Bollywood has "masala" flicks running in its veins


17 Jun 2017

Bollywood will always make no-brainers because they feed the industry

Every time a typical Bollywood flick releases, social media pundits come up with posts like, "When will we get out of a masala flick and get some serious cinema in India" or "The plot doesn't make any sense."

At the same time, one lower-middle class guy tells his friend, "Bhai kya mast movie hai re."

Why this disparity? Glad you asked.


One critic is not the voice of a nation

One critic is not the voice of a nation

A typical Bollywood money-churning no-brainer is usually two things at the same time, the critics' punch bag and an audiences' favorite.

But when you come to think of it, these movies didn't make any pretense of being anything else. The audience and the critic both knew what they were walking into. Moreover, no one creates products for which there is no demand.


India likes its weekend movies with "tadka"

Beside every snobbish movie critic in a cinema hall is a guy, who has worked 8-hour shifts throughout the week, a guy who works in a call center on night shifts, a girl who loves the elaborate scenes and grandiose costumes.

They are part of the Bollywood dream, a larger-than-life song-and-dance-routine loving nation, rooting for over-the-top drama being showed on big screen.

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A movie's reach is more than you think

A movie's reach is more than you think

Is this a lack of maturity? No, it's simple demand and supply routine. It's called a "movie" industry; every industry needs profits and an industry manages to do so when it supplies according to consumers' demand.

More than the approval from that urban educated on social media, they need the approval of a semi-urban or rural audience sitting in the local movie theater.


The willing suspension of belief

This audience has been the bread and butter of the movie industry for eons. They're late to the idea of using torrents to download movies; they still watch a movie twice in a theater, if they like it.

Distributors, movie-makers survive because of them and the parallel cinema gets an opportunity out there because one hero beats up five goons and crowd goes wild.


The other end of the line

The other end of the line

Does that mean I am dissing movies that are not the typical Bollywood drama? No, Shahid was amazing, Hindi Medium was brilliant and Masaan, stellar to say the least.

Movies that evoke thought are lauded by cinephiles but movies that evoke emotions are loved by both the auto driver and the literature professor.

Parallel cinema never managed such a diverse range sans numbered exceptions.


You need to take a "chill pill"

There could have been several other ways to drive home the point; one could show box-office statistics or list how many art house directors made Bollywood masalas to garner money or why even the poster boy of parallel cinema Nawazuddin Siddiqui does a "Freaky Ali" or "Munna Michael."

But one can also say, "kuchh to log kahenge, log-o kaa kaam hain kehna."

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