So Far, Not So Good: Bollywood’s Half-Yearly Report Card Looks Bleak
Six months have gone by and from the look of things, this is a terrible, terrible time for Bollywood. At least 57 films have released until now, which, for an industry that claims to be one of the most prolific, is quite an underwhelming number, if you ask us.
And if you compare the numbers from last year, the films that released until end of June at least crossed the ‘60’ mark while this year’s number are abysmal, to say the least. Most films that released this year failed to set the box-office on fire, barring the Hindi dubbed SS Rajamouli’s Baahubali, which did phenomenally well and raked in some terrific moolah. And then there are others that were touted as blockbuster hits but missed the mark, that too miserably. So here’s our half-yearly report that we’ve compiled, that will give you an idea of how Bollywood films have fared until now.
Films that raked in the moolah
First things first: here’s a list of the highest grossers of the year (in order of how much money they earned):
Baahubali 2: The Conclusion
Rajamouli’s sequel was a game changer of sorts. It broke every box-office record and turned Prabhas, the man with the electrifying screen presence, into a superstar. And the swiftness with which it crossed the 1000 crore mark (it is a Telugu production) was quite baffling for the entire fraternity.
SRK’s Raees which was a story about a bootlegger from Gujarat was one of the first bona fide hits at the box-office. The film managed to recover all costs and was highly profitable for the producers.
Giving tough competition to Raees, since it released the same day, Kaabil’s run at the box-office was pretty good, if you take into consideration SRK’s star power.
Jolly LLB 2
Akshay Kumar’s Jolly LLB2 did great business at the box-office and it was one of the films that did possess all the ingredients of what clicks at the BO.
Badrinath Ki Dulhania
One of the better performing films of the year was Badrinath Ki Dulhania which received mixed critical response. But this Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt-starrer sailed through it to have a hit in their kitty.
Salman’s EID release was hoping for a Baahubali kind of response, but nevertheless, it did managed to register cash at the box-office.
This was the sleeper hit of the year and earned more than 102 crores, worldwide.
Of course, Half Girlfriend was Chetan Bhagat’s baby and it did well owing to the author’s popularity among the masses. There’s no other reason for it to do so well, especially if you take into consideration Arjun Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor’s previous films which have, unfortunately, tanked.
Sachin: A Billion Dreams
Sachin’s documentary drama did wonders at the box-office and opened to great reviews alongside a good score, which turned it into one of the highest grosser of 2017.
This Taapsee Pannu-starrer was another sleeper hit which managed to rake in the money but which did not receive as many accolades by critics.
Films that failed to make a mark
One of the most anticipated films was Vishal Bhardwaj’s Rangoon that was panned critically and also tanked miserable at the box-office. The makers argued that the release date of the film, which clashed with the Oscar buzz, was one of the reasons for its failure. But sadly, it was actually the script and the direction of the film (which had a brilliant star cast comprising Kangana, Shahid and Saif), which turned out to be a confused mess.
OK Jaanu, a remake of Mani Ratnam’s successful Ok Kanmani, was another disappointment alongside Srijit Mukherjee’s highly anticipated Begum Jaan. While Aditya and Shraddha failed to match the charm of Dulquer Salman and Nithya Menen, Srijit completely lost track of his tale of women empowerment and instead, served us a platter of half-baked feminism and lots of melodrama.
The Indie brigade walked away with the accolades
The real winners of this year have been Indie directors who ensured that this mediocre year is sprinkled with some brilliant gems that deserve every bit of the accolades they have received by far. One of the most terrific Indie films that absolutely blew out minds this year was Vikramaditya Motwani’s Trapped, a survival drama, which is a very, very rare film that lives up to its title. This can be considered Rajkummar Rao’s best performance as far as the year is concerned, since he has a number of other releases lined up.
Likewise, with a Death in the Gunj, Vikrant Massey proved what a powerhouse performer he is because he outshone all the other indie stars in Konkona Sensharma’s directorial debut. Haraamkhor, Anaarkali of Aarah and Mukti Bhawan are the other films that weaved their magic with their brilliance and brought forth some meaningful cinema in this year filled with disappointments.
These films are surely a reminder of how it isn’t really important for all the (marketing) noise and the presence of star power for a film to be touted as great. These brilliant gems have time and again proved how all’s not lost in the industry and its makers are setting a whole new benchmark for others follow suit.