The past few years has witnessed an upward trend in cinema occupancy. With the trend of malls-n-plexes catching up in India, film business has got a shot in the arm. Today, visiting a multiplex with your family on a weekend is more of an outing. After a hectic week, one wants to take it easy on the weekend, visit a nearby multiplex, catch a new movie and visit a trendy restaurant in the vicinity, before retiring in the night.
Generally, an individual prefers to watch movies that every member of his household can enjoy together. That explains why escapist fares like OM SHANTI OM, PARTNER and WELCOME work better in India. They don’t tax your mind, act as a soothing balm on your nerves and bring a smile on your face [most of the times].
Films that depict the harsh realities of life or films that are low on entertainment quotient don’t really feature on the ‘must see’ list of most people. Those who go in for serious stuff are limited to a few people, while the aam junta is inclined towards masala films.
That’s one of the prime reasons why a film like BLACK & WHITE fails to attract viewers. Agreed, it’s a genuine attempt from a veteran who wants to change lanes, but the paying public decided to skip it for no reason. The low turnout at multiplexes [5% – 10% – 15%] is proof enough that the viewer doesn’t prefer serious cinema, even if it’s helmed by a seasoned storyteller [Subhash Ghai].
Despite positive reviews from critics who matter, the occupancy at multiplexes was terrible. The only hope, as I see it, is tax-exemption [which I highlighted in the review]. The film has been tax-exempted in Delhi and if other states follow suit, Ghai may be assured of recovering at least a part of his investment.
Incidentally, 10,000 B.C., dubbed in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu, has fetched better collections than most Hindi films running in India.