Bollywood: It's always thrilling to watch a real story unfold..

Boxoffice Results

  1. INR 33.05 Cr.
  2. INR 3.50 Cr.
  3. INR 40.00 Cr.
  4. INR 24.30 Cr.
  5. INR 3.72 Cr.

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By HT

Mumbai, July 11 -- Clearly, the first half of 2018 has been - as trade experts put it - "nothing less than splendid" for Bollywood. The list of bona fide blockbusters includes films such as Pad Man, Padmaavat, Raazi, Raid, Parmanu and now Sanju. 

Interestingly, most of the successful movies this year have a common link: the reallife connect (they are either based on true stories or have been biographical).

RELATABILITY QUOTIENT

Interestingly, even Hichki was an adaptation of Brad Cohen's utobiography titled Front of The Class: How Tourette Syndrome Made Me the Teacher I Never Had. October's story was inspired by personal experiences of filmmaker Shoojit Sircar and writer Juhi Chaturvedi. "As audiences, we are inclined towards real stories since these are the people we have read or heard about and sometimes even interacted with. So, we can relate to such worlds easily," says trade analyst Taran Adarsh.

The coming days will also have films such as Soorma, Gold, Thugs of Hindostan, Paltan and Kedarnath releasing, all of which are either biopics or inspired by true stories. Last year, too, movies like Toilet: Ek Prem Katha and Jolly LLB 2 took cues from the real world. "Be it ancient history or modern day world, India is replete with interesting and engaging tales," says exhibitor-distributor Akshaye Rathi. "With such stories, relatability factor is very high as these people are like you and me."

Rathi seems to have a point, as next year's box office seems chock-a-block with 'real' elements. The list includes Super 30, Son Chiriya, Gully Boy, Kesari, Panipat etc., besides several biopics that are in various stages of production. "If a film can be made in an interesting manner on such subjects, my question is, 'why not?' It's always thrilling to watch a real story unfold," says Adarsh.

FIXED FORMAT

Filmmakers feel there are pros as well as cons with regard to real-life stories. "Yes, you get a ready-made storyline but structuring it can be challenging and the same holds true for Sanju as well. Also, unlike a fictional story, here you can't change things such as a climax just because you don't like it. Certain things can't be fiddled around," says Sanju director Rajkumar Hirani. Raid director Raj Kumar Gupta adds, "When I heard Raid's narration, I knew this story needed to be told. We do put some fiction in it [real-life stories] to make it entertaining but the focus is to make the stories connect with the audiences."

But actors, on their part, admit that real life stories come with their set of challenges. Vis-a-vis playing Sanjay Dutt, Ranbir says, "It's my interpretation. But we were very careful. I didn't want it to look like mimicry because then it would really be jarring. Things became double hard for me since I worked in a biopic on a real-life person who is still relevant. It wasn't about a sports star, politician or someone who is dead."