By Rajesh Ahuja: New Delhi, (UNI) It was an year which saw several much-hyped films bite the dust at the box office while small budget films made their mark, underlining the point that ‘content is king’ in Bollywood.
The year 2018 saw audiences either reject or give a lukewarm response to films like ‘Thugs of Hindostan ‘,, ‘Gold’, ‘Paltan’, ‘Yamla Pagla Deewana Phir Se’ and ‘Zero’ despite the presence of big stars like Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan, Shahrukh Khan, Dharmendra, Akshay Kumar and Sunny Deol .
At the same time, films like ‘Raazi’, ‘Andhadhun’, ‘Stree’, ‘Badhai Ho’ and ‘Veere DI Wedding’ featuring lesser known stars and made on a medium budget made a mark at the box office.
Despite featuring big stars like Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan, Salman Khan and Shahrukh Khan, film like
‘Thugs of Hindostan ‘ , ‘Race 3’ and ‘Zero’ failed to make a mark at the box office.
Even though ‘Thugs of Hindostan’ featured in the top ten grossers of the year, and Salman’s ‘Race 3’ and Shahrukh’s ‘Zero’ took a good opening at the box office, they were panned by critics with response at the box office to these films being far below expectations.
Released amid much hype, Salman’s ‘Race 3’ was panned by critics. Also, even though it wasn’t a flop, it failed to make the kind of money expected from a Salman Khan-starrer.
The costliest Hindi film till date, ‘Thugs of Hindostan’, featuring Aamir Khan turned out to be a big flop.
More recently, ‘Zero’, Shah Rukh Khan’s most ambitious film, , performed below expectations at the box office over the weekend.
Another big starrer film that underperformed at the box office was ‘ Yamla Pagla Deewana Phir Se’. Despite starring Dharmendra, Sunny Deol and Bobby Deol, the movie failed to make a mark at the box office.
In fact, the film failed to cross the Rs 10 crore mark in its second week.
Meghna Gulzar’s ‘Raazi’, a film about trials and tribulations of a female spy worked wonders at the box office.
The film, which featured Alia Bhatt and Vicky Kaushal in lead roles, evoked praise from audiences and critics for its performances, script and music.
‘Veere Di Wedding ‘ was another film to make a mark during the year. A film about four girlfriends meeting each other after a long time and finding themselves all over again amongst their personal problems , ‘Veere Di Wedding’ featured Kareena Kapoor Khan, Sonam Kapoor, Swara Bhaskar, and Shikha Talsani in major roles.
The film got laudatory reviews for its storyline and performances.
‘Badhai ho’, a film about awkwardness felt by a 30-year-old guy on finding his middle-aged mother pregnant , was another film to charm the audience.
The film evoked praise for its innovative storyline and brilliant acting by Neena Gupta , Gajraj Singh, Surekha Sikri and Ayushman Khurana.
Another notable movie of the year was ‘Stree’ that was based on an age-old myth where a little town is haunted by a ravening spirit.
The film has excellent performances from Rajkumar Rao, Pankaj Tripathy, Shradha Kapoor, Aparshakti Khurana and others.
‘Andhadhun’, a film about a brilliant pianist pretending to be blind and getting embroiled in a murder, also caught everybody’s attention thus year. The film featured Ayushmann Khyrana, Radhika Apte and Tabu in key roles.
Trade experts say that the ‘less than expected’ response to big budget films like ‘Race 3’ and ‘Thugs of Hindostan’ is a sign that the era of the superstars is behind us and that Indian cinema is finally reaching a stage where the content is king.
In this context, they point out the good response to films like ‘Raazi’, ‘Andhadhun’, ‘Stree’, ‘Badhai Ho’ and ‘Veere Di wedding ‘.
They attribute the failure of Race 3’, ‘Zero’ and ‘Thugs of Hindostan ‘ to the weak plot of these films.
In this sense, they point out that debacle of these film and good response to films like ‘Raazi’, ‘Andhadhun’, ‘Stree’, ‘Badhai Ho’ and ‘Veere Di wedding ‘ underlines the point that ‘content is king’ in Bollywood.
They point out that it has been proved that a weak plot cannot contribute much to the success of a film despite the presence of big stars.
Though the previous years may have seen films featuring stars working at the box office, there has been a change in taste and sensibilities of the audiences in the last few years, they say which is reflected in the
stars’ films getting flopped in the recent years.