Can real-life relationships that translate into reel-life collaborations impact a film’s prospects?
Many real-life couples have played leads in films, with the audience loving their reel jodis as well. We have also seen members of the same family collaborate to make a film.
Salman Khan has always had a fair share of successes when working with siblings or his brother-in-law Atul Agnihotri. Varun Dhawan had hits in both cases, when directed by his father David Dhawan and his brother Rohit. Dharmendra’s collaboration with his sons Sunny Deol and Bobby Deol in films like Apne and Yamla Pagla Deewana was fruitful, although their third film didn’t work at the box office.
Rakesh Roshan and Hrithik Roshan are the best example of a father-son duo who have ruled the box office with films like the Krrish series. Abhishek Bachchan has worked with Amitabh Bachchan in films like Bunty Aur Babli and Paa.
After this week’s release, Tubelight, which sees Salman Khan team up with brother Sohail, we will soon see Ek Haseena Thi Ek Deewana Tha, directed by Suneel Darshan and featuring his son Shiv Darshan along with Upen Patel and Natasha Fernandez. Then, there’s Boney Kapoor’s MOM featuring Sridevi Kapoor along with Akshaye Khanna and Nawazuddin Siddiqui; Mubarakan directed by Anees Bazmee features Arjun Kapoor with Anil Kapoor, also starring Ileana D’Cruz and Athiya Shetty.
Apoorva Lakhia’s Haseena Parker stars sister-brother duo Shraddha Kapoor and Siddhanth Kapoor. Shreyas Talpade’s directorial Poster Boys will see see Sunny Deol and Bobby Deol together onscreen again. After Main Tera Hero, David Dhawan has collaborated with his son Varun Dhawan again on Judwaa 2.
This week, we ask industry insiders whether a real relationship on reel helps bring in the audience, market a film or impacts box-office numbers in any way.
Anees Bazmee, Director
It’s all subjective. Things like real and reel life relationships may or may not work. Sometimes, it may backfire and sometimes it may work to the film’s advantage. What is essential is the fundamental fact of making a good film. If that happens, then a real-life relationship is icing on the cake.
Satwik Lele, COO, Mukta A2 Cinemas
Today when publicity, marketing and promotions of movies are given so much importance, even the actors and producers do not want to lose an opportunity to create a buzz and grab the attention of their fans and audience. Actors and their publicists now have a platform available where they can portray their real-life relationships for their fans and when they star in a movie together; it becomes easy for them to attract the audience. The chemistry between the actors is built up even before the release of the movie, so it becomes relatively easier for the actors to portray the same on the silver screen. A father directing his son’s first movie, a married couple playing each other’s love interest on the silver screen will always be a little more upbeat than the usual. Further adding, this phenomenon, has become a marketing strategy that works well for a film and has a positive impact on the box office collections too. It is a win-win situation for the audience as they get to see their favourite jodi onscreen. Ultimately, what will matter is the chemistry onscreen for the success of the film, and the collaborations on reel are definitely a factor that contributes to it.
Devang Sampat, Director, India Strategic Initiatives, Cinepolis
It may help market the movie but eventually content matters. So it may be a good idea to market a movie based on the fact that real-life siblings or relatives are in the film, but that is just a novelty factor. Played up too much, it could bore the consumer. So this has to be done strictly keeping the content at the centre.
From the films due for release, I am sure Judwaa 2 will do well, not just because the father-son duo is coming back to the screen but because the content of the film will cater to the masses. Also Tubelight, which released recently, and has Salman Khan and the Eid factor in its favour more than anything else.
Tinku Singh, Group President & Chief Strategy officer (CSO), SRS
Real-to-reel collaborations are great for promotions as people are curious to see how the real-life relationship is depicted onscreen. In the past, movies like Bunty Aur Babli, Paa and Apne have been a big success at the box office. Such collaborations enhance the novelty factor to unprecedented levels.