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No, Bollywood Isn’t Dead… But It Needs Some Changes to Be Revived!

Bollywood needs to change if it wants to survive
Bollywood needs to change if it wants to survive

The glamour of Bollywood has experienced some serious deterioration in the past decade, leading us to wonder whether the end is nigh. Fortunately (for some at least!) we’re not there yet and there’s still hope. For all the Bollywood aficionados out there, this genre has inspired many other forms of entertainment beyond television. To give one example, online casinos, such as Spin Station casino, offer over 1000 high-quality games; you're bound to find a few titles based on this Hindi cinema genre. And if the games’ range isn’t convincing enough, perhaps the $3,000 match bonus might be!


What’s Happening to Bollywood?


This question has been a hot topic for conversation, with Southern Indian films seemingly taking over in the meantime. Bollywood has been witnessing a dry spell for a while now, with several big releases flopping and failing to draw the crowds back to theatres. However, many would agree that Bollywood is indeed not dead, in fact it’s very much alive but drastic action is surely required.


These glints of hope can be witnessed thanks to the great success of movies such as Pushpa, RRR, and KGF 2 have had on the international scene, proving that language makes very little difference in today’s day and age. As Southern Indian films continue to push their way through, the Hindi film industry has received some fatal blows, with large budget films like Samrat Prithviraj, Dhaakad, and others not selling enough tickets to even break even.


But what we seem to be forgetting here, is that the push from the south started to be felt once Shah Rukh Khan’s movies began to gain momentum overseas. By doing so, the core of Bollywood filmography shifted geographically to South Bombay and seems to have forgotten where it’s come from in the process. The average film viewer in India is interested in the drama, the highs and lows, and the hero that comes from nothing to make his way all the way to the top. They have very little interest in purchasing a cinema ticket to watch a movie that expresses values and morals over the span of three hours – this is a nation that wants laugh, cry, and experience intense emotions when watching a film, not being lectured about morality.  


Apart from that, many Bollywood films lately seem to be suffering from copy-cat syndrome, where remaking a number of films considered to be ‘on trend’ over and over again. We saw this in the 90s which gave birth to several action heroes and heroines, the 2000s saw a wave of romance wash over the industry, while the 2010s brought back the single action hero.


An Exploration Into Nationalism


Today, we appear to be in the middle of a decade dedicated to nationalism, and even though we can probably agree that most Indians are patriotic, expecting them to pay expensive ticket fees to feel that way isn’t really going to cut it. There’s also been an issue with Hindi cinema struggling to keep up with OTT streaming platforms, that brought about a host of quirky and off-beat movies which might have not been first preference at the theatre, but are now readily available, completely changing viewer habits around the globe.


This means that the only way for the film industry to survive is to deliver an experience that can’t be provided by Netflix or HBO – and that’s the magic of Bollywood. Comparing this to the Southern Indian films is like comparing apples and oranges – or pineapples and mangos if you prefer. By slashing their budgets, Southern Indian films are able to remain sustainable and competitive in today’s cutthroat market, which leads us to believe that Bollywood’s classic formula just isn’t working anymore.


So, What Does The Future Hold?


This period of uncertainty calls on the Bollywood industry to really look within for answers if they ever stand a chance. This could include taking themes and stories that have really resonated with the public such as Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 or Jugjugg Jeeyo to name a few, following the path of change in order to remain relevant in today’s world. If you really think about it, all the best movies are deemed so because they’ve got some killer plots. At this point we cannot help but wonder when the next great Bollywood story will be released, but until then we’ll sip on our tea and wait patiently. 


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