeat films made with great effort, just do not have the ability to attract audiences. Good examples would be Qissa, Hawaizaada and Coffee Bloom.

Audiences also sometimes reject the formulaic as the failure of Ab Tak Chhappan 2, Tevar and Alone showed, but if the usual action drama is packaged well and has popular stars, then a film like Baby can deliver at the box-office. Some films like Shamitabh, Roy, Dolly Ki Doli that have stars and were given high-powered promotion did not do as well as expected.

The general opinion is that even with censors getting strict, sex sells, but the flopping of films like Dirty Politics, Khamoshiyan and Hunterrr means that there is no predicting the mood of the viewer. The obviously crass films like Barkha and Monsoon didn’t even stand a chance.

For the prize for the oddest title, Dilliwali Zalim Girlfriend, Yahan Sabki Lagi Hai and Crazy Cukkad Family could tie up. But the most bizarre and ambitious film of the quarter would be MSG The Messenger of God.

The next few weeks have films like Mr X,  Margarita With A Straw, Piku, Bombay Velvet and Gabbar Is Back coming up. Looks like a good line up.

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