Rules to break the rut
   Date :10-Jan-2017

Farina Salim Quraishi

By all accounts, the year 2016 was tougher for Bollywood than 2015, which saw a partial revival of filmy fortunes, with over 10 films entering the 100-crore club. The year 2016, was another matter entirely, with regional films and Hollywood movies enjoying a superb run at the box office, troubles mounted for blockbuster-starved Bollywood in 2016.

The Jungle Book’s collections were an unprecedented Rs 183 crore the highest ever for a Hollywood film ! Even Captain America: Civil War registered a total collection of Rs 60 crore, which was more than Priyanka Chopra’s Jai Gangaajal, Emraan Hashmi’s Azhar and even Amitabh Bachchan’s Wazir. With New Year in, new things are in order, and here’s a list of things Bollywood needs to give a wide berth to this year...

Commitment-less love sagas
The modern definition of love has seen that ‘no strings attached’ love stories -on the lines of Love Aaj Kal or Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani - becoming a rage! With Befikre going all out to glamorise and glorify the ‘friends with benefit’ concept, and Ok Jaanu all set to reinforce it, pure love is fast becoming an alien concept in Bollywood! After seeing scores of mostly insipid commitment-phobic movies, we wish Bollywood finds it ‘love’ly magic again and sweep us off our feet with an eternal and timeless love story, one more time!

Remix songs
If the massacre of Dheere Dheere last year by Honey Singh was not enough, party song king Badshah came out with a remixed version of A R Rahaman’s iconic song Humma Humma early this year! Scores of distasteful re-mixes of evergreen classic songs popped up in 2016, and nothing was sacred anymore. Given how abysmal majority of the remix versions sound, (remember Lalla Lalla Lori!) here’s hoping Badshah and Tanishk Bagchi’s track is last of the remix score (little hope of that) and we don’t see a return of Kaanta Laga days again in 2017.

Not very long ago, the secret to a big Bollywood blockbuster was to make a sequel to the earlier hit film and rake in millions! But this formula fell flat and almost all sequels releasing this year tanked at BO. In 2016, there were sequels to Kya Kool Hain Hum, Masti, Gangajal, Tere Bin Laden, 1920 London, Housefull, Raaz, Force, Tum Bin, Rock On! and Kahaani. Commercially, only Housefull 3 clicked, and cinematically none! It’s best if filmmakers set aside sequels for some time.

Copied posters
Though the poster of Rajinikanth starrer Kabali might not have been a copy of Irrfan Khan’s Madaari; Shrish Kundar’s Kriti’s poster bore a striking resemblance to Japanese film Ghost Theater’s first look. The other half of Farah Khan might have won the plagiarism battle against hitherto unknown filmmaker Aneel Neupane, he would find it difficult to write off the similarities between his film’s poster with that of Ghost Theater. When Bollywood is being bold and beautiful in its content, wish the posters become more so in 2017.

Trust Sanjay Gupta to resort to his old (read copied) ways to perk up his dry run. With strong rumours of Hrithik Roshan’s Kaabil inspired by 2014 Korean thriller Broken, Gupta is banking on his tried and tested formula for a much-needed hit. Copying isn’t entirely a new territory for Gupta. His earlier outings - including Kaatein, Musafir, Zinda or Jazbaa - already occupy places of pride in several worst Bollywood remakes list. It’s high time Bollywood gives originality a shot and green-light fresh stories instead of rehashing old tales.

Adult comedies
Veteran actor Asrani openly admitted that he was embarrassed to work in Mastizaade! Well, after watching the in-the-face crassness peddled in the name of adult jokes in Kya Kool Hain Hum 3, Maastizaade, Great Grand Masti and others, the poor audience was beyond feeling anything else other than a massive headache! Countess sub-standard adult movies later, it’s time for Bollywood to stop walking that adult path, or at least take the path of American Pie, Crazy Stupid Love or even Delhi Belly, sans the expletives of course!

The much used and often abused genre of Bollywood, was much misused in 2016 as well. The scare-fests hitting the screens in 2016, were more horrifying than horror-inducing! Though there were fewer horror films in 2016 compared to 2014, which had a whopping 10 scary movies releasing, the 2016 films were no less tacky and tasteless! Wonder when will Bollywood get its scare act right!