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Boycott!? Hindi cinema at crossroads

Suddenly the clamour to boycott the Hindi cinema by the moviegoers is gaining a momentum and has set a cat among the pigeons in the film industry, in particular. Is it the revenge of the audience against the content, or is it revenge against the media and PR Management of the stars, which is taking the goat of the viewers?

While driving to the work place a breaking news on an FM Channel got stuck in my thought process after hearing it that. Liger is now adding a new Punjabi song for the movie before its release with the hope that the audience would be there to watch the movie. Just a week ago, Karan Johar in his celebrity chat show ‘Koffee with Karan’ episode featuring Sidharth Malhotra and Vicky Kaushal had jokingly blurted out that there was no script while he was shooting SOTY.

So, there you are! How long will the audience continue to bear with the same dish where there would be 4-5 songs, there would be one item song and in between there would be ramshackle of a story along predictable line? It is the story that is sorely missing from the cinematic dish being offered during the present times, which has brought Hindi cinema at such crossroads.

The YouTube likes of the release of songs seems to have become a supposed benchmark for success of the brand under consideration aka the film that is to hit the market. The surreal fact is that liking release of a song or a snippet of movie on a digital platform, which is available in myriad formats, is not a barometer of success of the film, which the PR managed industry and social media governed self-promoted star initiatives feel it is.

When a Laal Singh Chaddha has been refused (as reported) by Netflix to be shown on its OTT platform, though it was a work in motion as far as the script is concerned for more than ten years, it indeed underlines the fact that the scriptwriters of the present times are living in a Spanish Prison of content dominated environment. The echo system created on the lines of the Spanish Prison has a circular construct where the ray of enlightenment is unable to travel down, as the construct is construct. It dances on the wall as a pointer in the form of flops. Now that a ray has struck the ground manifest in the form of flop of Laal Singh Chaddha, it indeed should be a wakeup call.

Script must be given its old eminence and importance. Stars must be become actors and must look for a different revenue model. Hair cut must be injected, as the major budgeting of a film goes towards payment of star fees, leaving less behind to do justice to the content, which manifests in the form of a song and dance drama. Audience in the wake of COVID and the eclectic content that is now available to them at the click of a button in the comfort of their room needs major motivation to move to the big screen to watch a display and it is this innovation which has gone missing from the world of Hindi cinema for quite some time.

Argument being built that rejection affects livelihoods of associated, is not going to wash down with the public as the livelihood per se have been affected post pandemic one way or the other and in a such a situation a judicious decision is the right of the audience to watch a content or not? Adding fuel to the fire in these situations is comments that actors in their arrogance make and they need to bring humility in their approach. After all, the audience that makes a star and not the star that creates the audience.


Kajal Aggarwal

Asim Riaz

Nikki Tamboli

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