The team of “Haaramkhor” directed by debutant Shlok Sharma and starring (a certified genius one must admit) Nawazuddin Siddiqui celebrated their very well deserved success with the media recently via a press conference held in the city of Mumbai. Apart from the success of this small budget movie coming as a “surprising and refreshing change” it also manages to break certain “myths” that exists in the Bollywood industry in relation to movie making. The three major “myths” that exists in the Hindi Film Industry (also in the minds of majority of the audiences) that it does manage to break are as follows
MYTH 1- BIG BUDGET NEEDED FOR SUCCESS IN BOLLYWOOD
The fact that the this movie was made on a “shoestring” budget of apparently just less than 1 crore and has already earned Rs 1.41 crore (so far), only means that it has recovered its cost, which means it is a “successful” movie. What the success of this movie also shows us is that budgeting should be done according to the story i.e. the content. In addition, this movie also proves that even without having a sizable budget to spend on peripheral aspects such as “marketing and PR gimmicks” a filmmaker in the Hindi film industry can still make an impact on the audiences and acquire “box office” success as well. In other words a filmmaker must focus on the “content” first which in turn must determine the budget and not the other way around.
MYTH 2- “STAR” AND NOT THE “STORY” DRIVES THE SUCCESS OF A MOVIE IN BOLLYWOOD
In movies made in many parts of the world “Content drives a movie” but the”Bollywood” industry in general is unfortunately completely “star” driven. Now the success of a small “independent” movie like Haaramkhor (possessing no brand names) only proves that in fact filmmakers need not depend on stars but talented actors, provided they are casted appropriately. Take the case of Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Shweta Tripathi the lead protagonists of this story who have not only played their roles to perfection but also been casted perfectly . Furthermore, the fact that they agreed to work in this film due to their belief in the script, knowing fully well that the budget is small and that it is likely that they may not be paid well, one must admit is extremely commendable. Apparently Nawazuddin has not taken a penny for his work in the film which goes to show that if you have a great script, passion, and great actors then cinema that lasts forever can be made as opposed to just using “stars” as props to attract a large audience into theatres for just “three days business”.
MYTH 3- MARKETING GIMMICKS AND PR STRATEGIES ARE A MUST TO PROMOTE FILMS IN BOLLYWOOD
The use of an extremely well made trailer was the only “marketing strategy” that was used to usher in the audiences by the makers of this wonderful movie. The fact that neither the print nor the broadcast media was used much to publicize this movie due to budget limitations only indicates that if the movie has content i.e. it has a “voice” you do not to need create a lot of “noise” to get noticed no matter what the competition. Also what stands out in the marketing plan used by the Haaramkhor team is the fact that the promotions which included mainly the release of the trailer only began a month before the release and not many months earlier. A classic example of overaggressive “marketing and hype” where crores of rupees (which can be saved) are spent to publicize, was Aamir Khan’s latest mega hit”Dangal” where the promotions began at least six months in advance that included ” an exercise in vanity” in the form of a “You tube video showcasing Aamir’s weight gain/loss in preparation for the role”. It is therefore refreshing to see a movie like Haaramkhor really do well i.e. recover the cost despite not resorting to marketing and PR antics. It clearly shows that what really matters is in the end is the quality of content.
With Haaramkhor already having recovered is costs in the first week itself, it is a clear indication that if a movie is budgeted smartly with focus on “quality of content” then a successful film can be carved without overtly depending on marketing buffoonery. More importantly what the success of this movie shows is that, eventually it is all about “recovering the cost involved in the budgeting ” that should matter to the producers and nothing else.
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