Burst of fresh ideas, talent in Bollywood

New Delhi, Dec 28 (IANS) Who would have thought the less spoken subject of sperm donation could be a theme entertaining enough for a commercial movie? Or the woes of a middle-class Indian housewife, who can't speak fluent English? In 2012, the limelight in Bollywood turned towards fresh faces, stories and ideas.

Top-notch actors paved the way for young and new talent, with or without filmy connections, while producers gave worthy platforms and good marketing to fresh directors.

The year began on a positive note with "Agneepath". It was a mammoth task to direct the movie, a remake of the 1990 film of the same name, but debutant Karan Malhotra sailed through it well, garnering good results at the box office.

The success of "Agneepath" was followed up by yet another fresh director, Shakun Batra and his movie "Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu". Both "Agneepath" and "Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu" were produced by popular filmmaker Karan Johar.

"It's the age of young talent - directorial, acting and even production houses are going on that path now... We can't keep making movies with the same 8 to 10 people that we have been working with. We need that eight to become 80 for us to be empowered," Karan had said in an earlier interview.

He turned his words to action with another film this year - "Student Of The Year" (SOTY). He launched four newcomers - Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt, Sidharth Malhotra and Kayoze Irani through - the film and chose to direct it himself. Youth welcomed the movie with open arms.

The response to other newcomers - "Vicky Donor" star Ayushmann Khurrana and "Ishaqzaade" hero Arjun Kapoor - too was great. Then there were also Pulkit Samrat ("Bittoo Boss"), Diana Penty ("Cocktail"), Ileana D'Cruz ("Barfi!"), Prithivraj ("Aiyyaa") and Huma Qureshi ("Gangs Of Wasseypur"), who impressed with their talent and made sure Bollywood eventually goes beyond just the ruling Khans and Kapoors.

Varun Dhawan, who garnered critical and commercial success with SOTY, says things changed for him after his work in the movie was appreciated.

"I never thought critics would like my work. Things have changed for me after the movie release. There were people who never used to greet me previously, but now they take the initiative of saying 'hello'," said the 24-year-old, son of filmmaker David Dhawan.

Freshness kept seeping in throughout the year with "Ekk Deewana Tha", "Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya", "London Paris New York" and "Ferrari Ki Sawaari". There was newness in some form or the other in all these movies.

Sameer Sharma, who made the entertaining "Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana", capturing the Punjabi milieu, says a producer's support is of great help for a new director.

"New directors don't get the best of cast always and work against all odds. This, sometimes brings out the best in us. All producers from Bollywood are friendly and supportive," Sharma, whose film was produced by Anurag Kashyap, told IANS.

"Producers like R.Balki ('English Vinglish'), Rajkumar Hirani ('Ferrari Ki Sawaari') have been collaborators, who even mentored their film. In future, I would also like to produce young directors with my experience," he added.

New ideas and scripts - a welcome change away from the usual girl-meets-boy and fall-in-love stories - made inroads into the Hindi film industry.

Films like "Ferrari Ki Sawaari", about a father who goes out of his way to fulfil his son's wish; "Kahaani", about a woman on a journey of revenge; "Ishaqzaade", about two individuals who are born to hate, but destined to love; the two-part "Gangs Of Wasseypur" series, a gangster drama set in Dhanbad and "Barfi!", a heartwarming love story of a deaf-mute boy and an autistic girl were just some novel concepts that struck the right chord with the masses.

New talent brings growth to the industry, says trade analyst Taran Adarsh.

"It is important that new talent comes in; otherwise we don't grow as an industry. New people have brought new ideas and all-round development," Adarsh said.

"So much talent has come in. We require story ideas (all the time) and new directors infuse fresh ideas," he added.

(Yashika Mathur can be contacted at yashika.m@ians.in)

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