Despite the scarcity of new releases, PRAAN JAYE PAR SHAAN NA JAYE, which opened last week, did not reap any benefits at the box-office. The film not only opened to a dull response in non-Maharashtrian markets, but even in Mumbai-Maharashtra – the audiences here would’ve identified with the subject of the film – gave it a thumbs down.
Despite six leading ladies in its cast, plus the big screen debut of the leading television actor [Aman Verma], the audience stayed away from theatres.
The non-success of PRAAN JAYE PAR SHAAN NA JAYE raises two pertinent questions –
* One, why don’t heroine-dominated films fetch an opening?
* Two, television has grown enormously over the years – in fact, it’s a parallel industry today. As a result, several stars have been created thanks to the influx of so many channels. So when these stars – who command a terrific following on the small screen – make their big screen debut, why aren’t these films lapped up by the audiences?
While in conversation with a leading producer a few days ago, the topic drifted to heroine-dominated flicks and the viability of these projects. He was of the opinion that heroine-dominated flicks aren’t viable in today’s times since the audiences don’t fancy these projects.
But haven’t we had a number of hits in the past? The 1960s and the early 1970s witnessed a number of heroine-oriented flicks reaping a rich harvest at the box-office.
Can we ever forget the spell films like MOTHER INDIA, ANARKALI, MERA SAAYA, PAKEEZAH, DULHAN WOHI JO PIYA MAN BHAYE, GUDDI and BOBBY cast over the viewers?
We are always ready with excuses and more importantly, all that a producer of today can think of are hero-centric projects. Hence, heroine-oriented films have taken a backseat.
As far as the theory that small screen stars don’t find acceptance on the big screen is concerned, it’s a myth again. Shah Rukh Khan is the biggest example of an actor diversifying from television to films and making it big in Bollywood.
ARE INNOVATIVE CONCEPTS THE NEED OF THE HOUR?
While every second producer claims that his film is ‘hatke’ from the rest of the crowd, the fact remains that the quality of Hindi films continues to deteriorate with each passing week. So, are innovative concepts the need of the hour? Does success lie in being different?
Says Ashish Bhatnagar of iDream Productions, “Entertainment lies in the unexpected; something that excites your senses. If you look at Hollywood, you find many genres of films being attempted. Action, fiction, animation, they have it all. Innovation in storyline is the need of the hour.”
However, Anil Sharma begs to differ. “In the name of innovation, you might introduce abusive language, double-meaning dialogues, open references of sex-related topics, nudity, which might even be successful in some areas, but overall success is ruled out. If you look at past records, all major blockbusters have had pure Indian emotions and clean cinema as the common factor.”
However, a few producers feel that by signing big stars, the battle is won. In fact, they substitute scripts with stars and that’s where they falter. Viveck Vaswani makes a valid observation, “The idea is not to make a D.D.L.J. – it has already been made. You need to bring in innovation and that’s where the script department plays a major role.”
It’s high time the writers woke up and smelt coffee!
** This horror film, launched some time back, seems to have come to a screeching halt. It hasn’t progressed beyond the initial shooting schedule.
** The top actor, who used to initially take Mumbai territory as his remuneration, has opted for the Delhi-U.P. territory these days.