Bollywood has a thing with formulas. The general assumption that runs the industry is if something has worked once, it is bound to work once again and honestly, it actually works. No matter how much ‘different’ films we have come to love, there will always be a special place in our hearts for films which are basically the comfort zone of every Bollywood lover.
If we talk about the present era, there are a couple of trends like biopics or coming of age dramas which are more popular than other genres, simply because they are almost sure shot successes. But ever wondered how certain particular genres became a sure shot success in Bollywood? It was one film from each of these genres which set the ball rolling. Here are 5 films which are the trend-setters of the most popular genres in Bollywood in the current era.
What can be called a cult classic for our generation, this film has a special place in the heart of every millennial. One cannot say with a certainty whether this was the first coming of age film of Bollywood or not because coming of age has meant different things at different times, but one thing that can be said with an absolute certainty is the fact that this made coming of age one heck of a bankable film genre in Bollywood. A slew of film that released post-Dil Chahta Hai, including Farhan’s own film Lakshya and Wake Up Sid much later on or Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara for that all shared the essence of Dil Chahta Hai and all were successful.
While we are on the topic of Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, the film which had a heavy Dil Chahta Hai hangover can be also credited for being a trendsetter. Bollywood has never shied away from traveling to exotic locations when the story or song demanded, but weaving traveling seamlessly into the narrative is one trend that ZNMD needs to be credited for. Ye,s we have had road movies like Bombay To Goa much before, but ZNMD simply gave journey of a lifetime a new meaning altogether. The impact of the film was again evident in films like Dil Dhadakne, which also by the same director, Zoya Akhtar or Tamasha or Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani for that matter where the journey of self-discovery unravels against the backdrop of a real journey.
If one has to identify the most successful genre that Bollywood has come up with of late it is got to be that of biopics.But looking back, it is not impossible to point out the film that set the ball rolling for this genre to become the most popular genre in Bollywood. The film was undoubtedly Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. It is not that biopics were not made in Bollywood before the film happened, but the cinematic treatment and the roaring success that the film can boast of gave rise to Bollywood’s obsession with biopics.
One might argue that man on the street was popular since the time of Raj Kapoor in Bollywood and Hindi film have always predominantly dealt with day to day emotions and struggles of the common man in India but that is not what we are talking about here. We are talking about the present trend of presenting stories where common man and his ordinary problems shape the extraordinary narrative of a story, fictional or not. The film that made common man stories exceedingly popular was Nishikant Kamat’s Wednesday and it is still one of the most popular genres in Bollywood.
For a country like India which has been overtly touchy about the concept of modesty immodesty in films, no one saw India to be a potential market for films of the adult comedy genre. It was difficult enough to use sex in a serious and relevant context in films, let alone crack jokes about it with zero inhibitions. It was a sleeper hit that most people thought to be a small-time comedy with three less popular actor gave birth to one of the most profitable genres in Bollywood. The film was Masti and the genre was sex