Young fans talk about the current state of Bollywood, Indian television

Jan 11, 2015, 06:40 IST | The Centerstage Team

Has Bollywood really matured or do we still have a long way to go? hitlist asks a few avid cinema fans to tell us what they think

Very few nations across the world share the same passion for movies like we do. From style to stunts, Bollywood films influence us in more ways than one. We speak to a few young guns about what Bollywood means to them, the current state of television and Indian films and what changes would they like to see in the near future.

What do you think of Bollywood?
Riya Rane: Bollywood has always been synonymous with larger-than-life sequences, however, with changing times, I feel that movies have become more realistic in nature. Realistic cinema appeals to the younger generation far more than the earlier no-brainers.

Alia Bhatt

Parth Haate: I feel that Bollywood lacks originality and constantly apes Hollywood. Though things are changing now with a new breed of directors attempting different techniques of filmmaking, but we are still in dire need of new ideas.

Kinjal Shah: Our industry lacks originality. We need a younger and a more creative batch of people.

Aaksha Chawl: Come on! Bollywood is fun, full of life and colour. Our actors and actresses dance and sing songs. Where else does it happen? It’s always fun watching a Bollywood movie.

Nakul Wakode: Bollywood is one of the richest industries in the world. But I fail to understand how do we, as an industry, make so much money with the disastrous films we churn out? I feel people today are mad about a few stars and only their name sells.

young mumbai
(From left: Nakul Wakode, 22, student, Aaksha Chawla, 23, working professional, Parth Haate, 19, student )

How much does Bollywood inspire you?
Riya Rane: I am a big movie buff and feel that no matter how irrelevant a movie may seem, there is always something to learn
from it.

Parth Haate: I don’t watch many Bollywood films, however, you can’t deny the fact that it influences Indians all over the world. I remember taking my mother to watch The Ship of Theseus and by the time the movie finished, my mother had decided to donate her organs.

Kinjal Shah: I love Bollywood and it completely influences me. I like Alia Bhatt and I try emulating her sense of style.

Aaksha Chawla: Bollywood completely influences our fashion sensibilities.

Nakul Wakode: I guess Bollywood has always been an inspiration for many youngsters and will continue to remain one. However, I feel that there are two sides to a coin. Sometimes, it inspires many in the wrong way. For instance, films such as Kick where they show the hero surpassing the boundaries of humanity just to become richer or fulfill a few responsibilities puts negative ideas in our heads. On the other hand, many inspirational characters drive the youth to bring about a change.

Bollywood today has various genres of cinema. What do you think about sex comedies?
Riya Rane: I think sex comedies are funny but there is a thin line between comedy and vulgarity and filmmakers need to understand that. I watched a few films recently which were insulting, rather than entertaining. We have a long way to go before we can openly discuss sex in India.

Parth Haate: I think these films are meaningless and whatever is being shown in the name of sex comedies is utter nonsense.

Kinjal: It’s a misconception that youngsters today like watching sex comedies. To be honest, I along with many others don’t like watching them because they make no sense whatsoever.

Aaksha Chawla: I like watching sex comedies, however, the subject is not dealt well by the filmmakers here. It’s more sleaze which makes the end result very bizarre.

Nakul Wakode: Sex comedies are completely a matter of perspective. I don’t think the filmmakers have an intention of hurting anyone’s sentiments. However, I feel that an equal dose of men and women bashing would solve the issue of getting ‘offended’. I prefer sex comedies to comedies which include falling, mimicry and mime.

Do you think we lack good content and creative ideas?
Riya Rane: Yes, absolutely. The filmmakers have a herd mentality today. One formula works and everyone begins experimenting with the same thing and in the process, make complete fool of themselves. Also, the desire to be like the West has made things worse. We are neither here nor there. I think we should stop now and make films which showcase our strengths.

Parth Haate: Our industry has become repetitive and stagnant. Films such as Dabangg, Singham and Wanted all dealt with the subject of fighting against the evil in a similar fashion. It’s the same old thing served with better presentation.

Kinjal Shah: We do lack content and aren’t creative enough. I am not generalising but there are many who have been doing the same thing for so many years now.

Aaksha Chawla: We might not be the best but we aren’t doing badly. The younger directors are coming up with brilliant ideas and it’s a good sign.

