Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Flogging a Dead Horse

Flogging a Dead Horse

It has been a while since I have said something on my blog. Not that it was intentional, but I just did not have anything to say. Many people wanted me to write but I refrained. I did not want to say anything till I have something to say that may be relevant. Who wants to listen to what I did today, what I ate today etc. It would bore me if I had to read what a person does with his everyday life.

The topic of this post may not be as interesting to some as it may be to others; nevertheless I wish to state my opinion... and my opinion alone. This is what I think about the state of affairs in our industry.

The audience is complaining. Most films don’t work. Where is the entertainment they ask. A lot of money is pumped into big films that we have trouble sitting through. Occasionally a film works. Some say that over all Entertainment is lacking, that we have got lost somewhere in the search for a perfect film. You know what? There is no perfect film. Each film has an audience that likes it as also audience that does not. So, a good film is a matter of perspective. What is entertainment to a person need not be to another. Ah, we must not forget that a film that entertains the majority of the audience works financially.

Here is the catch 22 situation.....

This being a male dominant industry we shall discuss the male actors for now. There are no more than 10 film stars. (Those that draw an audience which results in a good opening, exceptions to the rule of course sometimes even stars can’t get a good opening.), and there are about 100 films to be made in a year. Stars work on 1 or 2 films at a time. So, at least 85 films will be made without the stars.

Films with stars

These stars have their own problems. They are popular. They have to attend to other PR related work besides working in movies. They have to also attend shows internationally. They have to give time to act in ads (as ads with saleable actors will get eyeballs). They have to plan further films, listen to scripts (if they do) and generally be a busy person. Some stars reach to work late and leave early. I said some, not all. The film makers have no choice but to wrap up the scene ASAP. Some won’t dub so film makers have to do sync sound which is more expensive. Especially in our noisy cities. The cost of production of these films soar and more money needs to be made to break even.

Of course I need not mention, but I shall, that they depend on Big Directors so that the directors will handle the story-screenplay. These Directors must know more, they have made hits earlier. So, why bother to read the screenplay. If I was a star actor, would I read the screenplay?? Sure but who has the time, I already told you how busy stars are. No wonder they will work in subjects that don’t make sense at all. They did not choose the subject, they chose the film maker and let him handle it.

I don’t blame the actors they are busy.

Audience to blame??

Audience wants to see good films. People always say we want to watch good films, but with stars. So, they can watch only 15 films a year that may or may not be good. So what happens to those 85 films without the glitz and glitter? Some work. Good films work. Some good films do not. I saw a couple of films recently without stars, they were good. But there was hardly any audience in the theatres. You see the cost of any film ticket is the same with or without the stars.


Promotion is top most need. How will I watch a film that I don’t even know exists? The Producers cannot afford to promote smaller films like bigger films are promoted. Audience watches TV and knows of a silly film with stars but misses out on the good film which is a relative smaller film.

Aamir Khan ad.

This is the trend. I wait for a film to release which is a non starrer. Wait for the newspaper the next day and check out the *** it got. Then I decide to watch it.

I saw a great ad on TV recently.

Aamir Khan plays a owner of a Barber shop. He gives a new haircut to some guy. Question... Do we get our hair done according to the barber??? NO.

Aamir Khan plays a owner of a clothing store. He gives a new freaky clothing to some guy. Question... Do we get our wardrobe done according to the owner of the clothing store ??? NO.

And yet we see the star rating in the newspaper and decide what film to watch.

We forget that the movie has been rated by an individual who has his own sensibilities. Do I have to agree to that person’s sensibility? Have they not proved to be wrong many times?? So, Mr. X will decide what films I should watch or not? He finds a film funny, I fall asleep. See???? Sensibilities do not match all the time.

What is the solution???

The audience is the problem and the audience is the solution.

The audience has to agree to watch non star films, don’t depend on star ratings in newpapers. Smaller films will work. New stars will be born. The industry will not have so many flops. The star system (which exists because of the demand from the audience) will ease, and, over time a new breed of film makers and actors will emerge. Entertain you. Make films for all kinds of audiences. A revolution will happen.

Do I think this may happen soon? I don’t know. I hope though. I hope that we shall move on and stop Flogging the Dead Horse.


  1. Agree with you 100%. Most recent movies I have seen have been small production houses with strong script, capable actors and great locations that are the reality of India. Not all of us want to see big stars in designer clothes, foreign locations, foreign songs and no storyline.

  2. Kanta sure there are those like you who understand what is happening. though most of the Indian audience is too glamour-struck and watch film not really for entertainment but because they want to watch stars. Maybe ogling at stars babbling stuff that does not make sense is entertainment for them.

  3. it is not true that the audience does not care about does."khosla ka ghosla" is an example."iqbal" is another.nobody in north india knew shreyas talpade before "iqbal" and it was a huge success.the thing is that most people today don't even go to the theatres/ per view options like "showcase" by tatasky and dishtv suffice.if you look at the trend in north india-people sit at home,order a movie on "showcase" and enjoy it.the time is not far when producers would actually make movies just for "showcase",thereby saving money on the production,delivering a story they want people to see and making money in the process too.

    in medical college,we were the i am very confident about the fact that audience appreciate content(we did.we used to eagerly wait for a good,meaningful movie to come up.most of us skipped big-banner films for the likes of iqbal,khosla ka ghosla etc...)..:).

  4. Bollywood is flogging a dead horse. Its time for indie movie makers to do the thing. Power to indie cinema.