Move over serious, realistic cinema! Old school films are back. Yes, they are and we are sure as hell glad they are. Over the last few years, Bollywood fans have been witness to a major revolution which has changed the way that Hindi cinema is now perceived. This coming of age era has resulted in a number of hits and changed the direction of filmmaking in India. The likes of Farhan Akhtar, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and Madhur Bandarkar have offered Indian moviegoers a new style of cinema which is honest, real and most importantly, plausible. And while most critics and viewers accepted the New Age style of cinema, it also came to the realization that old school films were simply rejected now. Keeping that very idea in mind, a new set of directors jutted out films that were a cross between the new and the old. Raju Hirani came out with back-to-back hits that spoke about issues that needed to be addressed in modern India but yet added the comedy element to the Munnabhai series and his last blockbuster, 3 Idiots. However, amidst all the contemporary films, it seemed that the old style of films had simply been brushed under the rug and forgotten.
But old is gold, Bollywood fans, and before we knew it, a number of stars realized that the seriousness is fabulous and all, but Bollywood buffs were craving for some old-fashioned films that were filled with masala and ultimately paisa vasool. It was Aamir Khan who sensed this action-filled need and out he came with Ghajini. Filled with a conflict, revenge, some great fight scenes, a love angle and fab music, Ghajini was loved by audiences simply because it was missed. Last year, action hero Salman Khan found himself in a similar film when he was a part of Wanted; one the biggest films of 2009. Wanted came equipped with everything a typical Bollywood film needed: love, anger, dispute and in end, a happy ending.
But it was very recently that we found ourselves indulging in perhaps, the biggest, most masala-filled and definitely worth-every-paisa film in the history of Hindi cinema: Dabangg. But what made it work so well that the film has broken every record? What did it house that made critics realize the old formula was missed and is literally back in action? Dabangg had everything needed to make it the hit that it is: Salman Khan, good music, a rustic plot, din-chak dialogues, over the top dialogues and a climax scene to beat all films for eons to come. It is no wonder that the makers are already indulging in a sequel.
Why have they all been hits?
- The Khan Factor: All three films starred Khans: Salman times two and Aamir in one. Does a hit action masala film require a Khan? From the looks of it, it seems that the Khans are not only crowd pullers but crowd pleasers.
- The Thirst: Audiences are clearly just tired of the Udaan’s and Taare Zameen Par’s. A clear need for whistling, cheering and clapping while watching a film in the cinema was required. Stall viewers were thirsty for a film that made them walk out feeling bindaas!
- Old School Reminisce: Films like Ghajini, Wanted and Dabangg all took viewers back in time where films were typical but yet entertaining. Bollywood films initially were seen as unique because they included the usual song and dance but a story filled with tension, emotion and love.
- One Worded Titles: Strange, huh? Each of the recent dishoom hits all were one word long and spoke volumes about the film. You knew you were in for a ride just from hearing the name!
Aamir and Salman have indulged and conquered and so it isn’t surprising that Shah Rukh Khan isn’t far behind. SRK is currently in the midst of filming his own masala flick titled Ra.One. The film of course, will have a slightly modern edge as it is supposedly India&’s first Sci-Fi flick. But the Dishooms and Dishkyuns are here to stay; they ain’t going anywhere. And we thank the Film God’s that they aren’t. The Dishooms are back!