Desi action clicks at box office
Komal Panchamatia Larger than life fight scenes, chase through narrow by-lanes and witty dialogues packaged together in films like 'Rowdy Rathore', 'Singham' and 'Dabangg' have brought back raw and desi-styled 'dishum dishum' which has set cash registers ringing.
After the angry-young man Amitabh Bachchan's action hits on silver screen (like Zanjeer', 'Deewar', 'Shahenshah', 'Agneepath'), the audience felt high-adrenalin rush in movies of Sanjay Dutt ('Rocky and 'Khalnayak') and Sunny Deol ('Arjun', 'Betaab', 'Ghayal' and 'Ziddi').
Later, Akshay Kumar (in Khiladi' series, 'Suhaag' and 'Elaan') and Ajay Devgn (in 'Jung', 'Vijaypath' and 'Sangram') kept the audience enthralled with their high-octane movies. However, after a lull phase in between, now action heroes are back in full force, roaring at box office with the raw and desi-styled action flicks which have received a thumbs-up from the audience..
"There has to be a purpose for action and that comes from script...the story line. In case of 'Ghajini' Aamir Khan had a reason...revenge...the killing of his girlfriend (Asin), to do all that action that he did," trade analyst Vinod Mirani told PTI.
"It is all about characters and story line that forms the action sequence in the film. People want to see real fight...the hero fighting," Mirani said. Now, actors have come back in action with Akshay Kumar hitting gold with 'Rowdy Rathore' (earning approx Rs 119 crore) at the box office, Ajay Devgn roared with 'Singham' which did a business of Rs 140 crore, while Sanjay Dutt's 'Agneepath' earned over Rs 190 crore. And Sunny Deol is preparing for 'Ghayal Returns'.
"There was a time when Ajay, Akshay, Jackie, Sunny and me all were called action heroes and we lived in that era for a long time. And suddenly for us there was a period of no action...only comedy films were working. I was taken aback. It was surprising that time," actor Sanjay Dutt said.
"I am happy that it (action movies) has come back. The best part is that South cinema never forgot that (action)," he said.
However, the action genre was brought back to life by Salman Khan in films like 'Wanted' (earning over Rs 92 crore), 'Dabangg' (Rs 200 crore), 'Bodyguard' (Rs 230 crore) and Aamir Khan in 'Ghajini', which did business of Rs 190 crore.
"There should be some sort of emotion and story behind the action sequences in a film. Audience should feel why the hero or the villain is fighting out," said ace action director and Movie Stunt Artists Association president Tinu Verma.
"Once that is achieved, half the battle is won. In India people relate to emotions, that's why films work well at the box office," he added.
However, on the flip side, certain action movies like 'Players', 'Tezz' and 'Agent Vinod' which adapted Hollywood technique in stunts, did not go down well with the audience. "The action in our movies down the years has been very raw and basic, considering we did not have the means to indulge in 'Bond' or 'Mission Impossible' style high budget action sequences," Studios, Disney UTV chief Siddharth Roy Kapur said, whose production house recently delivered a hit in 'Rowdy Rathore'.
"However the driving force for an action sequence succeeding is the emotion and motivation driving the action - be it revenge for past wrongs, defending the honour of a loved one or an escape from a terrible situation," Kapur said.
"As we graduate to larger budgets and slicker action, we should not forget that those emotions and motivation that need to drive the action still need to be in place. Without those basics, the slickest action sequence will ring hollow," Siddharth said.
"The audience reacts not just to one guy beating up another guy, but to the reasons he has for doing so. So if the motivation that drives any style of action is clear, there is no reason why slicker action will not work," he added.
On similar lines, trade analyst Taran Adarsh said, "People want to see films that they can relate to. They like to watch masala, desi films. Hence these ('Rowdy Rathore', 'Dabangg', 'Singham') films are doing well.
"It does not mean that films like 'Players', 'Tezz' are not made well...it's just about the preference of audience," he said. PTI