Return Of The Native

The spectacular box-office success of films like Hum Aapke Hain Koun..!, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Dil To Pagal Hai in the mid and late ’90s set in motion a virtual conveyor belt of so-called ‘NRI cinema’.

The essential ingredients of the NRI-friendly recipe comprised romantic subjects, A-list stars, wealthy or upper middle-class characters, melodious music, designer outfits and foreign locations, not just for song sequences but as integral settings for a substantial part – if not the entire duration – of the film. Kal Ho Naa Ho and Salaam Namaste come to mind as good, and successful, examples of the genre.

For long, that formula was considered the safest genre to dabble in and therefore has dominated our cinema for almost two decades. But, as with everything else in life, excess can only cause the law of diminishing returns to kick in.

What we have seen in the last few years or so is a decisive move away from the glossy, candy floss NRI romances to earthier, more localised themes and settings. We need look no further than the 2012 box office as proof of the pudding. From big-ticket films like Agneepath, Bol Bachchan, Rowdy Rathore, Barfi!, Son Of Sardaar and Dabangg 2 to smaller-budget projects like Ishaqzaade, Paan Singh Tomar, Vicky Donor, Gangs Of Wasseypur and Kahaani, the pendulum seems to have swung back to tales that our more likely to be set in Gwalior, Darjeeling or Ludhiana rather than Birmingham, Auckland or Los Angeles.

Of course, there were films that were ostensibly set abroad and still did well at the domestic box office – Housefull 2, Ek Tha Tiger and Jab Tak Hai Jaan. But here again the sensibilities that were sought to be indulged were undoubtedly desi. There can be no denying that the overarching trend in our narratives today is one of a return to roots.

In doing so, Hindi cinema could be said to be falling in line with the larger, macro story of the resurgence of small-town India. The growing purchasing power, voice and confidence of the India that exists beyond the metros and large cities is reflected in arenas as diverse as the nature of our television programming, the sales figures of premium automobiles, the lingo and sales pitch of our advertisements and the composition of our national cricket team.

It is, thus, only natural that our cinema has also evolved to represent – and cash in on – the current socio-economic milieu.

 

Collection Chart
As on 19th August, 2017
FilmsWeekWeeklyTotal
Toilet Ek Prem Katha190.84Cr90.84Cr
The Dream Job120K20K
Dirty Madam X110K10K
Jab Harry Met Sejal14.09K57.45K
Gurgaon26.83L52.42L
Mubarakan35.28Cr51.98Cr
More

Featured Video

Most Viewed Articles

Today

Last 7 Days

Last 30 Days

Twitter

Box Office India's Twitter avatar
Box Office India
@boxofficeindia

.@Asli_Jacqueline to star as one of the leading actresses with @BeingSalmanKhan in #Race3.t.co/lpTZoSc03o

Box Office India's Twitter avatar
Box Office India
@boxofficeindia

Take a look at the song #Rangdaari ft. @FarOutAkhtar & @DianaPenty from #LucknowCentral. Sung by @TheArijitSingh.t.co/BbzgiQFuJC

Facebook

Instagram

This Week’s Issue

TRADE GUP

  • Anubhav Sinha’s Mulk generates curiosity over its cast
  • Satish Kaushik on a roll, has three films lined up
  • Akshay Kumar: Saragrahi or Mogul next?
  • Akshay Kumar juggles dates, history to repeat itself
  • Saif Ali Khan: Three or two films this year?

IN CONVERSATION

  • Arjunna Harjaie discusses his break Kaavan kaavan from Lucknow Central
  • N Padmakumar, Satish Kaushik discuss their joint venture, A Billion Color Story
  • Mubarakan’s Anees Bazmee says people have forgotten how to laugh
  • Brijesh Shandilya is excited about singing for Lucknow Central, Golmaal Again

Straight News

  • First look of ‘Subhash Chandra Bose’ revealed
  • AGPPL acquires rights to film on Jamnagar maharaja
  • Ajay Devgn to play Income Tax officer in RAID
  • Zee Classic to release Gulzar’s Libaas
  • Arjun Rampal launches Aala re aala Ganesha from Daddy
  • Sameer Nair appointed to revive Applause Entertainment
  • Cinekorn Entertainment to distribute Baadshaho
  • Kaalakaandi postponed due to censorship process