With the overhyped Bombay Velvet crashing at the box office, the focus is once more on whether it’s more important for filmmakers to follow their passion or stick to tried and tested waters.
After all when a mega budget film like Bombay Velvet flops, it is the investors and distributors who are affected the most. The actors and director — Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma and Anurag Kashyap in this case — are hardly affected, at least monetarily.
One can only hope that the upcoming mega film Baahubali does not face the same fate. While director Anurag Kashyap has said Bombay Velvet is his “absolute personal favourite” despite the meagre earnings, filmmakers feel that being passionate towards one’s craft and commercial success should go hand-in-hand.
Producer of Baahubali, Shobu Yarlagadda, says, “You make films because of the director’s passion and you can’t always pander to the audience’s demand. Having said that, you also need to understand that the film should appeal to the audiences. After all, they are the primary source of revenue.”
According to Priyanka Dutt, whose last production Yevade Subramanyam was critically acclaimed, all filmmakers start out making films because they are passionate about them. “I am that kind of a filmmaker and I encourage that. But at the same time, you spend a lot of money, so you definitely have to keep the sensibilities of your target audience in mind,” adds Priyanka.
Director Pavan Sadineni, who’s working on his next film Savitri with Nara Rohit, says that an average cinegoer doesn’t care about the director’s passion. “Audiences think, ‘I am spending Rs 150, so I need to be entertained’.”
Everyone is unanimous about the fact that when a film fails, it’s the producer and the distributors who take the first hit. “But even the credibility of the director and the actors involved is at stake. They might move on, but then, the studios may not be so enthusiastic to sign them on,” says Shobu. Vashu Bhagnani, whose Humshakals and Himmatwala didn’t do well, adds, “When a film fails, there’s a loss in every department. For example, the producer loses his money, an actors’ brand value gets affected...”