Article by film critic and trade analyst Joginder Tuteja
Strange are the times in Bollywood and strange are many out there who make a living out of it. There was a time when films used to make 20, 30 and 40 crores and when the 50 crores barrier was first crossed, it was a reason to rejoice. Then came the times when talks started centring on best first week and slowly boiled down to best first weekend. It was but natural that with maximum moolah coming in the first three days, lifetime collections of a film would be visible sooner than later and hence it was about time that a 100 crore club was formed. ‘Ghajini’ started it all and today, the latest entrant is ‘Barfi!’.
Chalk and cheese, shall I say? Or would it be more apt to say – Blood and gore v/s sugar-n-sweet?
I for sure am happy that ‘Barfi!’ has managed to enter the club. My personal reservations around the film notwithstanding, I am just plain and simple happy with the fact that the club won’t be frowned upon anymore. I am all for the films that made it to the club in the past. They found a place because they deserved. If there are enough people who bought tickets amounting to 100 crores, there must have been something to pull them once. And then perhaps even twice.
However I did have a grudge that most of the films that found a place there were equated to ‘trash’. Names were called, right from being ‘rubbish’ to ‘senseless’ to the kind that was made ‘just for commercial gains’. The only film amongst the dozen odd ones that escaped such ‘charges’ was ‘3 Idiots’ but keeping aside that exception, almost every other film was panned by one or more segments of the industry as well as media. Especially those who could not do even 25% of such business had maximum complaints again ‘such cinema’ and ended up creating a slot of ‘we’ v/s ‘they’.
It was almost like a third world country cursing America and Americans, just because they had managed to make it big.
Thankfully, ‘Barfi!’ should change that perception now. The film’s mighty success has proven that even an offbeat film stands a good chance to find sustained audience, provided it is really made well. Yes, the common argument would be that the film starred Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra. Still, try asking even them if they ever felt that the film had any chance to score so big and their reply won’t be surprising.
The film’s super-success should now keep the mouth shut of those who have ridiculed the ‘100 crore club’ of being the territory of only the ‘cash rich’ (in Bollywood parlance).
For many a filmmaker out there, a door has been opened. A drive has been set. A roadmap created. Now if you have it in you, then go out there and find your way through. If you have it in you, you would be there eventually. But for heaven’s sake, stop ridiculing those who are there.