ARE WE GROWING INTO AN INDUSTRY WHICH LOVES TO LOSE WEEK AFTER WEEK?
Anyone who knows anything about any kind of industry will think twice and then many more times before starting an industry. Have we heard of any industry which is founded on the grounds of losing money time after time, week after week and for months and sometimes even years? If one looks at the graph of the way our industry is going, it will not be wrong for anyone with any knowledge of the way this industry is functioning should be forced to think that we are living in an industry which seems to be revelling in making films only to lose money, huge sums of money.
In the times we are living in, the industry is going through one of its worst lean periods. It is heart- breaking to see the number of films being released every week and how almost all of them are rejected by the audience in such a ruthless manner that it forces us to wonder why the growing number of producer films are making films with the sole intention of making money more than finding all the creative satisfaction of making good, meaningful and wholesome films which can be appreciated by the masses who are the ultimate judges who decide the fate of films.
And if one has to go by the way most films are faring, we wonder how long this kind of a gambling game that the making of films has been reduced to will go on. One also wonders how this industry keeps going on losing money and yet there are new producers who know nothing or very little about filmmaking keep joining the ranks of film producers.
Time was when films ran for several weeks to full houses, some of them ran for twenty-five weeks, others for fifty weeks, still others for hundred weeks and some rare films like “SHOLAY”, “DDLJ” and “HAHK” ran to packed houses at multiple theatres all over the country. And time is now when even the teeny-weeny multiplexes have hardly a dozen or less of people watching a new film on the very first day and first show and slowly these films vanish into the past and go into oblivion. This atmosphere of gloom is growing into an alarming phenomenon which sends signals of panic.
Walk through the lanes and by-lanes where there are multiplexes and single screen theatres screening the latest releases and you will find all of them deserted with the theatres and multiplexes bearing the looks of a home of misery and hopelessness. There are no audiences who want to see the kind of films being made these days. They have formed a collective opinion that it is not worth to spend hundreds of rupees to see films which neither entertain nor enlighten.
Take the last six months and see how many films have been released and how many have managed to cross the line of survival and how many have fallen by the wayside. How many new films have been officially declared hits, how many are declared average hits and the scary number of films that have been disasters and duds? If one goes through names, one can only think of a handful of films like “Bajirao Mastani”, “Neerja” and “Kapoor & Sons” which have done respectably well, but what is three in a crowd of films that have been released during this time and have been washed out?
We seriously think that it is time for all involved in the business of making films which talking very plainly means that filmmaking is a business where one has to invest money to make money, the more the better, will have to plan out ways of walking out of this hell which the endlessly flopping of films is turning the industry into.
The stars and star-directors who charge crores of rupees because of what they believe is the price of their stardom will have to think again about their prices and whether they deserve the prices they charge. They have proved that they don’t have the star-power to draw in the audience like the stars of the past used to.
They are stars today but only at shows and as brand ambassadors and for the products they endorse, but they are not the stars they should be at the place their names and their popularity matter most- the box-office. The producers will have to think about the money they invest in before they start making their films. The directors together with their writers will have to concentrate on content because it is only content that can conquer. And all those who believe that the producer is a punching bag who can be punched till he is reduced to penury will have to give the producer the position and the power producers once had.
All those in the business must know that the audience is now finding other outlets for their entertainment, sports, television, shows, events, theatre and any kind of entertainment that can keep them entertained…
But on the other hand, we have the solo case of a small Marathi film called “Sairat” made by almost unknown filmmakers but with very strong content and mind blowing music. The film has already collected more than eighty crores of rupees and the new producers have been so delighted that they have presented the two new actors with Rupees five crores each. Why can’t what has happened in the solitary case of “Sairat” happen in many more films? Or is it just “Sairat” a falling star which brings in all the luck and the good fortune? Let “Sairat” be a source of inspiration.
Time to ponder or it will soon be time to perish, God forbid.