It was a mixed bag of fortunes and disappointments for the dream merchants of the Hindi film industry in 2013.
The year saw big mainstream potboilers starring major stars co-exist with films with unconventional themes and lesser known actors.
The biggest which has also become the top grossing film in Hindi cinema was ‘Krish 3,’ starring Hrithik Roshan. A home production, this science-fiction sequel of the Krish franchise proved that Indian emotions, merged with world class technical wizardry, attracts ample footfalls at the cinemas.
It also showed that Hindi film audiences are ready to embrace a home- grown superhero in a big way.
The past year saw just one release from Shahrukh Khan – Chennai Express. This musical romantic comedy, directed by Rohit Shetty, turned out to be a success in India and rest of the world, displaying the clout of Shahrukh as a global star and Rohit Shetty as a dependable brand for cineastes.
Ranbir Kapoor again led the pack of newer stars, with his love story ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani,’ becoming a big hit, proving his versatility.
Ranveer Singh was another promising young actor, making his mark in ‘Ram-Leela,’ a modern-version of the Shakespearean classic, ‘Romeo & Juliet.’
Deepika Padukone was undoubtedly the Numero Uno of the female stars of the Hindi film industry. This tall and beautiful actress was the heroine of three major money spinners, including ‘Race-2,’ ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’ and Ram-Leela. Daughter of Badminton champion Prakash Padukone, Deepika wowed critics and audiences alike with her splendid performance.
‘The Lunch Box’ proved to be a game changer for Bollywood.
Made on a shoestring budget, this moving tale of human relations, set in the backdrop of Mumbai’s local trains, showed the power of content. With the super performances of Irrfan Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and newcomer Nimrat Kaur the film received critical acclaim at film festivals around the world. Indian box office also appreciated this piece of cinematic brilliance by debutant director Ritesh Batra.
With more professional movie making set ups, and avenues for revenue generation growing manifold, both in India and overseas; the future looks bright for Hindi cinema.
But the dream merchants should take cognizance of growing competition from Internet entertainment, continually improving television programmes and the menace of piracy.
They should repackage existing masala movie formulas to foster public patronage and promote innovative films with fresh ideas and faces.