The Hindi film industry has always been a barometer of various societal trends. There is a lot to be decoded from the box office records of movies. Hits and misses have a story to tell as they expose the prevalent emotions and predict new trends. Bollywood has not been entirely without some of these experimental genres in the past. There was the wake-up call to youngsters in ‘Rang De Basanti’ or an extremely sensitive portrayal of a blind girl played in ‘Black’. But they were experiments at best, few and far in between. So there were the usual stereotypes and a few experiments in between for the discerning audience that also happened to do well at the box office.
But the difference today is that there is no set trend or pattern to follow. From the wonderfully spiced up spoofs in ‘OSO’ to the important metaphor of female expression in ‘Chak De’ to a simplistic rich boy, poor girl love story in ‘Jab We Met’ the Indian audience has an appetite for all of it. What is re-assuring and comforting is the wide spread acceptance of it all that takes it out of the ‘niche’ and into the popular mainstream. The audience is in a more receptive frame of mind, appreciating and relishing myriad genres.
So it’s also the best time for Indian marketers to put on their thinking caps and induce some fresh and innovative thinking in their strategies. The Indian audience is living in an era of ‘entertainment economy’. They are seeking out entertainment in every experience- shopping, eating out, official trips or even family bonding. And with two hundred plus TV channels beaming out various forms of content live into their drawing room every waking minute, they have certainly matured in their consumption pattern of entertainment. They are today able to clearly differentiate fact from fiction and appreciate various genres for their original worth. While in the same week they are able to enjoy ‘Welcome’ as ‘leave your brains as home’ entertainer, they are also happy to soak in a intense socially relevant subject of dyslexia that finds connect with the masses and critics alike.