New Delhi: 2008 has not been as good as the last for the largest maker of movies in the world…Bollywood.
Except for a few movies like Jannat, Race, Jodhaa Akbar and Jaane Tu Jaane Na, most others failed to live up to their billing.
It is no coincidence then that people like Neil Nitin Mukesh and Sameera Reddy are now gushing about offbeat cinema. “I have a film on Naxalism, which is a serious topic,” says Sameera Reddy. “I’m also doing an animation for kids where I play Sita,” she says.
Neil Nitin Mukesh, grandson of Bollywood singing great, Mukesh decided to debut with a small-budget offbeat movie called Johnny Gaddar in 2007. Though faring poorly commercially, it managed to wow the critics and discerning audiences. Not surprisingly, Neil’s future projects too are not just masala fare. “I’ll be working on a film with Kabir Khan, who won the award for Kabul Express”, says Neil. “After that, I’ll be working with three-time national award winner Madhur Bhandarkar on a movie called Jail. Then I’ll be working with the great Sudhir Mishra on a movie called Tera Kya Hoga Johnny. It’s a small role, but it’s not about the length, but about the character that the director has entrusted me with”, he says.
As Bollywood opens itself up to various influences and embraces directors from outside the fold, more stars are likely to walk off the beaten track. It helps the star system itself is becoming more democratic. With new actors debuting almost every week, many are willing to give bulk dates and filmmakers are not hard-pressed for choice. Actors are also willing to take a chance with directors and writers who are young and not fettered by the formula of yore.