BOLLYWOOD GOES BACK TO SCHOOL
A host of flicks, based on school life, are making a mark in the film industry. We track the trend
Bollywood has packed its bags and is going to school. While last year saw two films, Chalk ‘n’ Duster and Nil Battey Sannata dealing with the theme of school life, this year too started with a classroom-based drama, Haraamkhor. The poster of the Irrfan Khanstarrer, Hindi Medium was also launched in January, and Student of the Year 2 is also expected to go on the floors soon. So, is this the new trend that’s caught the imagination of Bollywood filmmakers?
“These kinds of films provoke some kind of thought and evoke responses from people,” says filmmaker Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari, adding, “It empowers the audience in the sense that they feel if they (the on screen characters) can do it, even we can do it. These kinds of films cuts across ages and social strata.” Actor Shweta Tripathi agrees and says, “There has always been an audience for this kind of films. If the film is good, people will watch it. The school plays a character in these films. When you see these films, there is a strong relatable factor and that’s what draws a mass audience.”
However, despite having takers in the audience, marketing these films still remains a challenge, say makers. Shlok Sharma, director, Haraamkhor shares, “What connected with the audience was the way we portrayed childhood. The real challenge came when we took the film to studios. They doubted the success of the film; it took some time to convince them about the film’s potential.” Speaking of why these films are usually not picked up, trade analyst Atul Mohan says, “Indie films may have critical acclaim, but that doesn’t always convert into box office numbers.”
Adds actor Juhi Chawla who was in Chalk ‘n’ Duster, “Nowadays, films are not given time for word of mouth publicity. The film has to perform at the box office in the very first weekend itself. If it doesn’t get a big start, it gets pulled out of the theatre before it can actually make its mark. Unfortunately, I have not seen any of these films become blockbuster hits.”
The school plays a character in these films. When you see these films, there is a strong relatable factor SHWETA TRIPATHI, ACTOR Indie films may have critical acclaim, but that doesn’t always convert into box office numbers ATUL MOHAN, TRADE ANALYST
Stills from the films (top to bottom) Hindi Medium, Haraamkhor, Nil Battey Sannata and Chalk ‘n’ Duster