Bollywood goes retro to boost box office sales

Bollywood is harking back to the 1970s and the days of stylised movie dialogues, cliched plots and elaborate dance sequences in an attempt to boost box office takings after a disappointing 2010.

Despite its prodigious output, the Hindi-language movie industry has had a torrid time this year, with only a dozen out of more than 200 films made finding favour with fans.

"The 1970s and 80s were amongst the golden eras of the Indian film industry," said Bollywood director Sajid Khan, whose successes include "Heyy Babyy" (eds:correct) and the recent comedy "Housefull".

"We need to give a taste of old music to the new generation," he said.

"Housefull" found box-office success with a remix of a popular hit song from a 1981 Amitabh Bachchan movie, "Laawaris" (Illegitimate).

Most of Bollywood's popular hit songs of the 1970s and 80s when Bachchan - known as the "Big B" - ruled the movie scene have been remixed and are played in many of Mumbai's best-known nightclubs.

"Bollywood is in search of its roots. Looking to the past is a way of looking to the future but not when it is used as an easy way out," said film critic Shubhra Gupta in the Indian Express newspaper.

Bollywood director Milan Luthria's thriller "Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai" (eds: correct), set in the 1970s, about a power struggle between two gangsters - complete with big hair, bigger moustaches, wing-collar shirts and flares - was a hit.

It took 580 million rupees (13.2 million dollars) at the box office after its release in July this year.

"Golmaal 3", a hit comedy released for the recent Diwali holiday about the capers of a group of young friends, was itself based on the 1970s film "Khatta Meetha" (Sour and Sweet).

But another 1970s themed-movie, the time-travel romance movie starring Akshay Kumar and Aishwarya Rai "Action Replayy" (eds:correct) - which was loosely influenced by the 1985 hit "Back to the Future" - bombed.

Superstar actor-producer-director Shah Rukh Khan, who featured in the 2006 release "Don: The Chase Begins Again", a remake of the 1978 Bachchan hit "Don", has plans for a follow-up to that.

Another Bachchan cult classic of the 1980s "Satte pe satta" (Seven on Seven), the Indian adaptation of Hollywood musical "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" is to be remade, starring Bollywood's original bad-boy Sanjay Dutt.

In recent years, Indian filmmakers have started making movies with contemporary themes, for a youthful, more well-travelled and knowledgeable audience, away from traditional, formulaic themes of stylised romantic love.

Issues like Islamist extremism, the life of call centre workers and rock bands, weakening relationships among city-dwellers and central characters with a disability or illness, have all been tackled.

But while some modern, real-life themes have worked, others have not, pushing movie-makers to return to tried and tested formulae.

A successful year-end would raise spirits in Bollywood, which was hit last year by a producers' boycott of multiplex cinemas, swine flu fears and a string of big budget failures. The economic downturn also affected overseas takings.

Overall revenues fell 14 percent to 89.3 billion rupees in 2009, consultancy KPMG said in a report for the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry released earlier this year.

Arts and Entertainment
books
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Arts and Entertainment
Star turns: Montacute House
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Iain reacts to his GBBO disaster

TV
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Simon Cowell is less than impressed with the Strictly/X Factor scheduling clash

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Gothic revival: artist Dave McKean’s poster for Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination
Exhibition
Arts and Entertainment
Diana Beard has left the Great British Bake Off 2014

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Lisa Kudrow, Courtney Cox and Jennifer Anniston reunite for a mini Friends sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live

TV
Arts and Entertainment
TVDessert week was full of the usual dramas as 'bingate' ensued
Arts and Entertainment
Clara and the twelfth Doctor embark on their first adventure together
TVThe regulator received six complaints on Saturday night
Arts and Entertainment
Vinyl demand: a factory making the old-style discs
musicManufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl
Arts and Entertainment
David Baddiel concedes his show takes its inspiration from the hit US series 'Modern Family'
comedyNew comedy festival out to show that there’s more to Jewish humour than rabbi jokes
Arts and Entertainment
Puff Daddy: One Direction may actually be able to use the outrage to boost their credibility

music
Arts and Entertainment
Suha Arraf’s film ‘Villa Touma’ (left) is set in Ramallah and all the actresses are Palestinian

film
Arts and Entertainment
Madame Vastra and Jenny Flint kiss in Doctor Who episode 'Deep Breath'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Steve Carell in the poster for new film 'Foxcatcher'
filmExclusive: First look at comic actor in first major serious role
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Kingston Road in Stockton is being filmed for the second series of Benefits Street
arts + entsFilming for Channel 4 has begun despite local complaints
Arts and Entertainment
Led Zeppelin

music
Arts and Entertainment
Radio presenter Scott Mills will be hitting the Strictly Come Dancing ballroom
TV
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
    The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

    The model for a gadget launch

    Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
    Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
    Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

    Get well soon, Joan Rivers

    She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
    Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

    A fresh take on an old foe

    Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
    Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

    Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

    As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
    Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

    Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

    ... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
    Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

    Europe's biggest steampunk convention

    Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
    Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

    Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

    Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
    Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

    Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

    The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
    She's dark, sarcastic, and bashes life in Nowheresville ... so how did Kacey Musgraves become country music's hottest new star?

    Kacey Musgraves: Nashville's hottest new star

    The singer has two Grammys for her first album under her belt and her celebrity fans include Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Katy Perry
    American soldier-poet Brian Turner reveals the enduring turmoil that inspired his memoir

    Soldier-poet Brian Turner on his new memoir

    James Kidd meets the prize-winning writer, whose new memoir takes him back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
    Aston Villa vs Hull match preview: Villa were not surprised that Ron Vlaar was a World Cup star

    Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

    Andi Weimann reveals just how good his Dutch teammate really is
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef ekes out his holiday in Italy with divine, simple salads

    Bill Granger's simple Italian salads

    Our chef presents his own version of Italian dishes, taking in the flavours and produce that inspired him while he was in the country
    The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

    The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

    If supporters begin to close bank accounts, switch broadband suppliers or shun satellite sales, their voices will be heard. It’s time for revolution