Hindi Cinema is more than 100 years old, many films on the silver screen have struck gold. Movies are all about magic, and some have happy endings, some have tragic. In the end, it’s all about which films entertain and which films bore, alas, today everything is about 100 CRORE.
Mr. Naseeruddin Shah, one of the finest actors Indian Cinema has been gifted with, recently expressed his displeasure over this 100 CRORE circus and stated that it had poisoned the sensibility of filmmaking.
Another gifted and incredible actor, Mr.Nana Patekar, remarked that rubbish films are making 100 crores.
So let’s find out what this club is all about. First things first, I am a die hard fan of hardcore commercial Hindi films. Even today, I would prefer watching a film on a single screen than a multiplex. Reason? Simple, the catharsis and euphoria that one experiences in a single packed screen, one would seldom experience the same in an outrageously expensive multiplex. Well, different films have different audiences and different sensibilities.
I am not trying to be pseudo-intellectual who attacks mainstream Hindi films and prefers esoteric and niche cinema. The point here is, in the name of entertainment, some filmmakers and actors have succumbed so much to this so called 100 CRORE club that they have lost their Midas touch and finesse. The BIG question here is- Are all 100 CRORE films memorable or worth the price of your ticket? The answer is simple-NO. I’ve enjoyed some of these blockbusters but certainly not all. In fact, some of them were so atrocious; they didn’t even deserve Rs.100.
The most disappointing thing about the box office is how it can easily fool some people. For instance, the Hrithik-Katrina starter BANG BANG whooped in 145 crores at the domestic box office, and everyone was made to believe it was a juggernaut. Guess what guys, it wasn’t. Made at a budget of a jaw-dropping 170 crores, it had proved to be a losing proportion for its distributors. On the other hand, the Akshay Kumar starter AIRLIFT did a business of 128 crores. It may not have made as much money as BANG BANG, smashed records or crossed the 200 CRORE or 300 CRORE mark but it remains one of the most successful Hindi films of the year 2016 concerning footfalls and return of investment, thanks to a controlled and restrained budget. So which is a bigger hit? BANG BANG or AIRLIFT?
Sadly, today, people have the tendency to only look at the final box office collections and not the other essential aspects of film releases, like the screen count, ticket prices and even the number of shows allotted.
It is NOT ONLY ABOUT THE MONEY, HONEY.
You all can agree to disagree but here are 3 of the most accomplished stars of Hindi Cinema and a brief comparison of their films. This shall confirm that it’s not always about money.
Here you go-
1. SHAH RUKH KHAN
People may choose Kabhi Haan Kabhi Na or Chak de India as his best, but personally, my vote for SRK’s best film goes to Swades. I was appalled when I was informed the film was a box office failure. Made at a huge budget, it could only mint 15 crores at the Box Office. No problem, it didn’t evaporate from the consciousness of the people and slowly and gradually, found a place in their hearts. Mohan Bhargava will be remembered as SRK’s most nuanced and emotional portrayal, always.
HAPPY NEW YEAR (2014)
This was one of the most indulgent pieces of filmmaking I had experienced. After the supremely entertaining Main Hoon Na and the perfect ode to the 70’s, Om Shanti Om, I expected the combo of SRK and Farah Khan to be a riot. Alas, it turned out to be a rot. The film smashed all previous records and minted 44 crores on Day 1; the total collections ended at 175. Despite such huge success, will you remember Charlie as SRK’s best? Will you choose this over Mohan Bhargava? Please ponder.
2. AAMIR KHAN
Every producer refused to put their money at stake on this film. All of them called this as a suicide mission. None of the ingredients you needed to make a successful film were in the film. Then came 15th June 2001. Lagaan released and as they say, the rest is history. It scored a century and immediately became a rage. Touted as Aamir Khan’s best, Lagaan will always be remembered as a film that changed the perception of how to make a mainstream Hindi film.
DHOOM 3 (2013)
3rd highest grosser of Hindi Cinema. Over 260 crores minted at the B.O. That’s about it. DHOOM 3 will only be remembered for its collections, not content. It was the least entertaining film of the series and also the most boring 3 hours of my life in the darkened cinema. Aamir Khan hammed, Abhishek looked disinterested, Uday irritated, and Katrina continued to be expressionless. Out of all the people I interacted with about this film, nobody responded positively. That’s where I realized that money is surely not the paramount criteria to please people. Hope you’re listening YRF. If someone calls this Mr. Perfectionist’s best, I’ll be scared.
3. SALMAN KHAN
ANDAAZ APNA APNA (1994)
Who can forget Prem, the iconic and unforgettable character Salman Khan portrayed in this rib-tickling comedy? Of course, it’s not easy to be in the same frame with Aamir Khan, but Salman’s role received equal acceptance and popularity. Considered as one of the best comedies in Hindi Cinema, I’ll always vote for this film as the best Bhai film.
P.S.- It was a box office dud.
This was the biggest opener for a non-festive period. Crossed over 122 crores and perhaps bored an equal number of people. It was so bad, even Bhai’s charisma couldn’t save the film from being completely forgettable. I remember watching the film in a packed single screen cinema and getting infuriated at the buffoonery portrayed. Even Bhai’s die hard fans stopped cheering for him after a while, they realized that no matter how much money your film makes, even a film which makes 100 crores can bore.
For my love and endless passion for Hindi Cinema, I will always cherish films that not only entertain but also offer great content and galvanizing performances. The REST can REST IN PEACE. Hope you got it, dear 100 CRORE.