In the mid 1990’s if you heard anyone talk about a forthcoming movie release in Bollywood they would sound too much like a popular Indian Ketchup commercial. The buzzword was “it's different”. Of course the movies ended up being the same old formula films that sometimes clicked and most times faded away into oblivion.
But now ten years later you don’t hear that buzzword much, instead you get to see it. The film industry is finally making a conscious effort to try new things. In fact one can safely say that it is more becoming the norm rather than the exception. Be it clever Visual Effects or story lines that push the creative envelope Bollywood is getting there.
As audiences get exposed to more sophisticated plots and themes they expect something new that will challenge their intellect. Just running around trees will not do anymore. Of course not all films made today are different but many are. Topics such as pre-marital sex, live-in relationships are making it to mainstream cinema in India. Edgy films like Being Cyrus are now being released as commercial cinema.
Another film that pushed the limits at its time of release was Deepa Mehta’s Fire. Released in 1996 it was the first time people got to see same sex relationships set in Indian society. Theaters were burnt and much high drama and tension was caused outside cinemas across the country. Debates were held for and against the banning of the film. Either way the film achieved one main thing. It helped to open up people’s minds. You could even say it cleared the way for future experimentation.Today with so much information at the disposal of many people in India Bollywood seems to have a wider canvas to paint on. While formula or masala films as they are also know will probably always be made here, an almost parallel universe of “New Age” films seems to be forming. Never before seen together on screen couples is the latest fad to hit our extremely colorful world of celluloid. Aamir & Kajol, Kareena & Ajay Devgan, Hrithik & Aishwarya are all set to enthrall the audiences sometime in the not too distant future.
One thing is for sure; in the coming months, fans of Bollywood in India and across the globe are going to go where Bollywood has never gone before.