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Changing Phase Of Indian Cinema From Commercial To Content Driven Movies

One feels a sense of pride when an audience understands your story the way it’s narrated. Content driven films have a longer shelf life and have a repeat audience

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In the shifting world of commercial and parallel cinema, we must not get distracted from one fundamental truth: the idea is king. If a movie begins with a great, original idea, chances are that it will  be successful. Content based movies have a broader appeal as it is the concept that fetches the higher returns. In fact content is now the commercial or main stream cinema.

It all started with the path-breaking  and national award winning film Khosla Ka Ghosla (KKG) which was ahead of its time and showed the path to Good Content Cinema .Produced at a smallstring  budget with 40days  shooting schedule  back to back  this Film KKG had primarily Anupam Kher but had no Big Stars to boast off . The Distributors were apprehensive on its outcome but the Producer in me refused to add any Item Song or change the Director or Cast and insured that there was no compromise on the content of the film.  The Story was on the life of a common man (Anupam Kher) who invests his life savings in a plot of land which is taken over by Land mafias .The Content of film is about Common man sproblem with  uncommon solutions. Khosla Ka Ghosla got featured amongst the top profitable 50 best movies of 100 years of Indian Cinema by  Forbes Magazine.

Other movies like Bheja Fry, Wednesday,Vicky Donor ,Lunch Box, Life In A Metro , did not have Big Starcast but were very high on Content  and have played their role in Indian Cinema too .Big Actors like Sharukh Khan , Amir Khan ,Salman Khan  have had their movies presented with good content like Chak De , Rang De Basanti , Bajranji Bhaijaanetc but some of the  commercial movies like Zero ,  Thugs of Hindustan , Race  etc have not been successful  in the Box Office. Thus inspite of the Big Khans movies without content do not do well if there is no content .Recently movies like Toilet Ek Prem Katha ,Padman ,Talwar  which were high on content have done well which shows that “CONTENT IS KING” and will remain so. An interesting example of content based films  is Jolly LLB -1  which was a hit but thereafter with coming of Akshay Kumar acting in Jolly LLB -2 the film has fared much better in the Box Office .

Good story with stronger elements has a healthy excitement build up. The concept business is the right business to thrive, as audiences from different backgrounds are demanding more narratives. The supply of story needs to get bigger than the demand of demographics. When you have the right content it’s not difficult to figure out who can fit the bill. With rapidly changing consumer tastes, it’s your concept or idea that opens minds and hearts to your story. Instruments of taboo, menstruation and societal development have passed through the writer’s room being converted into mainstream cinema.

Concept based films opens doors from drama to a slice of life comedy shown in an interesting manner. Fortunately film offers have never been so active for they feature inspiration through the eyes of top heroes to young debutants thus opening a wide market  for Feature and Digital Films. Here the producer’s energy and the dynamics turn out different with newer stories to tell.  The budgets are smaller, the scripts are immediately locked and the execution employs a smaller window of two to three months. For moviegoers the kind of cinema they are exposed to ranges from ten to eleven different films within a month. The most important factor I keep in mind is to never underestimate the viewing choice of the people; they are always ready for something good.

From a masala entertainer to independent cinema viewers need to feel content rather than spending time behind a three hour musical. The system of production and distribution also needs to evolve to accommodate both mainstream and independent films, the kind of films that will bring change in the society. Films like Khosla Ka Ghosla are usually much better conceptualized and have a better Revenue model than big starcast commercial films. One feels a sense of pride when an audience understands your story the way it’s narrated. Content driven films have a longer shelf life and have a repeat audience.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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SavitaRaaj Hiremath

The author is co-founder and Director, Tandav films and Production

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