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Sambhar Mafia - Cooked To Kill!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

New breed of Hindi movies

IHT talks about the new breed of Hinglish movies, which deal with offbeat themes. The article goes on to say that the growth of this segment has been fuelled by the Multiplex boom.

Traditionally, there were two schools of Hindi cinema. The center stage was occupied by Bollywood, which enthralled Indians globally with song-and-dance extravaganzas and melodramatic stories big on family values. The other was the Satyajit Ray- inspired realistic art-house films, which flowered in the 1970s and '80s. Like the auteurs of the French New Wave, these art filmmakers tried to create a distinct language of film, but their work was relegated to festivals and television, where it wilted in the wings.

Lately, a third type of Hindi cinema has emerged. It is composed of smaller, offbeat films that are more realistic than Bollywood tales and more cutting edge than art-house ones. The films have an urbane, uniquely Indian sensibility. Many, though not all, are in Hinglish, the hybrid of Hindi and English that is spoken in metropolitan India.

Grimness is no longer box office poison, however. The first hit of 2005 was "Page 3," the director Madhur Bhandarkar's scathing look at high society in Mumbai. It featured pedophilia, drug-fueled rave parties and unabashed nastiness. The film, made for $575,000, grossed $2.3 million in India - a stellar performance, even though it didn't have what Bollywood insiders call "face value" (like stars or hit songs). "Iqbal," another low-budget film, also emerged a winner. The story of a deaf-mute village boy who yearns to be an international cricket player, it opened to euphoric reviews and recouped its $685,000 budget in five weeks.

Significantly, multiplex viewers are more upscale than the general audience: multiplex ticket prices average $2.25, compared with $1.15 for the single-screen theaters, and the most expensive seats at multiplexes can cost as much as $4. According to a May 2005 report by YES Bank and the Film and Television Producers Guild of India, multiplexes constitute only 0.6 percent of about 12,000 cinema halls in India, but they account for 28 percent to 34 percent of the box office take for the Top 50 films in 2004.

Jai Arjun Singh writes about blog search engines and blog monitoring mechanisms in this piece in Business Standard

Financial Express mentions the DMK – Sun TV spat and says that there is more to come.


  • Loved the way they called it 'Hindi cinema'...and not Indian cinema.

    Bollywood has never been indicative of Indian cinema as is openly portrayed in the foriegn media...

    By Blogger Chennai chatter, at 1:46 PM  

  • There is one more category that takes violence as the lead and somewhat sidelines masala, romance a bit. Sarfarosh started it, Ghulam, Footpath, Khakee Sarkar were some of the commercial movies that followed the formula.

    By Blogger narayanan, at 9:35 PM  

  • @Chennai Chatter,
    It is just a matter of time before which other language movies are discovered by the international audience.
    We already see that happening in Japan......the craze for Rajini movies :-)

    This category also seems to be on the rise.

    By Blogger Kaps, at 10:36 AM  

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