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Naseeruddin Shah Blames The ‘100 Crore Club’ For Poisoning Bollywood’s Filmmaking Sensibilities

Naseeruddin Shah Blames The ‘100 Crore Club’ For Poisoning Bollywood’s Filmmaking Sensibilities

“This Rs 100 crore club has poisoned our filmmaking sensibility. It is as if we are finally admitting the real reason why we make movies… It is important that content-based movies must be made economically.”

Explaining how taste of films differ for people who belong to diversified strata of the society, he added:

“You cannot expect a guy who plies a rickshaw or works on the road all day to go and see films like ‘Waiting’. He will not. He will go and see a ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ or a ‘Happy New Year’ because he needs that. You cannot expect him to see a film about his own life … It’s unfair to even expect it.”

Pointing out at the fact that niche films will always ‘suffer’, he added:

“These films will always be a niche activity. So, if these movies start aspiring to enter the Rs 100 crore club, then the quality of such films will suffer.”

Talking about how filmmakers today fall into the trap of “temptation of bigger budgets”, he said:

Naseeruddin Shah

“When a small film succeeds, in the next film they want Amitabh Bachchan in it. So it’s a dismal scenario. I would agree that there are a lot of films coming which stimulate your thinking, but at the same time I would say they are still less ratio-wise as compared to the 1970s.”

Hinting at the contrasting number of content-driven films in 1970s and present times, he said that number of such films have multipled. He said:

“But the number of rubbish movies have also proportionately increased. The percentage of people making new-age cinema is still very small. And I am afraid they will always be small. That is something experimental cinema-making people will have to live with… They will never have it easy.”

But he still hopes that regional cinema will definitely find its way.

Naseeruddin Shah

“It is important that regional cinema develops. It is certainly happening in Marathi (cinema). In Kannada, the alternative cinema has always been there and also in Malayalam. The signs are good, but trouble is that everybody is looking at Rs.100 crore.”

According to Shah, “today there is no longer such a thing called a pan-Indian movie”, he concluded by saying:

“The days of 50-week run are gone forever. ‘Sholay’ ran in the same theatre for two years in Mumbai… That era is gone. Now every movie is a niche movie.”

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