The winning films of 2016 remind us, yet again, that nothing works better than great content
As the industry gets set to start another promising year in 2017, we continue to analyse the business of films at the box office, during the year 2016. In a series of stories that we kicked off four weeks ago, we put exhibitors, distributors and corporate houses under the scanner. We had producers name the winners this year; exhibitors telling us which films enjoyed the longest run and drew maximum footfalls at their respective properties; and we spoke to distributors, who listed the top films and the films that gave maximum ROI in their respective circuits. This week, we spoke to industry insiders, who name the winners and share what 2016 was like for the film industry at large. Over to them:
Aamir Khan’s Dangal is one of the best films of the year. The film stays with you for a very long time and the story is inspirational. Sultan, on the other hand, was another good film. It is amazing that all our leading heroes are promoting our very own sport – wrestling. I hope these films will inspire our wrestlers and produce some fine ones. Both the actors (Salman Khan, Aamir Khan) have given one hundred per cent to playing a wrestler.
Pink, on the other hand, was another really nice film, which spoke about an issue that is prevalent even in high society. It’s a mindset that transcends class. I believe writer Ritesh Shah has done a brilliant job. The Jungle Book was another smashing film. Even though it was a Hollywood film, it was a very Indian story.
We are in a wonderful era of filmmaking, where we get to watch brilliant films which are not remakes; they are original stories from our very own land. Today, I believe we have some great writers but, having said that, we need more writers who breathe life into stories. Among the three best films of the year is Kapoor & Sons, where Shakun Batra has narrated today’s dysfunctional family system in such a fantastic way, while raising an issue which is very relevant. It is today’s family film. Everything about the film was unique and I believe the casting was very apt.
Dangal is another film that was very realistic and it makes you fall in love with wrestling as a sport. It’s an Indian sport which was in the shadows for a very long time but with Aamir Khan and his actors’ performances, you feel like watching the film as an akhada audience. It’s an inspiring story. Although Nil Battey Sannata was under my production, I would still say that when I heard the script, I totally loved it and that’s why I decided to back the film. It was a story which needed to be told.
I think Dangal, Neerja and Udta Punjab – each one that put content first – were a step in a progressive direction. They also had strong female protagonists which has was lacking in conventional movies of the last decade. As a filmmaker, it is encouraging to see such films do well at the box office because it gives us the confidence to tell unconventional stories.