“Barfi” – Anurag Basu film has been nominated in foreign category as India’s entry to most reputed film industry awards “Oscars” for this year 2012. It has drawn mixed reactions from public & critics. Some favor Barfi as depicting the human emotions at its best, while others feel that we had more films to choose from. Whatever is the opinion, one thing is sure – Bollywood has certainly moved out of the woods.

The Transition

A simple love story, comedy, emotions & action. - that was Hindi Cinema once upon a time. But now all these have given way to socially relevant messages as Bollywood turns a corner. If cinema is all about mirroring reality, then it is bound to give out a socially relevant message. In the right hands that message strikes a chord with the public. 

In recent years, Bollywood was out of its custom woods with filmmakers trying out something new, passing a message along with entertainment. With some out of the box films like 3-idiots, Rocket Singh, Dev D, Wednesday, Wake-up Sid, Shaitaan, Dirty Picture & now Barfi, filmmakers were out with some serious topics to deliver infotainment.

More and more filmmakers are drifting from romance to more meaningful subjects. Cinema provides a filmmaker with the privilege of affecting a vast number of people. Apart from entertainment, films should possess a social message too. Films can first entertain people & message can follow.  3-idiots dealt with the education system, Dev D with drugs & prostitution, Rocket Singh with changing service economy, Wednesday, Kurbaan & My Name is khan with terrorism, Rang De Basanti with political corruption, Dirty Picture with Sex, and now Barfi with happiness, the list grows.

Film-Makers & Audiences

Previously, filmmakers believed in following the audience. However, they have realized that it works the other way round, & are now taking the lead. Today's heroes have changed, he is no longer someone who always wins but one who never gives up. Film-makers are exploring new topics which can pass on some social message to the public. Audiences too have evolved over time. With Internet, today’s audiences have access to vast pool of information. Audiences today want value for their money. They don’t see Bollywood as just an entertainer, but an opportunity to learn something new.

The focus, though, is on telling great stories, but people are not just interested in empty entertainment anymore. Entertainment has to enlighten with a message. Bollywood & audiences both are evolving with growing awareness & information. With art, entertainment & awareness all clubbed together, let’s hope to see some more beautiful messages being delivered by Bollywood soon :-)

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