The Millennium has witnessed several changes in trends as far as the new Hindi movies are concerned. Scripts are more mature and deal with all kinds of political and social issues. Cinematography involves advanced techniques and filmmakers benefit from new and improved equipment. Movie soundtracks have changed drastically as western influences seep in through ever crack and gap. Mainstream cinema relies on ‘item songs/numbers’ to bring in the audience even if it looks like a flop from the word go. But almost all movies are coming up with an item number, which is its USP.
One of the most significant changes is the heavy investment towards marketing and promoting films. Since the film industry is a huge business opportunity, it is quite common to find them smartly packaged. Take Farhan Akhtar’s directorial debut Dil Chahta Hai. It signaled the beginning of a new era of feel good and youthful films with all the song, dance and drama that Bollywood is famous for but also with subtle sensibilities that made it stand apart. Directors do not back out from making big budget films with an ensemble of stars and superstars.
Indian cinema is not restricted to the latest Bollywood movies but to the film industry as a whole. Art or specialized movies are modified to fit on big screens. A genre of hard-hitting and tough themes such as the kind seen in City of Gold (based on the lives of Mumbai mill workers) have become increasingly common. Filmmakers experiment with different ideas and interpretations of reality. Since movies only depict real life and are not in fact its mirror image, a lot of room remains available for creatively portraying ordinary living. The audiences have also started liking art movies.
New Hindi movies (mainly the popular kind) have turned to shooting most of the films in foreign locations. Action films contain more death defying stunts and a slicker packaging. At one point in time, women were relegated as love interests and often shown clinging to the hero’s arm. Movies like Fashion, The President is Coming have proved that the story will not sink if it doesn’t have a male lead. Filmmakers are experimenting with horror genres with renewed gusto, moving away from the standard ghost stories. Latest Bollywood movies like Raaz, 13B and Phoonk have proved that horror movies can be a commercial success. More filmmakers have started experimenting with horror genre these days.