Story and Star take Hindi films far

Apurv Shukla – 

Midyear gives us a good opportunity to assess the performance of the Hindi film industry over the past six months.

While 2014 ended with the blockbuster Aamir Khan Starrer ‘PK,’ there has been no such box-office success to match the runaway success of Director Rajkumar Hirani.

The biggest hit of 2015 till date has been ‘Tanu Weds Returns,’ a sequel to the 2011 Madhavan and Kangana Ranaut starrer ‘Tanu Weds Manu.’

This romantic comedy looks at how life has changed after marriage for its main protagonists. Anand L Rai deftly handled this slice of life film which draws immense strength from its story and dialogues by Himanshu Sharma.

Set in North India, the film saw Kangana play a double role for the first time in her career. Her performance earned rave reviews making her an early favourite for all the major awards next year.

Shoojit Sircar directed his third critically and commercially successful film after Vicky Donor and Madras Café in the Amitabh Bachchan and Deepika Padukone starrer Piku.

Family dynamics

Another film with a brilliant and heart-warming story by Juhi Chaturvedi this drama revolved around an ambitious, independent modern woman named Piku.

Deepika played the titular role with Irrfan Khan.  Piku touched the subject of elders in the family and how family dynamics change, if they want to live with their children in the later years of their life.

Another impressive film to come out of Bollywood this year was NH-10.

Actress Anushka Sharma played the lead role and produced this gritty thriller set in New Delhi and its surrounding areas. It was the first time that Hindi film audiences saw the issue of gender inequality and women empowerment being highlighted on the big screen.

Obesity issue

Ayushamann Khurrana got the much needed boost to his career when he scored a hit with

Yash Raj productions’ ‘Dum Laga Ke Haisha.’ Shot in the Holy City of Haridwar of the 1990s, this sweet love story dealt with the weighty issue of weight (pun intended) and how the society still holds preconceived notions about obese people.

Playback singer Kumar Sanu and Music Director Anu Malik collaborated on a film after a long time to a melodious and successful outcome. The film also showed the power of a good word of mouth both in traditional and new age media, as after a slow start, ‘Dum Laga Ke Haisha’ grew from strength to strength.

Backstage strength

The common element in all these films has been a good story, and a strong author backed role for the leading lady. All of them were made on a controlled budget and garnered critical and commercial success.

Audience appreciation in India and around the world reflected a maturing viewer base.

It demonstrated that in today’s Internet-driven age people are more exposed to programming software and films from across the globe, conditioning them to be receptive to all kinds of cinema, provided there is good entertainment.

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A weighty thriller entertains

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