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Madhur Bhandarkar Urges Bollywood To Shun Remakes, Explains Why Dwindling Attendance At Cinemas Bothers Him

Bollywood filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar urged the Hindi film industry to stop making remakes and explained why dwindling attendance in cinema houses bother him, ahead of the release of his film "India Lockdown".

Madhur Bhandarkar Urges Bollywood To Shun Remakes, Explains Why Dwindling Attendance At Cinemas Bothers Him
Image credit: imbhandarkar/Instagram

After making movies such as Chandni Bar, Page 3, and Fashion, Bollywood filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar is all set to showcase the nightmare of the COVID-19 epidemic in his most recent film, India Lockdown.

Calling it his mission to record the COVID-19-induced lockdown, the movie director proclaimed that he chose to labour on the flick when the country entered its initial lockdown.

In an interview with Indian Express, Bhandarkar discussed how the concept of India Lockdown was conceived, as well as the consequences of the pandemic in the entertainment industry.

He called his writers and shared his ideas to begin forming the storyboard.

"We zeroed upon the migrant workers, that was a heart-wrenching visual that stunned us all. Then we picked a s*x worker, a pilot who is asked to stay at home for the first time and of course, a father who cannot travel to meet his pregnant daughter.

"All these actors said yes to the film even though I was working on a shoestring budget. When we started filming, everything had opened up but we were cautious. We had a good run and then the second wave kicked in but we managed it somehow," he said.

The pandemic has been catastrophic for many, but for cine-goers it has resulted in a marked shift in their viewing preferences. Theatre attendances have plummeted, and people are increasingly opting for consuming content through OTT services from the comfort of their own homes.

Stating that it is a temporary phase, Bhandarkar said, "The industry is slightly on the flip side but I think the time will pass. Also, I think it's time we introspect as there haven't been too many good movies this year. We have to come together and think as an industry."

Bhandarkar noted that the audience have grown accustomed to viewing diverse content in numerous languages. Even his non-movie-fanatic friends have been recommending him foreign series and movies.

Therefore, he feels that Bollywood needs to stop making remakes, as he shared, "We can already watch content in that language with subtitles, or there are dubbed versions available. A lot of people often feel that yeh film toh dekh chuke hai, wapas theatre kyu jaye (we have already seen the movie, so why should we go back to the theater?)

"Personally, I believe we should only make original content. All these years, I have never done it. I have not even been inspired by foreign films, only by real stories and people. I think with good writers around, the content will work."

Bhandarkar further said that the magic of cinema will remain eternal and with the progression of time, both platforms can cohabit without subsuming the other. He noted that this issue is not just in India, but around the world, as people have become accustomed to consuming content on their own schedule and environment.

Starring Prateik Babbar, Shweta Basu Prasad, Ahana Kumra, and Prakash Belawadi in pivotal roles, India Lockdown is slated to release on ZEE5 on December 2.

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