What do you think about our television industry?
Riya Rane: The television industry, just like the film industry, is also trying to ape the West. However, our society is not ready for subjects dealt by their TV shows. As a result, we are stuck with the saas-bahu dramas and I don’t see ourselves getting rid of them anytime soon. The TV soap actors do not know how to act and consistently put out unconvincing performances. We, as audiences are bored of seeing the same thing over and over again and need a change now. I used to watch Beintehaa, but then it ended in November.

Parth Haate: I don’t watch TV, so I really don’t have a clue about what’s going on.

Kinjal Shah: The acting ability of the actors on television is so bad that we don’t feel like watching anything that is aired. You will understand what I am talking about if you follow an English soap/show.

Aaksha Chawla: It’s like watching the same thing on loop. It’s fun for a change but we need to try
new ideas.

Nakul Wakode: The reality shows on television don’t have an ounce of reality in them. Also, I feel that only women enjoy television as the shows are women oriented.

What kind of films and TV shows would you prefer to watch?
Riya Rane: First and foremost, the makers need to break the monotony. The generation today gets bored very easily, so films and TV shows need to be gripping and engaging. The makers of TV shows need to get rid of the typical boy meets girl, they get lost in a jungle, end up in a shack and fall in love kind of plots. As far as films are concerned, realistic cinema
is welcome.

Parth Haate: I like watching realistic cinema, especially the ones which are based on our society. I am also fond of biopics. Hindi TV shows hold no attention for me.

Kinjal Shah: For me, a simple movie that makes a point does the trick. As far as TV is concerned, I like watching reality shows purely for their entertainment value.

Aaksha Chawla: I prefer watching entertaining television shows. As for films, they should make sense. If I am paying an X amount to go and watch a film in a theatre, I better get my money’s worth.

Nakul Wakode: I would prefer films which involve a lot of suspense, drama and horror. I am tired of the age-old romantic films. In recent times, I liked a few low budget films. I feel TV is doing well with its set of soaps and reality shows.

What’s your take on censorship on films and TV shows in the country?
Riya Rane: The Censor Board needs to go easy on their rules. I don’t think audiences are ready to see nudity on screen but activities such as smoking should not be censored. Also, for films given A certification, it’s strange to come across chopped scenes and beeped words in movie theatres when the viewers are above a certain age bracket.

Parth Haate: The censorship in India is overrated. The words which are censored are heard every now and then and it’s stupid to beep them out. We are mature enough to understand but I guess, it doesn’t go down well with older people.

Kinjal Shah: They need to mellow down. Times have has changed and everyone needs to understand, that including the Censor board.

Aaksha Chawla: It’s subjective. I guess our society has come a long way and the Censor Board should understand that.

Do you feel people get influenced from what the actor is doing on screen?
Riya Rane: Yes. I don’t deny that. But the youngsters should take responsibility for their actions when they emulate actors. It’s stupid to blame stars and the industry.

Parth Haate: Yes, people do get influenced by the stars as everything looks very glamorous up there.

Kinjal Shah: The effect of Bollywood differs from person to person but I feel it does influence people in many ways as discussed above.

Aaksha Chawla: One can’t deny that Bollywood has a huge impact on people especially the youth. However, the youngsters need to differentiate between the good and the bad.

Nakul Wakode: The Censor Board is doing a good job because there are many people who do not appreciate skin show on the big screen. But I feel that they need to be flexible in certain aspects. Has the social media helped you get up, close and personal with your favourite stars?

Riya Rane: I think social media goes a long way in connecting with the stars. I now know how they are in real life.

Parth Haate: Social media is a big boon and the easiest way to get in touch with your favourite stars.

Kinjal Shah: It helps both us and the stars. They can connect with their fans and we can connect with them.

Aaksha Chawla: Though social media helps us get in touch with our stars, the facility doesn’t come without its share of pros and cons. For instance, sometimes messages of fans to their stars are considered stalking.

Nakul Wakode: Social media works for both the stars and their fans.


>> Parth Haate, 19, student
>> Kinjal Shah, 19, student
>> Aaksha Chawla, 23, working professional
>> Riya Rane, 21, student
>> Nakul Wakode, 22, student

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