Bollywood Movies

Is Bollywood Shifting Away from Traditional Comedy Films?

April 12, 20243 Mins Read

Growing up in the 90s meant limited screen time, but it also meant enjoying gems like, “Chachi 420”, “Hungama”, on television, a show that curated the best comedy scenes from Bollywood films. It was the time of early introduction to what we now call compilation videos.

Those were the days when Bollywood comedy flourished with classics like “Hera Pheri,” “Golmaal,” “Chup Chup Ke,”  “Dhamaal,” etc. Watching shows like these became a post-lunch treat, especially during summer vacations, after finishing homework and meals. These were the part of movies that was normal watching in front of parents unlike the era now.

Transitional Shift: 

However, the landscape of Bollywood has shifted. The era of such comedy films has waned, replaced by action-packed actions like “Jawan,” “Pathaan,” “Animal,” “Kabir Singh”, and many more.

However,  actor Akshay Kumar in a recent interaction with a YouTuber, delved into the reasons behind this shift, citing the emergence of a more socially conscious culture.

Movies like “Hera Pheri,” “Welcome,” “Golmaal”, “Hungama”, etc. were known for their slapstick humor, stock characters, and playful innuendos, elements that resonate with nostalgia but may not align with today’s values.

While the rise of woke culture has ushered in a new era of cinema with diverse and realistic narratives, there’s a part of us that misses the innocence of those old Bollywood comedies. They may not have been perfect, but they never failed to lighten our hearts, offering an escape from the monotony of daily life.

However, it’s essential to acknowledge that many of those slapstick comedies perpetuated sexism and stereotypes, elements that are rightly challenged by today’s generation.

As times change, so do one’s expectations from cinema. While offensive humor may no longer be acceptable, there’s still room for comedy in Bollywood. Today’s audience seeks humor that reflects contemporary culture and resonates with their experiences, whether it’s through stand-up comedy or modern storytelling techniques.

In a famous saying, “Jo bikta h, wahi dikhta h”, the onset of OTT, web series have diverged the narrative of people across. Referring to the latest example, the movie ‘Fighter’ starring the latest couple- Deepika Padukone and Hrithik Roshan, despite excelling in the air action stunts was unable to hold a grip of the viewers.

The evolution of web series have upgraded the level of movies today and so the expectations of the viewers.

Perhaps the emerging trend of comedy in Bollywood could blend nostalgia with classic humor while delving into dark comedies or satire. Bollywood boasts a wealth of talented writers; all that’s required is to find the right equilibrium between humor and authenticity.

While it may appear that woke culture is extinguishing traditional Bollywood cinema, audiences are progressing and demand the same from their films. This shift mirrors the shorter runtime of movies and the more empowered roles women now assume on screen.

Change is constant — both in cinema and society. Bollywood comedies must adapt accordingly.

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