With a rich heritage of more than a hundred years, the Indian film industry, with the Hindi film industry (Bollywood) at its focal point, is continuously evolving to adapt to the changing demands of its audience. With its ‘industry’ accord in place since 2000, abetted by an open economy facilitating business, there couldn’t have been a period as strategic as this for the involvement of corporate entities in Bollywood. This article aims to discuss, by virtue of cogent reasoning via suitable examples derived from the rich history of Bollywood, the various pros & cons associated with the corporatisation of Hindi movies and whether it really is a game-changer or not. Corporatisation of Hindi Movies: Game Changer or Just Hype?
The kaleidoscopic world of Indian cinema, with the Hindi film industry (Bollywood) at its cynosure, has continued to enthral its audiences across the globe for more than a hundred years and can undoubtedly be counted as the only bona fide passion sans cricket which binds every section of the Indian society ranging from the hinterlands to the urban/semi-urban centres. In these hundred years, the film ecosystem has followed a deep learning curve to mutate into its current form (Exhibit 1) of a gigantic industry with ever-increasing revenues (Exhibit 2), churning out close to a thousand movies every year. Being recognized as an ‘industry’ ushered in one of the most critical revolutions in Bollywood: ‘corporatisation’, i.e. the involvement of corporate institutions in the different stages of film production. But has this change really augured well for Bollywood? Although primarily characterized by the domination of behemoth studios like the Bombay Studios in its early days, Bollywood gradually evolved into a system dominated by ‘star power’ with the arrival of the Dev-Dilip-Raj triumvirate. Thus, the studio system, which was characterized by actors being on the studio’s payroll, completely collapsed and the ‘stars’ could literally...
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