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Saturday, March 06, 2021

New-age entertainment

Audience acceptance of Bbuddah Hoga Terra Baap and Delhi Belly suggests that star-power aligning itself with innovative scripts can only help the business.

Written by Priyanka Sinha Jha | Mumbai |
July 8, 2011 4:25:27 pm

Two rib-ticklers—Bbuddah Hoga Terra Baap and Delhi Belly—were Bollywood’s weekend offerings catering to different audiences. The former aimed at family audiences ranging from the kids and middle-aged to the elderly while the latter was obviously for hip young adults with great clarity on the precise ramifications of “Shit happens”.

Frankly,in the comic space,both work effectively for the demographic they set out to impress. BHTB showcases Mr B with all the aplomb and fanfare to which his fans are accustomed and he certainly lives up to expectations. Viju’s one-liners,particularly those indicative of his constant denial of his age,get the laughs.

Delhi Belly,meanwhile,walks on the wild side with its numerous expletives,the potty humour and DK Bose with its phonetic pun (fully intended) notwithstanding. The jury is still out counting money for the two films as the only competition in the following weekend is a bunch of kids and a dog in the guise of Chillar Party.

Conventional wisdom suggests that both films are likely to make their producers money. Satellite rights for BHTB have already been sold,suggesting a 3 crore profit on the production cost and hopefully the weekend collections will shore up the numbers. Delhi Belly has cornered 26 crore odd over the weekend with the producers laughing all the way to the bank. The interesting part is that the market-shares of the two films,both departures from the comic formula that works the audiences in India,suggest a growing appetite for movies with different sensibilities. It was not always so — a decade ago Delhi Belly would not have found itself a monetarily significant audience.

Recall Kaizad Gustad’s Bombay Boys—the film had three NRI characters,played by Naveen Andrews,Rahul Bose and Alexander Gifford,who come to India for personal reasons and inadvertently end up staying together,getting embroiled with a gangster (played by Naseeruddin Shah) and his moll (Tara Deshpande) and then some more. In fact,the scandal quotient of the film was severely upped due to the trio’s striptease act for a bunch of high-society ladies (an inspiration from The Full Monty)! The movie at that time had received mixed reactions though young viewers lapped it up eagerly. But it was not a money spinner. Delhi Belly,while it’s a whole new story,is similar to Bombay Boys in its tonality. And by turning it into a thumping success,Aamir Khan,widely hailed as the most astute producer with a keen understanding of films has taken the acceptance of unconventional genres to a whole new level. That stars are sticking their necks out to make creatively satisfying movies should be good news for enterprising directors and story writers.

And expletives,whether Hindi,English or beeped versions,can only help!

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