Monday, February 4, 2013

A mixed bag!

2012 – Fun year at the movies!

By Ankita R Kanabar

(This feature was published in the January 5, 2013 issue of Super Cinema)

2012 has come to an end, but the cinema lovers haven’t stopped raving about the year, for obvious reasons. The year gone by, certainly sprung in quite a few surprises for the moviegoers and then, also presented them with the staple Hindi cinema fare which the audience relished whole-heartedly. What a remarkable year it’s been! And as a huge fan of Hindi cinema, I’ve myself thoroughly enjoyed so many films last year. We had films that tickled our funny bone, then films that could give you an adrenaline rush, films that made you teary-eyed, films that made you whistle, films that were soul-stirring and films that made an impact in our hearts. All in all, we had films that provided wholesome entertainment! We noticed a change, a change in Hindi cinema where we saw the line between commercial cinema and niche cinema fading away. And why not? Why should there even be any difference between these two when now, a film like ‘Barfi!’ which could have earlier been catergorised as ‘parallel cinema’ goes on to make 100 crores at the box office. We had women-centric films like ‘Kahaani’ and ‘English Vinglish’, being liked by everybody! We had a film with a unique subject like ‘Vicky Donor’ being accepted so well by the audience, without any inhibitions. A film like ‘Paan Singh Tomar’ not only got critical acclaim but worked with the audience too. And while we did break the mould, we didn’t really lose the essence of Hindi cinema and also had the quintessential Hindi potboilers alluring the audience, like ‘Agneepath’, ‘Housefull 2’, ‘Rowdy Rathore’, ‘Bol Bachchan’, ‘Ek Tha Tiger’, ‘Son of Sardar’, ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’ and ‘Dabangg 2’. Obviously, with a mix bunch of films like these, we’ve had a terrific year at the movies. 

The audience enjoyed, and certainly the filmmakers have had a great time too. Not to forget, we’ve also had newcomers displaying some great talent with utmost confidence. Most definitely, 2012 shall prove to be a stepping stone for the coming years for filmmakers to go beyond the obvious. We spoke to few filmmakers who’ve given major hits in 2012, and they told us how the year has been for them and the industry. We also have trade experts summerising the year in terms of the movies. Also, let’s find out what  we could expect from 2013 on the cinema front! Read on…

Shoojit Sircar, Director
“I still think that ‘Vicky Donor’ worked because the idea and concept was very unique. It was a very high concept film backed by real, natural performances by everyone in the cast. And it had a song which has proven to be one of the best songs this year. I’m extremely happy about it. Even business wise, it earned so much more than its actual cost, since it was made under a budget of 4 crores and it earned around 65 crores at the box office. So, obviously, 2012 has been very special for me personally, because I had a release after almost 7 years. I’m very happy and proud. Moreover, I’m very proud of Indian cinema at the moment. It obviously has been the best year for us with best films. And we’ve had so many content-driven films like ‘Kahaani’, ‘Barfi!’, ‘Paan Singh Tomar’, and they were all made so well. It’s been such a glorious year for the industry. But now the challenge is that the audience would expect more from me. For 2013, I’ll be first working on my film ‘Madras Café’, before ‘Hamara Bajaj’ with Ayushmann.”

Sujoy Ghosh, Director
“Honestly, I didn’t really expect this kind of response to ‘Kahaani’. Our aim was to make a good film which the audience will enjoy. But, I guess, somewhere at the back of the mind there’s always a hope that the film will get both critical and commercial success. But the way the audience took the responsibility of ‘Kahaani’ and made it into a success is like an intervention from God. And I’m so grateful to the audience because none of them ever revealed the ending, even now. There are so many other films that I loved this year. I generally love films and every time I see a film, I wonder as to how they made that film because I would not have been able to do so. 2012 was certainly very good. I saw more or less every film. I enjoyed ‘Paan Singh Tomar’ to ‘Housefull 2’ to ‘Bol Bachchan’ to ‘English Vinglish’ to ‘Rowdy Rathore’ to ‘Vicky Donor’. As far as this year is concerned, I’m working very hard on a script right now. The audience has placed a lot of faith in me so I have to make a good film, and that’s what they can expect from me. Let’s see how it goes.”
Sajid Khan, Director
“I’m extremely happy that we’ve had so many films doing well, so many films doing a 100 crore business and happy that ‘Housefull 2’ was one of them. I have always made sure that the audience likes my films, and finds it entertaining, and I would continue to make films for my audience. So, they could expect that from me from all my films in the future as well.”

Arbaaz Khan, Actor-Producer-Director 
"2012 has been remarkable with many films entering the 100 crore club...even films like 'Vicky Donor', 'Kahaani', 'Paan Singh Tomar' did remarkably well. We have also seen some promising talent as debutant directors and new faces and I was very lucky to make my mark this year considering the tough competition. The year ended on a very satisfying note, for me personally. This year there are lots of expectations with some promising films. I'm hoping to produce a film, though, as far as 'Dabangg 3' is concerned, it is something that we will take some time to work on." 

Shyam Shroff, Shringar Films 
"I would rate the year 2012 as very encouraging. We saw some amazing story lines, great narration, and great piece of acting and direction. Even on the music front, we had some real good and catchy numbers. But when it comes to the cost-profit ratio, I'd say, 'Kahaani', 'Vicky Donor' and 'OMG Oh My God', were the best films. For 2013, there are several films which are highly anticipated like 'Bullet Raja', 'Krrish 3', 'Dhoom 3', 'Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola', 'Chennai Express', 'Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai Again', 'Yeh Jawaani Hai Diwaani', 'Shootout At Wadala' and many more."

Girish Johar, head - Distribution and Acquisition, Balaji Motion Pictures 
“2012 has been a landmark year. We’ve had a total of 2600 crores of box office collection which is the highest we’ve seen. We had 8 films going above 100 crore. Obviously, it was a huge year in terms of the box office. And it’s also proven to be a stepping stone for the years to come by. When it comes to the return of investment too, we had several films doing exceptionally well. These include, ‘Vicky Donor’, ‘Kahaani’, ‘OMG Oh My God’, Kyaa Super Kool Hai Hum’, ‘Jannat 2’, ‘Ishaqzaade’, ‘Jism 2’, ‘SOTY’, ‘1920 Evil Returns’. These were not very big films, but they still did very well. And now, I believe that 2013 will be even better than 2012 because we have such big films coming up this year. There’s ‘Krrish 3’, ‘Dhoom 3’, ‘Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai Again’, ‘Shootout at Wadala’, ‘Chennai Express’, ‘Himmatwala’, ‘Besharam’ and so many more. In 2013, old records can be expected to be broken and new records can be created.”

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