The last few months haven’t been very healthy for Hindi cinema in terms of box office collections. Barring the occasional exception like Gangubai Kathiawadi, The Kashmir Files, or Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2, most Hindi films have failed to set the cash registers ringing. This includes films starring big names like Akshay Kumar (Samrat Prithviraj), Ajay Devgn (Runway 34), and even Salman Khan (Antim: The Final Truth). Filmmaker Mukesh Bhatt opened up recently about the reasons behind this slump. Also read: After Mahesh Babu says Bollywood ‘can’t afford him’, producer Mukesh Bhatt responds: ‘Then very good’
Mukesh, younger brother of director Mahesh Bhatt, is the co-owner of their production company Vishesh Films. Over the years, Mukesh has produced several successful films like Sadak (1991), Ghulam (1998), Raaz (2002), Zeher (2005), Jannat (2008), Aashiqui 2 (2013), among others.
Recently, speaking with Bollywood Hungama, Mukesh spoke about how pandemic has changed the game for cinema but Hindi filmmakers have failed to adapt. He said, “The narrative must change. Due to the pandemic, the OTT has come to the forefront. Audiences are now aware of good kinds of content. You can’t provide them with content that was being given to them before the pandemic. We are done with that kind of narrative. We have to change with time. The generation is changing and if you don’t change, you’ll be left behind. What’s happening in Bollywood right now is that people are making setups, not films. Setups don’t work, films work.”
In a harsh criticism of the current setup in Bollywood, Mukesh said the focus is more on business than art these days. “Nobody is making a movie anymore. They are all trading. Itne mein bana lo, itne mein becho aur itna paisa andar karo (Make in this much, sell in this much and save money). It’s a con game happening. We used to never do that. We’ll be like ‘the story excites us so let’s make it’! That imaandari (honesty) is gone,” he added.
Mukesh’s last two projects have released directly on OTT. The first was Sadak 2, which was initially supposed to release in theatres but released on Disney+ Hotstar during the pandemic. He most recently produced the web series, Ranjish Hi Sahi.
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