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The student news site of Amador Valley High School


The student news site of Amador Valley High School


The student news site of Amador Valley High School


The lost heart of Bollywood: Where is the storytelling brilliance that used to define the industry?

Zenil Koovejee
“Kuch Kuch Hota Hai” is a timeless tale of friendship, love, and second chances that continues to captivate audiences with its heartfelt storytelling and iconic moments.

In the golden eons of Bollywood, love was not just a theme; it was the soul of the industry.

Movies from that era, with their timeless narratives and heartfelt storytelling, were like emotional roller-coasters that transcended generations and touched hearts worldwide. 

They made us cry, laugh, smile, and feel everything all at once—sometimes we needed more than one tissue box! 

In other words, Bollywood cinema wasn’t just a cultural phenomenon; it was a genuine experience that captured the essence of love, pyaar, and mohabbatein on celluloid. But today, that heart seems to be missing.

Purposeless pursuit of action

In recent years, Bollywood has experienced a notable shift in focus. 

For better or for worse, the box office is now dominated by action-packed blockbusters and high-octane spectacles that prioritize style over substance.

While these films often achieve commercial success, they lack the depth and emotional richness that characterized the true classics.

The intricate portrayals of love, the sincere depictions of family, and the beautiful expressions of emotion have been replaced for formulaic plots and mindless entertainment. 

The question arises: What’s the point of a gunshot if there’s no real heart beating behind it?

Evolving epochs bring forth a modern audience

With the rise of global streaming platforms and exposure to diverse genres from around the world, Indian viewers have developed a penchant for variety. The demand for quick, adrenaline-fueled entertainment has overshadowed the appreciation for slow-burn romances and heartfelt dramas. 

Filmmakers, in an attempt to cater to these changing preferences, have shifted their focus to genres that guarantee instant gratification. 

In the generation of new, the sound of war has superseded the flame of love. 

In addition, with India’s ascent as a global powerhouse in contemporary times, patriotic fervor among Indian audiences has soared to unprecedented levels. This surge has compelled directors, producers, and storytellers to harness and portray this sentiment, resulting in a surge of patriotic action films. In my view, these films are undoubtedly praiseworthy.

However, none of them seem to capture the dramatic essence in the same manner as classics like “Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham” (K3G) and “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge” (DDLJ). We once possessed a unique knack for encapsulating emotion, yet somehow, that artistry has faded into obscurity.

From ageless narratives to money-making plots

The relentless pursuit of box office numbers has also played a significant role. Big-budget productions with star-studded casts and elaborate sequences promise high returns, making them a safer bet for producers and investors. 

This commercial imperative often sidelines stories that require nuanced storytelling and emotional depth, as they are perceived as less profitable. Take, for instance, “Rocky aur Rani Kii Prem Kahani”—an exceptionally woven tale, yet it seemed to be missing something. 

Somehow, there’s an ineffable allure to Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol against the backdrop of an Egyptian sunset, with pyramids looming in the distance. Ironically, there’s a nostalgic charm embedded within the sight of Amitabh Bachchan and Rekha amidst sprawling flower fields.

The irresistible lure of money appears to have eroded the essence of these scenes.

Tunes that barely scrape the surface

Bollywood’s music, once a cornerstone of its identity, has not been immune to these changes. The industry that gave us soulful melodies and lyrics rich with meaning is now churning out tracks that emphasize beat over beauty. 

Songs that once narrated the unspoken words of the heart, like those from “Silsila” or “Veer-Zaara,” have been replaced by party anthems and remixes that, while catchy, lack the emotional resonance of their predecessors.

Music directors and lyricists, who once created magic with their words and compositions, now often find themselves catering to a market that values party numbers instead of timeless melodies. 

The poetry that once defined Bollywood’s music is fading, making way for tunes that, although popular, fail to touch the soul.

A final word

The heart of Bollywood, with its unparalleled ability to capture love and emotion, may currently be overshadowed by the glitz and glamor of action-packed extravaganzas.

However, the essence that made Bollywood a global phenomenon still lingers. As the industry continues to evolve, it is crucial to remember and celebrate the stories that defined its legacy. By doing so, Bollywood can rediscover its unique voice and once again capture the timeless tales of love that touch the heart and soul.

Pyaar dosti hai. Love is friendship.

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