Sorry Movie Stars Won’t Disappear From Movie Screens

When people stopped pretending to read, they said they didn’t read anymore because they didn’t have time. After that, whenever people didn’t do a respectable activity, they said it was because they didn’t have time. This lasted until social media took over the world and showed that people actually have a lot of time, which they waste. Now people have stopped lying and saying they don’t have time. But if we listen to the lamentations of various industries, it would seem that people are doing nothing in their free time.

People don’t read books. They don’t read magazines, newspapers and pay their subscriptions online. They don’t go to restaurants as often as they used to. They don’t watch plays, comedies, art shows, or Test cricket, or even a one-day match, or for that matter an entire T20 clash. Now, it seems, Indians don’t even go to see Hindi movies in the cinema. So what exactly are people doing with their lives? That’s for another day.

Over the past few weeks, many Hindi films have bombed. They just don’t attract their old base, which is most of India, to theaters, a feat that Marvel movies achieve. Many observers and theater owners blame the highest echelons of “Bollywood” for this – that most of today’s superstars have no talent; and that they feed mediocre acolytes who fail.

The stars cannot blame their disgrace on the poor quality of their films. If they need great movies to deliver hits, what’s the point of being stars? The reason they are paid tens of crores is because they claim to have the power to overrule people’s discernment. A power they no longer seem to have. Word of mouth can destroy their films. Considering all this, many observers say that the era of Bollywood superstars is over. But this is not true.

Movie stars will endure and even thrive. There can be no commercial cinema without stars. The force of capitalism may dismiss the current stars, but they will be replaced by similar people, perhaps their talentless but beautiful children.

Stature is a strange thing, it is granted to a few, who then have power over all. The stature is like India. It is an electoral democracy where most people make certain people very powerful. But it is difficult to invent an alternative to stature. Here are three reasons why a superstar exists in a capitalist system.

First, a star is compensation for the fact that no one knows how to sell anything. The best thing marketers have marketed is that they know what they are doing. The fact is that a small fraction of what people try to sell is bought. It’s a very hard sell because we really don’t need most things. And a story without heroes is one of the hardest things to sell. The question “what is the story about” has only one answer: the whole story. A synopsis of a story is among the dumbest things in the world. That’s why one software feature that almost never works well on otherwise sophisticated platforms like Netflix is ​​its prediction of what you might “like” based on what you liked. People have a complex relationship with stories. It’s easier to sell them a star. .

Two, a business story shouldn’t be too good. There shouldn’t be a lot of things that turn a good writer on – they shouldn’t be unique, groundbreaking, complex, different, or “pushing a new envelope.” Instead, it should be familiar, simple, and derived from old stories. As a result, a good business story looks almost exactly like a bad business story. You can only tell the difference after the movie comes out. Again, a bankable star is the compensation for the impossibility of a bankable story.

Third, people need to form the wrong opinion about certain people. In this way, people project their opinions onto another person and fall in love with that person, not knowing that they are only in love with their bad opinions. Thus, a star exists. (Also why you should never meet a star you like.)

People who announce the disappearance of “Bollywood” stars point to the south and say that southern India makes better films because they have better stars and therefore southern films are doing well . But they overestimate the south. South India makes a lot of terrible movies, and like any movie business, most of them fail too. It may be true that people from the south continue to flock to the halls. But this could be because in terms of economy and economic behavior, the cities of northern India have a middle class a few years ahead of those in the south. What I mean is not just the fact that a typical multiplex ticket is more expensive in Delhi or Mumbai than, say, Chennai. It is that the middle class in North India is less dependent on watching movies for pleasure than South India. The failure of Bollywood, in fact, is an omen. Ten years from now, southern stars too will start failing as if terrible movies were a sudden development.

The failure of “Bollywood” stars is not in the reduced appeal of Hindi cinema, but in their inability to get people out of their homes. The experience of going to see a movie in India is more torture than entertainment. the traffic and the air, and the ugly chaos of the parking lot.

Hindi cinema is no match for the new India where “development” has come. Then, of course, the multiplexes take care of the rest of the torture. That bad food and ten minutes of commercials and ten minutes of movie trailers. The new stars, when they arrive, they might not be able to attract Indians like Amitabh Bachchan would, but they will still attract millions to watch movies.

Manu Joseph is a journalist, novelist and creator of the Netflix series “Decoupled”

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