Swara Bhaskar believes formula films have lost their charm as even a Salman Khan movie needs a good story to do well at the box-office. “Be it ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ or ‘Sultan’, Salman is also looking for good stories first. The era of formula films is over. The presence of big stars in a movie no longer guarantees you a hit,” said Bhaskar, who worked with Salman in Prem Ratan Dhan Payo.
“The clear distinction between art and parallel cinema that was there in the 70s or 80s is a thing of past now,” said Bhaskar while speaking at the ongoing Indian Languages Festival (ILF) Samanvay. The actress, best known for her performances in films like Raanjhanaa and Nil Battey Sannata, however, believes most of the big production houses are still playing safe.
“The fact is that still the major chunk of good cinema is being produced by independent producers,” she said, adding that small films, despite the good content, sometimes fail to do well as they don’t have a proper platform. “‘Listen Amaya’ was a nice sweet movie. It got really good reviews too by film critics. But just because it was an independent producer’s movie. I failed to get the release of our liking.
“However, with ‘Nil Battey Sannata’ just because I had access to Anand L Rai and he agreed to come onboard, the movie had a great run at the box-office. Obviously, primarily it’s the movie and the content but support from big production houses can do a world of good,” said Bhaskar.
The Tanu weds Manu star also credits “social media” for providing a helping hand to “small-budget” movies not having enough resources to promote their movie. “Social media provides a platform for people to give their own ratings to the movie. Word-of-mouth does the trick and small budget movies benefit from it,” she pointed out.
When asked whether “gender disparity” exists in Bollywood; the actress replied,”It’s very much there when you talk about the pay gap. “What if I tell you a male actor working for same days as me in ‘Prem Ratan Dhan Payo’ was paid thrice the amount than what I was paid. I was shocked and still am,” she said.