Hindi Cinema: Special, Enthralling and Weird as Well! – 3
Hit and Run to Mollywood
Indian cinema is growing as a business. However, in fact, cinema is an art and the epitome of art, they say. A question has been raised if the business of film making is harming the production of good quality cinema. Some young focused directors who concentrate on making content based, good quality cinema have answered it through their films.
Anurag Kashyap, Dibakar Banerjee, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Shoojit Sarkar, Neeraj Pandey, Vikramaditya Motwane are some directors who have brought variety to Indian films. They have handled assorted and out of the box thoughts and stories. Their films brought much needed variety to Indian cinema. However, one cannot but feel sad that some movies with weak storylines have been minting crores of rupees due to smart marketing gimmicks.
A movie is released all over the country by spending crores of rupees. A film which is released on a Friday makes crores of rupees in just about three days. By the time the word spreads about the poor quality of film, audience would have gone and watched the film helping the movie make much needed money. This formula of “Hit and Run” is in vogue in the Indian film industry. One has to step back and think, if the success enjoyed by a bad quality film is indicative of the deteriorated taste of the audience or is it the result of ultra-smart marketing?
Few years ago, producers would keep aside some money for the film advertising. However, the field of marketing has become so advanced that a bad marketing campaign can totally destroy a very good film whereas a bad movie can hold its ground through a smart marketing campaign. Of course, regardless of the quality of the movie, marketing professionals have on many occasions exhibited that a bad film can be commercially successful through a very good marketing campaign.
An actor of a great calibre such as Naseeruddin Shah feels that the film makers have unnecessarily raised the budgets of making films. One cannot ignore his critique, especially after noting a fact that at times, a song costs around five crores to be shot. In such situations, Naseer recommends that those who look at cinema as a constructive medium ought to learn to make films in moderate amount of money. A film such as “Wednesday” in which he played the protagonist, was highly successful at the box office. The film was made on a budget of forty to fifty lakhs, opines Naseer.
This advice may or may not go down well with upcoming, young producers but an industry by the name Mollywood is coming of age which can make a film in few thousands.
Several people tried to make a replica of Ramesh Sippy’s Sholay. However, Mr. Sippy himself could not make a film like that. Needless to say, in the year 2000, a film titled “Malegaon Ke Sholay” was made in the Malegaon city. It cost the producers fifty thousand to make that film. This film made a total of two lakhs fifty thousand at the box office. They made that money in Malegaon itself. After that this industry called Mollywood was formed and established.
This industry can be regarded equivalent to a Cottage industry. It produces around 15-20 movies every year. These movies are a copy of some of the more successful Bollywood films. These films are shot by a videographer who typically shoots weddings.Local artistes play roles in these movies. Mollywood does not feel it necessary to outsource any of these to someone else. They ae confident of their own talent pool. If one were to look at the quantum of investment and compare that with money earned, these movies enjoy big success. Therefore local talent gets its share.
People who sell tea at a tea stall as well as labourers from mills act in such movies. They get their daily wages. However, their interest in acting in movies takes a priority over money earned. They work their daily jobs till about 3 pm. The time after which is entirely devoted for films.
Khurshid Siddiqui is a producer, director and an actor from Mollywood. He has made three films so far; namely; “Katile Khajana”, “Desh Ki Pukar”, Teesara Pahar.” Siddiqui says that he has made these movies by drawing inspiration from three highly successful Hindi movies.
The songs from Mollywood films are not a replica of Hindi Bollywood songs. Mollywood believes in writing independent songs and then shooting the dance sequences based on those.
Mollywood films are in demand in the local market. These movies are shown in fun fairs and people do go and watch them as well. There are producers-directors and stars who take crores of rupees to make a substandard movie. They then shove it down the throat of audience. On the other hand, we have Mollywood film industry which makes movies in few thousands and then collect lakhs of rupees at the box office to entertain those who find it hard to make both ends meet.
Mollywood is now gearing up to bring their movies under the jurisdiction of the censor Board of Film Certification. It has to be noted that these people are very careful not to include any objectionable content in these films. Not just that Mollywood is quite particular about inclusion of socially relevant messages in their films.
There would be many people who look down upon Mollywood films. Having said that a movie made in Malegaon called “Malegaon Ka Superhero “was showcased as a part of Indian Film Festival held in Los Angeles. This movie was also shown at Asiatica Film Festival held in Rome, Italy.
Truly, everyone related to Mollywood is a superman. Anyone who is even remotely associated with films and film making would know the challenge and efforts one has to take and face trying to make a film. In such circumstances, while struggling to make both ends meet, these people from Mollywood make socially relevant movies. They make films just for the sake of satisfying their interest. How can these people be any less than a superman?
To refer to the first & second article of this series, click on the below url: