What does Bollywood have in store for us in 2013?

By ZRG | Updated: Jan 17, 2013, 11:58 AM IST

Rashi Aditi Ghosh/Zee Research Group

If you enjoy a laugh riot, Bollywood promises to give you a new high this year.

Not known to stick to one script, Bollywood is re-writing the storyline in 2013. On offer is comic relief in abundance!

What with about a dozen comedy flicks lined up, the year promises to tickle your funny bones no end. The comic urge manifested last year to a more than positive response at the box office with Dabanng 2, Son of Sardaar and Housefull 2, each crossing the 100 crore mark.

The ‘fun’ line-up this year is varied and impressive: movies like Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola, Mere Dad Ki Maruti, Himmatwala, Chashme Baddoor, Yamla Pagla Deewana 2, Fukrey, Chennai Express, Besharam, Jayanta Bhai Ki Luv Story, Jolly LLB, Nautanki Saala, Ghanchakkar and Phata Poster Nikla Hero will ensure that comedy flicks dominate the choice of an average cinemagoer.

With the likes of Shah Rukh Khan, Ranbir Kapoor, Akshay Kumar and Ajay Devgn reprising these roles, there will be ample star power to draw audiences into cinema halls. They’ll be joined and backed by yesteryear stars like Dharmendra, Rishi Kapoor, and Pankaj Kapoor.

The go comic streak in 2013, however, contrasts to the sheer variety Bollywood experimented last year ably with offbeat movies like Barfi!, Gangs of Wasseypur (Part 1 & 2), Kahaani and Vicky Donor.

Explaining the trend, film critic Taran Adarsh says, “It is true that Bollywood would release many comic flicks this year as most of the comedy movies released last year did really well at the box office without having very strong content.”

Is the quest for success at the box-office via a genre totally in contrast with the nation’s mood a risk worth taking? But a sneak preview of what is in store this year suggests that concern for social and moral issues seems to be out of place with our movie producers and directors.

Back in 2006, Rang De Basanti’s scene of a bunch of youngsters leading a candle light protest against the corrupt system struck an instant chord with the people and inspired many.

2012 being a year of mass protests on various issues ranging from corruption to Delhi gang-rape, experts had hoped that some of these issues will make their way into Bollywood scripts in 2013.

Talking on the strong influence of movies on the society, film reviewer and blogger Ananya Bhattacharya says, “We all know that Rang De Basanti gave us a reason to go out and join a candle march. But this does not mean that the viewers would not like to have fun watching comedy flicks. Majority of people in India prefer movies beyond content, if their superstars are featured.”

Dr. Sameer Malhotra, head of department of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences at Max Hospitals (Delhi), however, laments, “We can see that Bollywood is flooding with movies that are glorifying criminal activities. Lately, Indian cinema is portraying women as an item. If you show the heroes behaving like loafers and harassing the women, masses will end up imitating them. I believe Indian cinema should follow some code of ethics. It should emphasise on displaying vivid consequences of wrong actions.”