Never say never again

Published On: 2013-01-31

Author: Avijit Ghosh

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Never say never again

Source: TNN

Date: December 31, 2006


For all the babes bouncing on the beach in their minimalist attire and for all the alleged oomph and attitude flaunted by a former Miss World fast approaching expiry date, Dhoom:2's real sexiness comes from Hrithik Roshan, a lean male rubber doll with brains and muscles who steals diamonds and, judging by the audience reaction, also female hearts.


There isn't any hot (as in steamy) scene in the movie, unless an apology of a kiss — obviously Bollywood has learnt little from Mallika Sherawat and Payal Rohatgi — qualifies for that.


But Dhoom:2, much like its predecessor Dhoom, redefines celluloid sexiness as a lifestyle package: bad boys sandsurf in a Namibian desert, cool guys cruise on cooler bikes in virgin locales, and under-dressed girls play basketball in the rain.


Dhoom:2 seems to be the template of future Bollywood action flicks: high glamour laced with state-of-the-art action that would make even John Woo say wow. Industry sources say the movie will end up grossing a cool Rs 160 crore making it the year's biggest moneyspinner.


In 2006, Bollywood discovered its future in the past. The year's three biggest hits — Dhoom:2, Krrish and Lage Raho Munna Bhai — are all sequels. Another hit, Don, was a remake.


In an industry where an average eight out of 10 films still end up in the red, no wonder Bollywood is proclaiming Never Say Never Again. The latest news is that even Khosla Ka Ghosla and Pyar Ke Side Effects, two moderate hits, will have progenies.


But 2006 will be primarily remembered as the year Bollywood broke free. Rang De Basanti took Gen Next away from candlelight dinners to candlelight vigils. Lage Raho Munna Bhai brought Gandhism out of primary textbooks to college canteens.


And Omkara stirringly transported Shakespeare to Saharanpur. These movies walked the fine line between art and commerce and went laughing to the Swiss bank. Industry sources estimate that Lage Raho will end up collecting at least Rs 125 crore.


RDB has also made about Rs 115 crore at the cash counters. Omkara profited more modestly but received the maximum critical praise. And despite a lead adulterous pair, Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna too made decent money.


Smaller filmmakers who had the courage to experiment were also rewarded by a fast-maturing audience. The long-delayed Khosla Ka Ghosla, where a middle-class family outwits land sharks, was one such film. But not all such movies clicked.


Both Nagesh Kukunoor and Madhur Bhandarkar, who had directed offbeat hits (Iqbal and Page 3 respectively) faltered with Dor and Corporate. The movies delivered, not the paying public.


The year also showed that India's funny bone is getting better. Movies like Malamaal Weekly, Phir Hera Pheri, Tom, Dick and Harry, Golmaal, Apna Sapna Money Money and Pyar Ke Side Effects tickled the box-office in varying degrees.


Even Abbas-Mustan's suspense thriller 36 China Town had a healthy dose of comic relief. If there was one genre that really scored this year, it was comedy.


Sooraj Barjatya's Vivah — a Hum Aapke Hain Koun replay for the RDB generation — is the sleeper hit of the year. In Bihar, the movie is a blockbuster.


Rajshri Productions proved once again a market still exists for the decent family drama on the big screen, especially in smaller towns.


By the way, Bollywood continued to shy away from the heartland. With the exception of Omkara, Malamaal Weekly and Dor, the rural landscape hardly figured in Hindi films.


The gap between what India Invisible wants and what Bollywood's cinematic imagination offers continues to grow. And the space continues to be filled by the regional genre such as Bhojpuri films.


The year also had its regular share of Emraan Hashmi, the most underfeted star in Bollywood. Here's an actor who delivers one hit after another but remains relatively unknown — except for the dubious title, Kissinger of Bollywood. But he has great fan following across north India.


Be it the naxalite district of Dantewada in Chhattisgarh or the boondocks of Dungarpur in south Rajasthan or the small towns of western Uttar Pradesh, shopkeepers tell you that his VCDs are in hot demand. This year he added Aksar and Gangster to his successful oeuvre.


The return of Kajol in the Aamir Khan superhit Fanaa was also a much-awaited Bollywood event. And Naseeruddin Shah made a promising debut as director even though Yun Hota To Kya Hota flopped.


In 2006, Bollywood bounced back, thanks to a string of superhit sequels. But some movies such as Lage Raho and Rang De Basanti didn't just make money. They slipped into your heart, tugged at your soul. This year Bollywood renewed our faith in the movies.