Mumbai, Aug. 11 -- Of the Bollywood films that have released this year, and the ones yet to hit theatres over the next five months, many are either remakes of regional films or Hollywood hits. Most others are sequels to blockbusters or book adaptations. Does this trend indicate the gradual death of originality or the dearth of good storytellers in the film industry? Here's what some scriptwriters feel.
Most of the time, doing a remake or a sequel is purely a business decision where calculation takes precedence over imagination. It's not just happening in India. Hollywood, too, has seen a lot of these [remakes]. There is nothing wrong with remakes and sequels, but at the same time, these triedand- tested formulas should not lead the [film] industry. Playing too safe is not good for art.
There were remakes in the past, too... remakes of Hollywood or maybe regional films. Now, there are remakes of [movies made in] our own language, which doesn't make any sense. I can understand if it's a classic [story], like Devdas; otherwise, I don't think a remake is really worth it. There is probably a little bit of lethargy setting in to write more stories pertaining to our times. Book reading is nearing an end, so film-watching has kind of become a source of literature. The narrative has deviated from storytelling to stronger visuals. The storyline is just a pretext these days. Earlier, the visuals were a little weak. Look at Sanjay Leela Bhansali, his visuals are so strong, or see Vishal (Bhardwaj)... The way he has shown Kashmir and its people in his next film; it's beautiful.
Some make 'cinema', others undertake a 'project'. Film-makers like Anurag Kashyap, Madhur Bhandarkar or Vishal Bhardwaj make cinema, and hence look for original stories. Those who make projects aim to make a '100 crore film. They don't want to take a risk, and hence they opt to remake a film that has already been a hit. It's like a formula to shortcut success. People want to sit in their rooms and create movies. Unless you go out and explore the world, how will you have a new story to tell?