New Delhi, Oct 20 (IANS) When a superstar of Akshay Kumars stature announces a film where the first look presents him in a transgender get-up, you know bigtime Bollywood is changing. It is a sign of change — towards a more mature thought process and mindset when it comes to imagining and creating pop entertainment.
It is also a sign that Bollywood is growing up. Gone are the days when a commercial superstar needed to portray a screen image of perfection — as a machoman who had everything in picture-perfect control.
The mainstream hero no longer needs to stay trapped in an image of set formulae for popular acceptance. Rather, looking at Akshay’s current filmography — as well as what new-age superstars as Ranveer Singh, Ranbir Kapoor and Hrithik Roshan have been up to lately — one realises what started as an exception with Aamir Khan in the last decade has become a norm now. The mainstream superstar is no longer hesitant to experiment. He is no longer shy of trying out what the alternative hero — or the offbeat hero, if you wish — was doing all along.
The trickle effect of big stardom spreads everywhere. The concept of commercial cinema itself has changed. It is no longer mandatory to have a hero-centric big-budget film with all the mainstream trappings to score big at the box-office.
Change is the only constant formula in showbiz now. And the fact is reflected everywhere. On television, top actresses who have carved a career playing the quintessential bahu are now taking turns being bad on the screen. In fact, television programming itself is going through sea change, with the heroine being projected as a woman of substance rather than an unrealistic housewife whose sole ambition seemed to be to engage in petty kitchen politics in K-soaps, and whose label as star of the show was only justified by the fact that she had maximum footage in the script.
A big factor that has forced such positive change in our cinema and television shows is perhaps the Internet. The advent of OTT is changing home-watching patterns. India is growing up to maturely accept themes that pertain to deeper introspection of humanity and human nature. Many of these subjects depict sex and violence in an unflinching manner. If the new-age Indian viewer wanted change, it has come through cyber space — the one domain that continues to dictate our existence in every way.
Of course, not all change has pleased everyone. In the area of contemporary Bollywood music, for instance, many musiclovers are unhappy with the overwhelming dominance of remix in recent years. With every passing Friday, original music seems to be losing out.
The music industry has lately seems largely dependent on what the masters of yesteryears created.
Still, these are exciting times. The indian entertainment industry is truly learning how to entertain the right way.